The Northern Illinois Huskies will host the Central Michigan Chippewas at Northern Illinois University. The MAC is so wide open that it’s hard to discount either team in the conference yet. I put more stock into Central Michigan, but Northern Illinois could be able to surprise. They may be coming off a 49-30 loss against Buffalo, though that’s a very good Bulls team.
Buffalo may very well win the MAC. From what I’ve seen the last two weeks, especially on Wednesday night, Buffalo is a serious contender. With that in mind, scoring 30 points on Buffalo might actually be a positive. The defense was obviously a concern for Northern Illinois in that game, though.
Back at home for Week 2 of MAC play, perhaps we will see a much better effort than we saw on the road. Northern Illinois didn’t look prepared for that ground game of Buffalo, which is going to pound on multiple teams in 2020. They could have been caught off guard and didn’t expect that kind of punch from the Bulls. That’s what can happen against Buffalo if the defense isn’t ready to play.
Central Michigan are coming off a 30-27 loss versus Ohio in Mount Pleasant. That was a valiant effort against a solid Ohio team, but 27 points wasn’t enough at home. Daniel Richardson passed for 243 yards with a touchdown on 23 for 41 passing. Central Michigan fed Kobe Lewis 28 times and he chewed up 112 yards and 2 touchdowns for 4 yards per carry.
Look for Central Michigan to feed Lewis early and often again. Richardson is a freshman that has no experience at the collegiate level. Last week was his first experience on a college football field, and did adequately enough as a first-time starter. This week in Northern Illinois will be his first game on the road. Lewis will certainly be the focus of the offense, especially after Northern Illinois failed to stop the run in Week 1. Head below for our free Central Michigan vs. Northern Illinois pick for November 11, 2020.
Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Northern Illinois Huskies NCAAF Betting Odds:
Central Michigan vs. Northern Illinois Prediction:
Northern Illinois failed to stop Jaret Patterson on the ground last week, as he went off for 137 yards on 6.8 yards per carry. That’s expected against Patterson, though. He should get a solid chance in the NFL. Kobe Lewis is a good runner as well, though I wouldn’t put him on the same level as Patterson. The Central Michigan offense is expected to be one-dimensional with Lewis receiving the workload on Wednesday night.
I’m not so sure that head coach Jeff McCartin has full confidence in Daniel Richardson yet. Richardson will be making only the second collegiate start of his career in this one. Northern Illinois likely won’t be concerned with Richardson beating them. They did a nice job containing Kyle Vantrease when he dropped back to pass. Vantrease passed for only 175 with a touchdown and interception on 11 for 17 passing.
With Patterson running well, Vantrease didn’t have to do much last week, though. He will likely have to be called on more in this one. Northern Illinois QB, Ross Bowers, has plenty of experience. He’s a fifth-year senior who spent the first four years of his career at Cal in the Pac-12. His best season was in 2017 when he recorded 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 59% passing for the Golden Bears. Bowers threw for 202 yards with a touchdown and interception on 60.7% passing.
I don’t care for either quarterback in this matchup much, but I will give the edge to the more experienced QB at home on Wednesday night. Kurtis Rourke touched Central Michigan up for 231 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions for Ohio last week. De’Montre Tuggle was strong on the ground with 4.9 yards per carry and a touchdown for the Bobcats.
Central might take Northern Illinois a little too lightly on the road in this one after watching the tape. However, Buffalo should win a lot of games comfortably this season. Following the Huskies’ effort last week, expect them to return home with a much better perspective. The Chippewas likely win, but Northern Illinois keeps it close enough to cover.