The Central Michigan football team is struggling to find some consistency heading into this weekend’s trip to Ohio.
The Chippewas have alternated wins and losses throughout the season. That includes a loss last weekend to fall to 2-3.
Will the trends continue? Will CMU bounce back this week on the road against Ohio?
Central Michigan at Ohio: NCAA Football Odds
Oddsmakers favor Central Michigan on the road
Despite falling in its Mid-American Conference opener last week, Central Michigan finds itself as a favorite on the road this week.
Oddsmakers were listing CMU as a 6-point road favorite against the Bobcats as of Tuesday afternoon.
When it comes to the over/under, Golden Nugget Sportsbook had the game listed at 56 points.
CMU comes into this game at 2-3 against the spread and with the under hitting on three out of five occasions. 3-2 with the under. Ohio is 1-4 against the spread, with the under also the proper total side in three games.
Central has dominated this matchup over time, going 26-5-2 all-time against the Bobcats. That record includes a current 5-game win streak and a 5-game cover streak.
How to watch: Central Michigan at Ohio
- Who: Central Michigan (2-3, 0-1 MAC) at Ohio (1-4, 1-0)
- When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
- Where: Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio
- Online livestream: ESPN+ (Announcers: Doug Sherman, Tyoka Jackson)
- Radio: CMU Sports Properties Radio Network
CMU falters late against Miami
The Chippewas held a fourth-quarter lead against Miami-Ohio last Saturday, but gave up the final 14 points of the game to lose to the RedHawks 28-17.
Despite just 45 points being scored, the two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense. CMU alone had 430, but was just 4-for-14 on third down.
The passing game was quite effective with 378 yards, but the Chippewas had just 52 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Lew Nichols III hit a road block, as he had just 21 yards on 12 carries. He had nearly 400 yards through the first four games.
CMU continued to use two quarterbacks, but it was Daniel Richardson who took most of the snaps. He threw for 326 yards on 22-for-41 passing with two touchdowns.
Richardson and Jacob Sirmon are nearly even in passing yards on the season, but Richardson has eight TDs without an interception. Sirmon has six touchdowns with four picks.
Defensively, CMU was torched for 514 yards by Miami, including 350 passing yards. The Chippewas are now 117th nationally in passing defense, giving up 283 yards per game.
Ohio gets first win with new coach
Ohio is taking the field in 2021 for the first time since 2004 without Frank Solich on the sideline.
The longtime Bobcats coach retired after the 2020 season, turning the reins over to Tim Albin, one of his longtime assistants.
It was a slow start for Albin, as Ohio dropped all four nonconference games, including home losses to Syracuse and Duquesne.
However, Ohio managed to right the ship last weekend in its MAC opener with a 34-17 win at Akron.
The Bobcats had an offensive explosion of 458 yards against the Zips, but nearly all of that effort came on the ground. Ohio had 398 rushing yards on 47 carries. De’Montre Tuggle rushed for 201 yards on 17 carries, while Armani Rogers had 113 yards on 15 carries. The two combined for three scores as well.
Saturday’s performance moved Ohio up to 107th in total offense nationally. The Bobcats are averaging just 341.8 yards per game. They also average only 149.4 passing yards per game, which ranks 121st in the nation.
The key for CMU will be stopping the Ohio run game. CMU’s defense allows just 119.4 yards per game on the ground right now.
Defensively, Ohio has struggled to stop the run. The Bobcats rank 127th nationally in run defense, allowing 251.2 yards per game.