In one of the biggest rivalries in the MAC, the Western Michigan Broncos and Central Michigan Chippewas meet in Mount Pleasant at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Wednesday night. This game certainly means a lot to the players, and in a shortened season, it was important to schedule Western Michigan and Central Michigan.
Both teams have a respectable chance of winning the MAC. It’s such a wide open conference that there are more teams in the MAC that have an opportunity to win the championship than lose. That’s good in my book. It keeps things interesting, unlike some other conferences where the championship game is basically a lock before any games are played.
Western Michigan is coming off a thrilling win over the Toledo Rockets last week. In what has been the best game in the MAC up to this point, Western Michigan erased a 38-28 deficit with around 3 minutes left on the block. Everything had to go right for Western Michigan. They had to score quickly and find a way to get the ball back with under a minute left on the clock.
Onside kicks don’t have a high conversion rate, but Western Michigan came through with 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Kaleb Eleby calmly walked the Broncos down the field, and he found Jaylen Hall in the end zone for a 9-yard score to put Western Michigan up on the scoreboard. What a win for the Broncos, as they advanced to 2-0 on the season to preserve a perfect record.
Central Michigan is also perfect following a 40-10 win over Northern Illinois in Week 2 of the MAC schedule. Northern Illinois is not a good team, but it was still a solid win nevertheless. Beating any team by 30 points is never an easy thing to do. Their 30-27 win over Ohio to open the season was certainly a resume builder. Ohio is one of the better MAC teams, so it was a good win for the Chippewas. Somebody has to lose, and somebody has to be undefeated going into next week. Head below for our free Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan pick for November 18, 2020.
Western Michigan Broncos vs. Central Michigan Chippewas MAC Football Betting Odds:
Western Michigan vs. Central Michigan Prediction:
Western Michigan needed everything to go right about Toledo last week in the final few minutes. If something was off by only a little bit, then the Broncos weren’t completing that comeback. It seems like Toledo pulled up late and thought the game was over. As they say, though, always play to the final buzzer and Toledo did not do that. After such an emotional win, we’ll see if the Broncos build on it or regress.
Kaleb Eleby will be at the controls for Western Michigan on Wednesday night once again. Eleby has been in fine form for the Broncos in 2020. The sophomore has passed for 6 touchdowns and no interceptions on 71.1% completions. In only his first season as the full time starter, it looks like Western Michigan is good at quarterback for the next two years.
Eleby has helped guide Western Michigan to an average of 460.5 yards and 49.5 points per game. The numbers are skewed a bit thanks to a 58-13 win over Akron, though. The Zips have one of the worst, if not the worst defense in the MAC this season. In any event, Western Michigan did what they had to do, and it was a nice confidence boost for Eleby.
The Chippewas thrashed Northern Illinois behind Kobe Lewis and Lew Nichols on the ground last week. Nichols ran for 91 yards on 7.6 yards per carry and a score to lead Central. The offense has been impressive running the football, with an average of 35 points scored per game. Most impressively is that they gashed a good Ohio defense in the first week. That game featured Lewis out of the backfield, as he gained 112 yards on 4 yards per carry.
The Chippewa defense has been the best in the MAC, with only 294.5 yards and 18.5 points per game. Holding Northern Illinois in check wasn’t particularly impressive, but their effort against the Bobcats in a 30-27 win is worth noting. I’m expecting Central Michigan to lean on their run game and defense just enough to have the upper hand on Wednesday night. It should be a great game that comes down to the fourth quarter. Look for the home side to have just enough in the tank to eke out a win.