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at Western Michigan 44 … Central Michigan 14
Posted Sep 17, 2011

Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Central Mich at Western Mich

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - CMU at WMU

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Sept. 17 at Western Michigan 44 … Central Michigan 14
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Alex Carder passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score, and Western Michigan cruised to a 44-14 victory Saturday over Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

Carder threw passes of 8 yards to Jordan White and 4 yards to Chleb Ravenell in the first quarter. In the third, he scored on a 2-yard run and found White again for a 19-yard touchdown. Carder completed 28 of 37 passes, with one interception, and White had a career-high 177 yards on 13 receptions.

Ryan Radcliff was 20 for 36 for 215 yards for the Chippewas (1-2), who had beaten Western Michigan (2-1) in the teams' previous five meetings. Tim Phillips ran for 84 yards, including a 28-yard score, and Jahleel Addae recovered a fumble in the end zone for the other Central Michigan touchdown.

John Potter kicked three field goals for Western Michigan.

Central Michigan (1-1) at Western Michigan (1-1) Sept. 17, 12:00, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … It’s the first MAC game for two of the directional Michigan schools, and out of conference beatdowns need to quickly be forgotten to focus on the more important task at hand.

Both teams’ resumes mirror one another. Each came up with the easy win over an FCS opponent, and each lost by double digits in a loss against a BCS conference foe, with each looking better than the final score with Central Michigan battling with Louisville and Western Michigan pushing Michigan. None of those games matter now in conference play, and starting out hot in a good year in the conference is a must. Both teams need this win not only for in-state rivalry and recruiting sake, but because neither can afford to drop conference games when bowl spots are as limited as they are for MAC teams.

Why Central Michigan Might Win: The Chips are mighty young at most of the key positions - except for quarterback Ryan Radcliff, who has quickly moved into the top ten of the CMU passing record books in nearly every category. They’ll need all of his veteran savvy after showing little poise last week against Kentucky on the road, gaining a 13-3 lead in the second and never scoring again in route to a 14-point loss. The kicker though, is that even with a younger, underdog team last year in Mount Pleasant, the Chips snuck out a four-point win thanks to the guidance of Radcliff. WMU gave up four turnovers last year and Radcliff threw wherever he desired, and this year, CMU has a better defense to help the O out.

Why Western Michigan Might Win: Alex Carder. College football fans across the land keep hearing how NFL-capable he is, and despite being belted by Michigan in the opening week, he had a strong game moving the ball. While he was at the helm in an underachieving 2010, he appears to growing into the job. Carder has talent, and he’ll be in charge of helping WMU convert it into wins with the loaded receiving corps good enough to keep pushing the middling CMU secondary.

Last year, Carder was excellent, throwing for over 270 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, and now his receivers are even better. Jordan White is an NFL-caliber target, and Tevin Drake is a serviceable running back who’ll balance out the attack. Carder and White are the best players on the field, and if they play like it, there’s nothing CMU can do.

What To Watch Out For: White has been tremendous so far, catching four passes for 67 yards, not including the dominant game against Michigan which now doesn’t count on the stat sheet. He’s an outstanding route runner, and is one part big play capable, all parts consistent possession receiver. He’ll run any route, and generally catch anything thrown his way working the sidelines well and with great hands to suck in passes.

What Will Happen: In spite of last year’s result, CMU doesn’t have the weapons of WMU. Both teams were similarly bad last season, and turnovers were the story. This year, WMU is far more equipped to avert those issues – the Chippewas are having too many problems scoring and Radcliff has been too inefficient. Carder looked sharp outside the red zone against a better Michigan team than is given credit for, and is slightly better overall than Radcliff. Last year, WMU blew a nine-point fourth quarter lead to the Chips. This year, they hold onto it easily.

CFN Prediction: Western Michigan 34 ... Central Michigan 23
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Western Michigan -7.5   O/U: 54.5

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