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Central Michigan isn’t afraid of Power Five Opponents

CMU Athletics

Central Michigan is not a brand name, but they aren’t a bunch of pushovers.

The Chippewas will enter Kroger Field Saturday after posting an eight-win season in 2017.  They’ve defeated a Power Five opponent in each of the last two seasons, including a win over No. 22 Oklahoma State in the second game of the 2016 season.  Mark Stoops’ squad isn’t taking them lightly.

“You know, they finished second in their division in the MAC,” Stoops said today.  “They beat, what, two Power Five teams in the last two years? That’s not a big deal to them.  Believe me.  They went up to Kansas last year and put a beating on Kansas.  They’re used to playing Power Fives. They’re used to playing very good football teams.

“They’re a winning program. I believe they won eight last year, 8-5 last year. They’re a good football team that’s well coached. That’s probably what stands out to me as you watch them and watch a lot of MACs. They do a very good job of not beating themselves and kind of sticking to what they do and play it well.”

The Chippewas are led by running back Jonathan Ward.  Last season the junior rushed for 1,017 yards, gained 470 yards through the air and accounted for 13 total touchdowns.

“He’s a big-time player. He really is,” Stoops said.  “He’s dynamic. He’ll play football for a long time. He’s got great vision, great patience, he’s strong. He’s explosive. He’s a very good football player.”

Under center they have quite an athlete at quarterback.  Standing six feet seven inches tall, Tony Poljan is a dual-threat quarterback who spent some time catching passes last year for the Chippewas.

“He’s an athlete. He’s a dual guy. He’s played both. He also played quarterback. I think that’s one of those situations where they had a very good quarterback a year ago and had some experience. He’s a very, very talented guy and when he was a backup, they just felt like he was too athletic to not play him at all.”

Central Michigan has enough tools to take Kentucky down to the wire if the Wildcats aren’t ready to play when the ball is kicked off Saturday at 3:30 on ESPNU.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for Central Michigan isn’t afraid of Power Five Opponents

  1. Alex90
    5:09 pm August 27, 2018 Permalink

    UK could play the school for the blind and KSR would put an article out saying how they could win

  2. cats646
    5:15 pm August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Kentucky isn’t scared of them either!!
    Story time: The last time we played central Michigan, some drunk woman in my section stood up at least every 5 minutes and yelled” chipa-what??!! Chipa-nothin!!!!! Y’all suck!!”
    Ha! She was a site. Go cats!!!!!!!!

  3. jaws2
    7:49 pm August 27, 2018 Permalink

    Nick I don’t know how long you’ve been around, but it’s been since Fran Curci since anyone was ‘afraid’ of KY, including Penn State.
    I would expect CM to come in expecting to win and it’s going to be close unless we jump them early and MAKE them afraid.
    And if we do jump them, Stoops will make certain to do all he can to stop trying to score. That’s the MO every game and every opponent knowns it. History has repeated itself. Sad but true; if you’re honest about it.

    • Miller45
      9:11 pm August 27, 2018 Permalink

      Seriously though if we dont take care of the football, get first downs and the defense is on the field most of the game as a result, we don’t tackle and dont honor our assignments then CMU is absolutely adequately equipped to get a win.

  4. Wade
    9:57 am August 28, 2018 Permalink

    We’re to good a defense to allow that. I like our team and Benny the jet and terry dactul are gonna be flying all over the chippe who’s?

  5. dismore
    11:45 am August 28, 2018 Permalink

    Close game considering we are breaking in a new QB. Cats pull it out by 7-10 points.

  6. CombatMedic_98
    1:48 pm August 28, 2018 Permalink

    If they don’t blow this team away…BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE…can stop them from scoring…we will be fine. If not then we may win 6 games this season! Defense wins the game…Offense wins Championships!