So in both of the Best Worst Games Of The Week we’ve previewed, the final score was close. That’s kind of what we’re looking for – entertaining football from teams that are, shall we say, “lacking” in the talent department. After looking at Week Two’s slate of games, I have my eye on a MAC/Big XII showdown that actually pits two 1-0 teams against one another. I’m looking at Central Michigan Chippewas visiting Kansas Jayhawks, in a matchup of two teams of poor talent that make up for it (a little bit) with excellent mascots.
Central Michigan had themselves a year last year, but entered this season ranked outside the top-100 due to a loss of talent. Despite coming out with the win, it took them three overtimes to beat URI.
Let me type that again in case you missed that: It took them three overtimes to beat URI.
But hey, it all goes down the same in the win column, right? Leading the offense for the Chippewas is senior quarterback Shane Morris, who began his career at Michigan. I’ve never been too impressed with the lefty quarterback, but he actually has no shortage of athleticism. Just check this out from Saturday’s win.
However, Saturday was classic Shane Morris – makes a great play here, misses throws there. The thing about the Chippewas offense that probably bodes well for them is that they lead a balanced attack – his pass attempts were high last week, but that’s due in part to going through three overtimes. Morris is at his best when his passing can compliment his running, so there’s little doubt in my mind that he never attempts 50 passes in a game again.
Kansas also won last week, beating the mighty Southeast Missouri State by three scores. Kansas doesn’t like to run the ball as much, as they only garnered 73 yards on the ground in comparison to over 300 in the air last week. They’re going to live and die on the arm of Peyton Bender, a junior, who threw for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns to go along with 2 picks last week.
Defensively, they only gave up 16 points to an FCS team, which sounds exactly like doing what you’re supposed to if you ask me. The Big XII as a whole has a reputation for defenses that aren’t too good though, so I guess that’s something to note.
ESPN gives Kansas a 70.5 percent chance to win. Kansas is favored in Vegas by 3.5 points as of today, even though Central Michigan is actually the higher ranked team. That being said, I’m going to roll with the Jayhawks. I can see this turning into a bit of a shootout, but I think Kansas’s defense can take away a little bit more of the Chippewas’ ground game better than Central Michigan can stop Peyton Bender.
Kickoff is this Saturday at 4 pm at Kansas’ Memorial Stadium. You can watch this game through some regional network I guess – ESPN hasn’t listen any ways you can stream the action live. You can also get tickets starting at like $9 if you’re down for a weekend trip to Lawrence. I’d get them while they last!
Cover photo from Topeka Capital-Journal.
Tweet from SportsCenter (obviously).