Kneauxing the Enemy 2021
by Bryan Follins
The competition level goes up a notch this week against Central Michigan. The lone lost for the Chippewas this season was their season opener against Missouri. In that contest Central Michigan played Missouri even everywhere except on the scoreboard. It was a 34-24 final score. CMU plays in the Mid-American (MAC) conference.
Transfer note: In the Missouri game, Central Michigan sophomore quarterback Jacob Sirmon threw for 295 yards and a touchdown. However, he threw two crucial interceptions. Sirmon is a transfer from Washington. He played there last year, but he did not have to sit out due to the new transfer rule.
Last week, CMU beat Robert Morris. It was a 45-0 victory. Like McNeese State, Robert Morris is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school. The Chippewas played a lot of people in the contest.
Freshman running back Lew Nichols leads the team in rushing with 218 yards after two games. He ran for 139 yards against Missouri.
Senior wide receiver Jacorey Sullivan had 136 yards receiving and two touchdown receptions against Missouri. Junior wideout Dixon Dallas leads the team in receiving with 156 yards after two contests. He has three scoring catches for the year.
The offensive line gave up nine sacks in the game against Missouri. They did provide enough space for 174 rushing yards against Mizzou, which amounted to 4.5 yards per carry.
Devoni Reed and Troy Brown, two junior defensive backs, had eight tackles, six solos each against Missouri.
CMU allowed six yards per rush against Mizzou.
This is another contest where not much is known about the quality of an opponent. One thing which should be familiar to Tiger fans, is Central Michigan’s head coach, Jim McElwain. He was an assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama, and a former head coach at Florida. In his initial season at CMU in 2019, McElwain led his team to an 8-6 record and a bowl appearance. In 2020 Central Michigan was last in division one in first downs. That sounds like McElwain. He is not known for his offensive prowess, which is one of the main reasons why he was fired at Florida.
Central Michigan will provide more of a challenge Saturday in Tiger Stadium, and they have a coach who is no stranger for getting his team ready to play in Tiger Stadium. The game is definitely winnable for the Purple and Gold, but the opponent should not be taken lightly.