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NASCARlson77

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NASCARlson77 last won the day on December 18 2019

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  1. Saturday Morning Match-up: Western Michigan (0-0) at Virginia Tech (0-1) Stormstopper Line: Western Michigan (-6) After sitting idle for the first two weeks, coach @Pskeate and his Western Michigan Broncos get to kickoff their season with a trip to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech and coach @vtgorilla. The Broncos finished the 2023 season with a 10-3 (7-1) record and ranked in the Top 25. They will look to continue their winning ways in 2024. Virginia Tech was off last week, but came out on the losing end against Nebraska, losing 31-23 in the opening week. What to watch for (WMU): Can the young guns step up on offense? Gone are QB Keith Jackson and RB DeSean Madison. With them goes the majority of the offensive production. The Broncos will look to redshirt sophomore Gabe Baker at the QB spot and redshirt freshman Jemel Garrett at running back. Both players are extremely talented, but there will be a learning curve for these two as they adjust to be the focal points of the offense. What to watch for (Virginia Tech): Will the QB change for the Hokies be a mistake? The coaching staff made the change to sophomore Kacey Tucker after a less than impressive performance from previous starter Eli Sherrill struggled. It’s a bold move as Sherill is the more talented QB, but it appears the staff think that Tucker brings a different element with his scrambling ability. What will happen: The QB change adds an unknown wrinkle as it’s hard to say what the Hokies will try to do on offense. Unfortunately, I don’t think Tucker is going to be able to carry this team to a win. I look for the Broncos to win a closely contested game on the road. Prediction: WMU 27 Virginia Tech 24 Saturday Afternoon Match-up: Central Michigan (0-1) at Arkansas (1-0) Stormstopper Line: Central Michigan (-8) The Chippewas will head to SEC country as they take on their second consecutive P5 opponent in the Arkansas Razorbacks and coach @Mjkelly37. CMU went toe-to-toe with Michigan State in week 1 but came up short losing in a 41-38 shootout. Arkansas took care of business against Nevada in a 23-13 victory. What to watch for (CMU): Can QB Byron Suggs be better? It’s hard to believe that’s even a question considering Suggs played a terrific game against the Spartans as he passed for 300 yards and 2 TD’s, while adding 137 yards rushing and 2 TD’s and it still wasn’t enough. Arkansas isn’t a top SEC team, but they’re plenty talented. CMU will likely need Suggs to be near perfect to come away with the win on the road. What to watch for (Arkansas): Can the Razorback defense contain the Chippewa offense? The defense played very well against Nevada holding them to only 228 yards of offense and 13 points. There’s quite a bit of talent on the Arkansas defense, especially the front seven. This group will be tasked with stopping an offense that racked up 546 yards of offense against a Big Ten opponent. What will happen: This is a tough game to call. If it was at home, I’d probably give the Chippewas the nod, but having to go on the road and face a team with a strong defense isn’t an easy task. The Arkansas offense is probably a step below what CMU saw against MSU, but there’s still some playmakers. I’m going to give the edge to Arkansas as they squeak out a victory at home. Prediction: Arkansas 31 CMU 28 Saturday Night Match-up: Ball State (0-1) vs Hawaii (2-0) Game played in Las Vegas, NV Stormstopper Line: Hawaii (-13) Ball State and Hawaii decided to split the difference and meet in Las Vegas for their week 2 matchup. The Cardinals and coach @npklemm enter the game with a 0-1 record after a tough 20-13 loss to in-state rival Indiana. Hawaii and coach @GigemAgs have gotten off to a great start with wins against Arizona and Georgia Southern. The Warriors will look to improve their record to 3-0 as they approach the quarter mark of their season. What to watch for (BSU): Can Damani Laws reach 100 yards rushing? Laws is the best player for Ball State, but only managed 66 yards on 17 carries against the Hoosiers. After rushing for over 1500 yards last season, Ball State will need their star running back to capture his form from last season. If Laws can’t surpass 100 yards, Ball State will struggle to be in this game. What to watch for (Hawaii): Can the thunder and lightning duo of Fraser and Logan keep rolling? Hawaii has gone with a two back approach and it’s worked wonders the first two weeks. Fraser’s the power back and has 211 yards on 41 carries with 3 touchdowns. Logan is the speedster and has feasted with limited carries as he’s racked up 161 yards on 19(!) carries with two scores. If Hawaii can keep up this production, it will take a lot of pressure off an inexperienced QB. What will happen: Hawaii is the more talented team in this matchup. Ball State is a team on the rise, but they simply don’t have the talent to keep up with Hawaii. Expect Fraser and Logan to continue to produce and for the Warrior defense to do enough to contain Damani Laws. Prediction: Hawaii 31 Ball State 20 Match-up: Toledo (0-1) at Arizona (0-2) Stormstopper Line: Toledo (-7.5) After a trip out west to San Diego State in week 1, the Rockets and coach @Megman will turn right around and head back out west to take on Arizona and coach @brightfalls. The Rockets came up short against the Top 25 rated SDSU Aztecs, losing 35-21. Arizona finds themselves with an 0-2 record with losses to Hawaii and Iowa State. They will be trying to avoid a disastrous 0-3 start to the season. What to watch for (Toledo): Can QB Mario Pierre actually be an effective QB? For as talented as Pierre appears to be, he simply hasn’t been able to put it all together when he’s been the starter. He struggled again last week managing only 140 yards passing with no touchdowns and 1 INT. SDSU is a good team, but Pierre has to start figuring things out for the Rockets to be competitive. What to watch for (Arizona): Can Arizona get the run game going? The Wildcats have a total of 90 yards rushing in their first two games. That’s simply not going to get it done against most teams, especially when there is some talent in the backfield. Toledo has a below average defense and this will provide a chance for Arizona to get the run game going. What will happen: I’m surprised to see Toledo coming into this game as a 7.5 point favorite on the road. I simply need to see Pierre perform consistently before I can put my faith in Toledo. Arizona will take advantage of the homefield advantage and avoid an 0-3 start as their offense outperforms the Rockets. Prediction: Arizona 28 Toledo 21
  2. Friday Night Match-up: Kent State (1-0) at East Carolina (1-0) Stormstopper Line: ECU (-21) The MAC will be busy on Friday night and kicking things off is a non-conference matchup between Coach @Traith and his Kent State Golden Flashes traveling to East Carolina to challenge coach @Weeze and the Pirates. Both teams got their season off to a good start and sit with records of 1-0. Kent came away with a 24-10 victory over FCS opponent, Youngstown State. The Pirates took down in-state rival North Carolina State by a score of 35-24. What to watch for (Kent): Can Kent overcome the ECU defense? ECU has talent at many positions on the defensive side of the ball. The defense was stout against NC State holding the Wolfpack to 267 yards of offense. The Golden Flashes offense, especially the offensive line, has their work cut out for them in this one. What to watch for (ECU): Will ECU continue to air it out? The Pirates relied heavily on the pass game last week, racking up 300 yards through the air. QB Kyler Wilson has tremendous talent and can sling the ball around the field. ECU is lacking a true breakout player at wide receiver, but it didn’t slow them down last week. What will happen: From top to bottom, ECU is a more talented team than Kent State. Kyler Wilson will prove to be too much for Kent State to keep in check and Wilson will have his second consecutive 300 yard game. Prediction: ECU 38 Kent State 17 Match-up: Buffalo (0-1) at Wisconsin (1-0) Stormstopper Line: Wisconsin (-6.5) Coach @Jordan and the Buffalo Bulls looks to bounce back from their week 1 loss as they travel to Madison to challenge the Badgers and coach @Jamzz. Buffalo faced a tough Oklahoma State squad last week losing 41-20. Wisconsin opened the season with a resounding 55-14 victory over Army. What to watch for (Buffalo): Can Buffalo overcome another tough defensive challenge? This will be the second week in a row where Buffalo will be going up against a talented defensive opponent. Wisconsin held Army to a mere 137 yards of offense in their victory. Buffalo’s main weapon is running back Alec Self, but the entire offense was held in check last week, managing 271 yards of offense. Buffalo will need a lot more production from Self and the rest of the offense if they want a chance to win. What to watch for (Wisconsin): Can the Badger offense have a repeat performance? Now Army is not a strong opponent so the stats should be taken with a grain of salt, that said, the Badger offense was humming racking up 581 yards and 55 points. They likely won’t be as productive in this game, but if they can replicate some of what worked last week, the offense should be effective. What will happen: Wisconsin won’t score 55 points, but their defense will be too much to handle for Buffalo. The Badger defense will be able to keep Alec Self in check and come away with the victory. Prediction: Wisconsin 28 Buffalo 20 Match-up: Miami (OH) (1-0) at Ole Miss (1-0) Stormstopper Line: Ole Miss (-12.5) The first of two MAC vs SEC matchups will pit the RedHawks of Miami against coach @HughFreeze$$ and his Ole Miss Rebels. Both teams sit at 1-0 on the season with Miami beating rival Cincinnati, despite being an 18.5 point underdog. Ole Miss won a tight contest against Old Dominion by a score of 24-17. What to watch for (Miami): Can the RedHawks pull off another upset? Miami enters this game as a 12.5 point underdog and with a chance to pull off two upsets in a row. This team has to feel pretty good about their rivalry victory last week and needs to ride that momentum into this matchup. Ole Miss is a beatable SEC team and if Miami can replicate their gameplan from last week, they will have a chance to improve to 2-0. What to watch for (Ole Miss): Can QB Alex Burnham carry the team to another victory? Ole Miss doesn’t have a ton of offensive talent, but Burnham will be the better of the two QB’s on the field Friday. He had himself a day against Old Dominion racking up 307 yards passing along with 3 TD’s. With not much of a run game to speak of, Burnham will carry most of the load on offense throughout the season. What will happen: Miami will put up a valiant effort, but it won’t be enough to come away with two upset wins in a row. Burnham, along with the Ole Miss defense, will be too much for an inexperienced RedHawks team to overcome. Prediction: Ole Miss 28 Miami (OH) 20 Match-up: Colorado State (1-0) at Ohio (0-1) Stormstopper Line: Ohio (-6) This matchup will feature coach @bbates728 and his Ohio Bobcats hosting coach @Ahven D'Gale and the Colorado State Rams. Last week, Colorado State came away with a 23-17 win against their big rival, Colorado. The Bobcats opened their season with a tough road trip against a talented Mississippi State team and simply didn’t have the talent to match the Bulldogs. MSU would be victorious by a score of 23-10. What to watch for (CSU): Can the Rams defense dominate again? A quick glance at the box score from last week would make you wonder how the CSU vs CU game was so close. The Rams held Colorado to 253 yards of offense and forced one turnover while amassing 389 yards of offense. Ohio has a talented QB in Austin Lowe, but the running game is pretty much non-existent. A talented Rams defense will be looking to take advantage of the mismatches and pressure Lowe. What to watch for (Ohio): Can the offensive line protect Lowe? The Bobcat offensive line is going to be tested. They are an okay group, but not the most talented. CSU has a strong front seven and will pose a challenge to Ohio. With little run threat, the bubs will need to keep Lowe upright and give him time to throw. What will happen: I’m a little surprised that Ohio is a near touchdown favorite in this game. When I compare the rosters, it appears that the Rams have a deeper team than the Bobcats. It’s not filled with a top tier talent, but it’s more experienced and more talented than Ohio appears to be. I think the depth of CSU, especially on the offensive line will end up being a difference maker as the Rams win a close one. Prediction: Colorado State 28 Ohio 24 Match-up: BYU(1-0) at Northern Illinois (0-1) Stormstopper Line: BYU (-21) It’s cats vs dogs as the BYU Cougars and coach @NDIrish21 travel to DeKalb to take on the NIU Huskies. BYU enters week 2 fresh off a 31-17 road win against South Alabama. The Huskies hung tough against in-state rival Northwestern, but fell short losing by a score of 31-28. What to watch for (BYU): Can the Cougar defense have a repeat performance? BYU shut down the South Alabama offense holding them to a total of 199 yards and forcing one turnover. The defense has talent across the board, and the scary part is many of them haven’t reached their full potential. They have to be licking their chops knowing they’re going up against a team with few offensive weapons. What to watch for (NIU): Can NIU contain the BYU receiving corp? BYU is deep, and I mean very deep, at the wideout position. Their top four wideouts are all rated a 4/4. That much depth will pose a challenge to any secondary. To make matters worse, BYU has a QB that can sling the ball around to the weapons at his disposal. It will take a herculean effort of the NIU defense to try and stop all of these threats. What will happen: NIU hung tough against a better opponent in week 1, but I can’t see how that happens again this week. BYU is just too good to slip up against an inferior opponent. Look for BYU to have plenty of time to brush up on The Book of Mormon as they take this one easily. Prediction: BYU 42 NIU 17
  3. Thursday Night Match-up: Bowling Green (0-0) at Louisiana-Monroe (0-1) Week 2 kicks off with a little MACtion vs Fun Belt. The BGSU Falcons and coach @PoopyRhinoPickle get their 2024 season underway with a road contest against ULM Warhawks and coach @jared2001usa. ULM was handled easily by New Mexico in their first contest falling 42-17. The Falcons come off of a 2023 season that saw them put up a fight for the East Division crown before ultimately finishing the season with a 7-6 (5-3) record. BGSU capped off their season with a 24-20 bowl win against Troy. What to watch for (BGSU): Can QB AJ Coyne carry the offense? Coyne had a strong 2023 season averaging 250 YPG while throwing for 21 TD’s and 8 INT’s. He’s going to be called on to try and improve those numbers as the Falcons don’t have much of a run game. Luckily for Coyne, the coaching staff brought in talented receiver, Uterius Randolph. The Junior will be holding down the #1 spot for BGSU and should be a favorite target for Coyne. What to watch for (ULM): Can the Warhawks establish a run game? Similar to BGSU, ULM does not have much of a threat at running back. They struggled mightily against New Mexico and all but abandoned the run, accumulating only 17 yards on the ground. QB Jamel Woodson is the best player on offense and was able to throw for over 300 yards against New Mexico. But it didn’t matter much in a 42-17 defeat. ULM will need more from the run game if they hope to rebound and avoid an 0-2 start. What will happen: When looking at the depth charts for each team, you’ll see that these are two very similar teams. I think it’s going to come down to QB play and who can produce the most. That said, I think BGSU has a bit more talent for QB AJ Coyne to work with and it will be enough for them to come away with a win. Prediction: BGSU 27 ULM 24 Match-up: UNLV (1-0) at Eastern Michigan (0-1) The second matchup of the Thursday night slate of games features the UNLV Rebels and coach @ChizDippler making a trip to the #Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles. UNLV was victorious against Southern Miss in their opening game and will look to get off to a 2-0 start. That would be a tremendous achievement for a team that finished 2023 with a 1-11 record. EMU put up a valiant effort against BIG opponent, Iowa, but ultimately lost that game 40-21. What to watch for (UNLV): Can UNLV do more on offense? The rebels put up 34 points, despite only gaining 280 yards of offense. UNLV is led by talented back, Bronson Willingham. Willingham is small in stature, but has terrific speed. Willingham went for 188 yards and 2 TD’s in last weeks victory. The offense relies heavily on his output and they will need him to once again surpass 100 yards on the ground. If UNLV can push their offensive totals passed the 300 yard mark, they should give themselves a chance to win. What to watch for (EMU): Can Tyler Pearson rebound? Let’s be clear, UNLV is no Iowa, but Pearson struggled mightily against the Hawkeyes managing only 61 yards on 15 carries. Pearson is the opposite of Willingham and looks to pound his opponents. He’s one of the most talented backs in the MAC and by far the most talented player on the Eagles roster. Pearson will need to get back to his old form if EMU wants to avoid an 0-2 start. What will happen: Like the BGSU and ULM matchup, this is a game between two very similar teams. It’s going to come down to the run game in this one and I think Pearson is going to come out and live up to his ability. I like EMU to win a close one at home. Prediction: EMU 24 UNLV 21
  4. Suggs and Tyson have also gone head-to-head twice and yes, CMU is 0-2 against MSU, but he's more than held his own. 2023: Suggs - 31/43, 380 yards, 4 TD's, 3 carries 15 yards Tyson - 22/32, 307 yards, 4 TD's, 5 carries, 56 yards 2024: Suggs - 20/26, 300 yards, 2 TD's, 1 INT, 9 carries, 137 yards 2 TD's Tyson - 29/42, 321 Yards, 3 TD's 1 INT, 2 carries, 9 yards, 1 TD
  5. Want to make your own predictions? Leave a comment with how you think the games will play out.
  6. Saturday Afternoon Match-up: Eastern Michigan at Iowa Stormstopper Line: Iowa (-15) The third and final MAC vs B1G matchup of Week 1 will see Eastern Michigan and coach @wisconsinfan travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes and coach @wrigleyfan. The Eagles struggled last season, limping to a 3-9 (2-6) record. The Hawkeyes would finish 2023 with a 7-6 (4-5) record. What to watch for (EMU): Will the Eagles have a passing game? Tyler Pearson is arguably the best back in the MAC and lived up to the hype last year by rushing for 1,577 yards and 18 touchdowns. It’s a safe bet he’ll have another good season this year, but if EMU wants to stand a chance against Iowa, they’ll need more from a passing attack that averaged only 163 yards through the air in 2023. EMU has talent at the receiver position, albeit inexperienced, but it won’t matter if the QB play doesn’t improve. What to watch for (Iowa): Can Kadaveon Vaughn pick up where he left off? The talented back returns for his Junior season, fresh off a 2023 campaign that included 1,395 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Vaughn will likely be heavily relied on again this year and the Hawkeyes will be hoping he can replicate what he accomplished in 2023. What will happen: I think Iowa only being favored by 15 is a little low. It doesn’t appear that Iowa has the talent to be a top team in the B1G, but they should be able to take care of business against EMU. Tyler Pearson will do everything he can, but in the end, Iowa will take this game. Prediction: Iowa 35 EMU 17 Saturday Evening Match-up: Ohio at Mississippi State Stormstopper Line: Mississippi State (-18) Fresh off a second consecutive MAC Championship loss, coach @bbates728 and the Ohio Bobcats open their season against a tough opponent in the Mississippi State Bulldogs and coach @Duncan. The Bulldogs finished the 2023 season in the Top 25 with a 9-3 (6-2) record. They currently sit just outside the Top 25 to begin the season. The Bobcats made it to the MAC Championship for the second year in a row, and their fifth time overall, but were defeated by Central Michigan. Ohio finished 2023 with a record of 8-6 (6-2). What to watch for (Ohio): Can Ohio take advantage of an inexperienced Bulldogs offensive line? Mississippi State will be starting three lineman with no college starts under their belt. The Bulldogs are more talented than Ohio, but the Bobcats can give themselves a chance by challenging the Bulldogs young players and getting pressure on the QB. What to watch for (MSU): Can Storm Whittaker and Maleek Paris overcome the inexperienced offensive line? Whittaker (QB) and Paris (RB) are both back for another season after playing very well in 2023. As mentioned, the offensive line is talented, but young. If these two can minimize the impact of youthful line and get the offense in a groove, they should have no problem handling their business against Ohio. What will happen: The duo of Whittaker and Paris will be too much for the Ohio defense to handle and the Bulldog defense will be in the face of Austin Lowe all game. The Bulldogs are a very good team. In looking at their depth chart, I’m a bit surprised they were not a Top 25 team from the start. The talent disparity will be too great for Ohio to overcome. Prediction: Mississippi State 42 Ohio 17 Saturday Night Match-up: Toledo at San Diego State Stormstopper Line: San Diego State (-16) The final Week 1 matchup will see the Toledo Rockets and coach @Megman make a trip out west to face the #17 ranked San Diego State Aztecs and coach @pumph. A once perennial contender in the MAC, Toledo has fallen off a bit of late and finished the 2023 season with a record of 6-6 (3-5). The Aztecs won the West Division of the Mountain West Conference and finished their season with a bowl victory over Central Michigan. What to watch for (Toledo): Can QB Mario Pierre take a step forward? Pierre had a decent first season at QB, but as a scrambler, he didn’t add much to the run game and didn’t make up for that lack of production in the passing attack. The Rockets will need him to be more productive to stand a chance against a Top 25 team. If they can find a way for him to be a bigger part of the run game, Toledo could be a challenge to opponents. What to watch for (SDSU): Can the Aztec defense pressure Pierre? The Aztecs have a really good defense. Outside of two spots, the Toledo offensive line is not very talented. The Aztecs should make every effort to expose this weakness. If they can challenge the offensive line and get pressure on Pierre, they should be able to force some turnovers. What will happen: San Diego State is an all around talented team and that’s why they’re in the Top 25. SDSU will have a true freshman QB under center, but the talent around him should take most of the pressure off of him. I think the difference in this game is going to be the talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Aztecs. They will be able to pressure the Toledo offensive line and get the stops needed. The offense will simply take over from there. Prediction: SDSU 38 Toledo 14
  7. Saturday Morning Match-up: Akron at Duke Stormstopper Line: Duke (-27) Coach @Garappogoat and his Akron Zips will open their 2024 season with a tough road test against the #11 ranked Duke Blue Devils and coach @Darman. Akron found themselves in the MAC East battle late in the season, but would ultimately finish with a 5-7 (4-4) record. Duke is fresh off a season that saw them win the ACC Championship and play in the College Football Playoff. What to watch for (Akron): Can Akron contain the Blue Devil offense? Gone from Durham is prolific QB, Bryce Thompson, but don’t expect much drop off as 5 star transfer QB, Rasheed Bullock, will look to pick up where Thompson left off. The Zips are going to have their hands full with the Duke offense, but will need to get some defensive stops if they want to have a chance. Akron does not have the offensive weapons to keep pace in a shootout. What to watch for (Duke): Can Duke control the game? A quick look at the depth chart will show that Duke is simply the better team. There’s a reason they were a part of the CFP last season. Yes, Thompson is a big loss, but if the Blue Devils simply execute their game plan and limit the mistakes, then this should be an easy win at home. What will happen: The Duke offense will take some time to find it’s groove, but eventually will assert its dominance against an Akron team that just doesn’t measure up in terms of talent. I expect the Duke offense to be too much for the Akron defense and the Blue Devils roll to an easy win. Prediction: Duke 49 Akron 17 Match-up: Oklahoma State (0-1) at Buffalo (0-0) Stormstopper Line: Oklahoma State (-23) Oklahoma State and coach @Kremit make the long trip north to New York to take on coach @Jordan and his Buffalo Bulls. The Cowboys opened up the 2024 season with a loss that saw them fall out of the Top 25. For the Bulls, they were one of several teams competing for the MAC East last season, but ultimately finished the season 5-7 (4-4) and missed out on a bowl game. What to watch for (OSU): Can the Cowboys get the run game going? Oklahoma State struggled quite a bit in their 34-21 loss to UCLA. As a team, the Cowboys only managed 70 yards on 18 carries. QB Cutler Barker had a solid performance in the passing game, but the offense will need more from the run game this week. What to watch for (Buffalo): Can Running Back Alec Self carry the team to a win? Self is one of the more talented backs in the MAC. The senior is coming off a season in which he ran for 1,354 yards and 15 TD’s. It’s hard to ask for more from the young man, but Buffalo will likely need more if they want to stand a chance against the Cowboys and to compete in the MAC East. What will happen: Oklahoma State will be out to avenge last week's loss and their defense will be able to get stops against the Buffalo offense. The Cowboys have a strong defense and will be licking their chops after giving up 34 points last week. With something to prove, Oklahoma State is just too much to handle. Prediction: Oklahoma State 38 Buffalo 14 Match-up: Michigan State (0-1) at Central Michigan (0-0) Stormstopper Line: CMU (-0.5) It’s Suggs vs Tyson Round 2, this time coming from sunny Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. These two teams went head-to-head last season in East Lansing, where the Spartans and coach @SlinkyJr were victorious 45-35. The Chippewas will be looking to exact some revenge on their home turf. CMU is the defending MAC Champion finishing the season 10-4 (9-0). MSU was defeated handedly by Florida in the opening week and finished the 2023 season with a record of 8-5 (6-3). What to watch for (MSU): Can the Spartan offense rebound from last week? The offense struggled against a good Florida team. Senior QB Isaac Tyson completed only 50% of his passes and was sacked four times. As a team, MSU could only muster 277 yards of offense and had a 3rd down conversion rate of 21%. The offense will need to be improved if the Spartans want to avoid an 0-2 start. What to watch for (CMU): Can CMU keep that Spartans under 30 points? The Chippewa defense allowed 30+ points in three games during the 2023 season. Their record in those three games was 1-2. If CMU plans to be victorious, they simply cannot allow the Spartans to score 40+ this time. The CMU defense exceeded expectations in most games last season and will need to take it up a notch to take down MSU. What will happen: Suggs and Tyson will go toe-to-toe throughout this game and will show why they are two of the best QB’s in the country. Both teams strengths lie on the offensive side of the ball, so whomever can step it up on the defensive side will likely come away victorious. Prediction: CMU 35 MSU 34
  8. Thursday Night Match-up: Northern Illinois (0-0) at Northwestern (0-0) The MAC gets week one started with an interstate matchup as an influx NIU Huskies team heads to Evanston to take on a former NIU head coach, @MasonAsher, and the Northwestern Wildcats. Both teams are coming off seasons they would like to forget, as NIU continued its downward trend finishing the 2023 season 2-10 (1-7). In B1G country, Northwestern struggled to replace QB EJ McGuire, and stumbled to a record of 3-9 (1-8). Both squads will be hungry for a win and looking to get their 2024 campaign off to a good start. What to watch for (NIU): Can NIU overcome the lack of talent? NIU has been riddled with coaching turnover for several seasons and the recruiting has suffered. As a result there’s just not a whole lot of talent on the team. 4 star QB, Brody Hill, will likely get the start for NIU, but this young man does not have many weapons to work with. For many teams, Northwestern would likely be a beatable B1G opponent. Unfortunately, I just don’t think NIU is one of those teams that can pose a real challenge. What to watch for (NU): Can Northwestern find their offense? The Wildcats really struggled offensively last year averaging only 14.75 points per game. QB Nicola Rossi never could find much production and will need to improve. Northwestern will likely rely heavily on their talented back, Makai Denson. Denson rushed for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. What will happen: I simply can’t see NIU putting up much of a fight in this game. The talent disparity is just too great, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I believe that’s the largest difference between these teams and the Wildcat D will shutdown the NIU offense on the way to a victory. Prediction: Northwestern 35 NIU 17 Match-up: Youngstown State (0-0) at Kent State (0-0) Kent State and coach @Traith will be playing host to the Youngstown State Penguins of the FCS ranks. The Golden Flashes are looking forward to a new season as the 2023 season resulted in a 3-9 (2-6) record. Youngstown State finished their season at 7-5 (4-3) and will be looking to take down an in-state FBS opponent. What to watch for (YSU): Can QB Brad McCaffrey pick up where he left off? McCaffrey had a tremendous 2023 season for the Penguins, throwing for 4,279 yards, 37 TD’s and 12 INT’s. YSU isn’t highly talented, but McCaffrey will help them to put up a fight in most games. What to watch for (Kent): Can Kent State get the run game going? The Golden Flashes offense struggled all year averaging only 237 yards of offense and 18.25 points per game. But the run game was the biggest weakness averaging only 83 yards per game and surpassing the 100 yard mark just three times. Running Back C.J. Williams returns as the starter and will need to be more productive. Williams and QB Cameron Hare should help to establish a more consistent offense in 2024. What will happen: Kent State cannot sleep on this Penguins team, or they could very easily get burned, especially if McCaffrey gets into a groove. However, I expect Kent State to eventually outmuscle their FCS opponent and come away with the victory. Prediction: Kent State 27 Youngstown State 17 Friday Night Match-up: Miami (OH) at Cincinnati The RedHawks will make the 40 mile bus ride south to Cincinnati to open the season against their in-state foe, the Cincinnati Bearcats and coach @jackattack123. The RedHawks were far and away the worst team in the Mid-American Conference in 2023, finishing the season 2-10 (1-7), with both wins coming by a one point margin. Cincinnati found themselves with a final record 7-6 (5-3) and capped their season off with a bowl win against Charlotte. What to watch for (Miami): Can Miami do anything on offense? It’s been established that Miami wasn’t very good last year, but when you look at the numbers, you see just how bad they were offensively. Miami averaged a paltry 13 points per game while putting up an atrocious 98.16 yards per game passing 102.16 yards rushing. As you can see, they barely averaged 200 yards of offense a game. Some of that can be attributed to scheme, but most was just lack of talent. What to watch for (Cincinnati): Will the Cincinnati defense win this on their own? Cincinnati is a much better team. Their strength and depth is on the defensive side of the ball. Given how poor the Miami offense was, the Bearcat defense should be able to keep them in check and make life easier for their offense. What will happen: Cincinnati takes home the Victory Bell with ease in a run away game. Miami put together a strong recruiting class that should make them a little more competitive this season, but they’re just not a good team overall. Prediction: Cincinnati 41 Miami 13
  9. Western Michigan receiving 12 votes, Central Michigan receiving 0 votes
  10. @FlutieFlakes having a 55-47 record at Illinois was very surprising to see. Assumed it would've been well over .500
  11. Having to go on the road to Ball State and Western is what makes me the most nervous
  12. Just gonna come crawling back when the portal gods don't treat you well?
  13. Week 1 vs Michigan St @SlinkyJr Week 2 at Arkansas @Mjkelly37 Week 3 at Louisiana-Lafayette @Dr_Novella Week 9 at UConn
  14. The Central Michigan Chippewas enter the 2024 season fresh off their first Mid-American Conference Championship in school history. The Chippewas don’t have a lot of questions heading into the season, as they return all but six players from last year's team. The biggest question mark is on the offensive line, where three starters from last year have moved on. However, coach NASCARlson77 is confident that there won’t be much fall off from last year's production. “We lost some proven players on the line this off-season, but we like the talent that is replacing them. It also helps to have a proven veteran QB in the backfield who can help to ease that transition.” Chippewa fans got their first look at the 2024 Chippewa team during the annual Maroon and Gold game. This year’s spring game utilized a first team offense vs. the first team defense and second team offense vs second team defense format. Given the attrition on the offensive line, the coaching staff had to be pleased with the performance as they graded out high against their defensive counterparts giving up only one sack on 52 pass attempts from Byron Suggs. In the end, some 4th quarter heroics from the talented Senior signal caller allowed the Maroon team to escape with a 21-20 victory. Since becoming a starter, Suggs has demonstrated his ability to throw the ball and the coaching staff gave him the green light. Suggs clearly enjoyed the exhibition, “It’s always fun to get back on the field and play. Coach told me to go out there and sling it so that’s what we did. We have a lot of threats on this offense so it’s fun to get the ball into their hands.” Chippewa fans should rejoice that Suggs opted to return for his final season. His ability should put them in the heat of the MAC race and make them a favorite in the West Division. Let’s take a look at who stood out in this year’s Maroon vs Gold game. WR Joseph Aikman (Senior) 9 catches, 98 yards No surprise here as Aikman is Suggs favorite target. The two have an unreal chemistry which resulted in Aikman hauling in 91 catches for 1,312 yards and 9 TD’s. These two are best friends off the field and should be tough to stop again this season. RB Onaje Coleman (Freshman) 19 carries, 89 yards 1 TD The Chippewa staff was very impressed with Coleman in spring ball and he capped it off with a strong performance in the spring game. With Daveed Huff back, Coleman will almost certainly redshirt, but he took advantage of the opportunity to show what he can do. WR DaeSean Daniels (Freshman) 5 catches, 53 yards, 1 TD DaeSean Daniels is a player that people around the team have been excited to see get on the field. He’s small in stature, but is a gifted athlete. With Aikman and Peppers in front of him, Daniels should figure in as a third option and has a chance to be a difference maker. Daniels will also likely see action as the return man on special teams DE Jacob Gardner-Ware (Freshman) 4 tackles, 1 TFL Gardner-Ware was the highest rated recruit to sign with the Chippewas last season. The staff has said the plan is for him to redshirt, but the talented defensive end shows a lot of promise for the future.
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