We have a rare treat for A Sea of Blue readers this week -- not just one, but two Q&A's with Central Michigan Chippewas bloggers. Today, we are pleased to bring you a Q&A with Ron of Hustle Belt, SB Nation's own MAC blog. We would like to thank Hustle Belt for offering us the opportunity to trade questions and answers with them.
Saturday is a surprisingly big game for the Kentucky Wildcats after a fairly close call against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a game that will get love only for the ultimate statistic - 1-0. Morgan Newton's jitters were apparent, although last night the Oklahoma St. Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden rescued Morgan Newton from being the only Division 1 quarterback to sack himself on national TV. Thanks, Brandon, and congrats for the big game against the Arizona Wildcats.
You can find my answers to Ron's questions over at Hustle Belt, and I'll link that as soon as I have the link.
Describe CMU's offensive scheme. Describe the defensive scheme.
CMU attempts to run a Pro-Style offense under 2nd year coach Dan Enos, but due to CMU trailing in many games last year, and a less than stellar O-Line, CMU was forced to go from the shotgun often last year. Enos has said he hopes to eliminate that this year, with more emphasis on the power running game, but the results were not there in week 1 against South Carolina State last week. As a team they averaged only 2.5 yards per carry last week.
Defensively, CMU runs a standard 4-3 that relies heavily on on the D-Line getting pressure upfront. The hope is that CMU's big, experienced D-Line can get in the backfield, and allow their inexperienced LBs to step up and make plays in the run game. CMU likes to leave it's corners in 1 on 1 matchups often times, forcing them to make plays.
Of the three critical overall areas, which would you say is CMU's biggest strength; offense, defense, or special teams? Why?
I would have to say that CMU's biggest strength is their defense. There aren't many names on it that people outside the MAC would know, but they area a solid unit. Their front four is usually able to get pressure on the QB, and with their big DTs they usually do a solid job clogging the run game. Last week, albeit against South Carolina State, the defense stepped up huge while the offense struggled, and held the opponent to 137 total yards, and just 6 points.
What player(s) on offense should Kentucky be the most concerned about? On defense?
On offense the first man that the Wildcats need to stop is Jr WR Cody Wilson, he is coming off an 80+ catch season in which he was really the only option, and started strong this year with a 45 yard touchdown catch in the opener. RB Zurlon Tipton is another guy Kentucky should try to keep in check, he is a big, powerful running who looks to do damage between the tackles. Despite CMU rushing the ball poorly as a team last week, Tipton was the only player to average 4+ yards per carry last week, and has 5 touchdowns in his last 3 games dating back to last season.
On defense, Jahleel Addae is the leading playmaker in the secondary, he's not afraid to step up and help in the run. Armond Staten is the leading returning tackler, and John Williams is one of the big DT's previously mentioned. He is relatively short at only 6', but has a quick first step.
What is something unique about Central Michigan that Kentucky fans should know about?
A few interesting facts about the CMU football team to start: They are the only team in the nation that has two separate 3 game road trips this year, and they are one of four teams in the country that plays all of their games on 12 consecutive weeks. Some notable famous graduates of CMU are Dick Enberg, who is pretty much the face/voice of CBS Sports; Jeff Daniels, movie star who appeared in movies such as Dumb and Dumber; and former pro-wrestling legend George "The Animal" Steele.
Predict the outcome of the game. Describe how it happens.
I think that CMU will knock off the rust on offense, but I think Kentucky's depth will wear down CMU in the end, and they pull ahead late for a 31-21 Wildcat win.