MAC Championship: Miami University vs. Central Michigan fearless prediction and game preview.
MAC Championship: Miami University vs. Central Michigan Broadcast
Date: Saturday, December 7
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Miami University (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (8-4) Game Preview
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Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The MAC Championship
– It was a weird year in the MAC, and Miami was able to take advantage of a down East division to make run. It was coming off a 6-6 season that was fine, but Ohio was supposed to be the star in the East with defending division champ Buffalo potentially rebuilding in a hurry. The RedHawks got by UB early on and got the win they absolutely had to have against Ohio to make their first MAC title game since winning it in 2010.
– Miami was at least expected to be a bit of a factor. Central Michigan wasn’t supposed to do much of anything in the far tougher West coming off a 1-11 season. New head coach Jim McElwain inherited a team loaded with veterans who came together to find their groove over the second half of the season with a 6-1 run.
They caught a break when Western Michigan gacked away the division with a loss to a mediocre Northern Illinois, took advantage of the moment with a dominant 49-7 win over Toledo, and now they have a chance at the championship in their first MAC title appearance since 2009.
– The MAC Championship should’ve been played during a weeknight. It would’ve had the spotlight all to itself if it was on Wednesday night, but it’s about to get swallowed up by all the other games on Saturday. On the plus side, six of the last nine MAC championships have been fantastic theater, and these two should come up with an interesting battle.
CFN Podcast: MAC Championship Discussion
Why Miami University Will Win
– Central Michigan has a turnover issue. Miami doesn’t have enough of an offense to keep up in any sort of a shootout, usually winning games with defense and takeaways. It only lost the turnover battle four times, losing three of those games and catching the break of playing Akron in the other.
4-0 when winning the turnover battle, and CMU is awful when it comes to hanging on to the ball with 24 turnovers on the season and losing the turnover margin five times.
– The RedHawk pass rush is fantastic. The defense makes big plays in bunches, but when it’s on, forget about it. MU has generated double-digit tackles for loss five times, with the only loss coming to Cincinnati. The D has to bring constant pressure and can’t let QB Quinten Dormady feel comfortable.
– This team has to take advantage of every possible opportunity to score – it’s not the type of team that can come out and hang 50 on the board. Every drive has to close out with points, and the RedHawks are okay at coming away with points in the red zone. They’ve been great in over the second half of the season inside the 20. Central Michigan has only come up with three red zone stops all year.
Why Central Michigan Will Win
– The Miami offense isn’t all that good at playing college football offense. It’s only been able to come up with more than 350 yards four times with no consistency in any one area. CMU can turn the lights out on this fast. Get out to a 14-0 lead, and that might be it.
– QB Quinten Dormady has turned it on. The former Tennessee-turned-Houston-turned-CMU quarterback was hurt early on, but came back to rip through the second half of the year with 250 passing yards or more with a terrific run over the last six games. MU is 0-3 on the year when giving up 250 yards or more through the air.
– Miami has to get its pass rush going to pull this off. It wins games by getting behind the line and doing enough defensively to make up for the mediocre offense that only averages 308 yards per game. The CMU offensive line is playing as well as any in the MAC, especially when it comes to keeping defenses out of the backfield.
What’s Going To Happen
The absolutely insane season in the MAC with so many wacky twists, turns and curveballs is bound to close out with something weird.
It’s been the hardest conference to predict over the second half of the year, so it only makes sense that a Miami team with no offense that closed out the regular season with the offense still sputtering will show up with something big.
But Central Michigan has a bit too much offense, the right offensive line to handle what MU needs to do, and just enough defense to be fine. It’s not going to take a big number for CMU to put this out of reach, and it’ll do it as it gets up early and hangs on late.
MAC Championship: Miami University vs. Central Michigan Prediction, Line
Central Michigan 31, Miami University 20
Bet on this with BetMGM, or for latest line
Central Michigan -7, o/u: 54
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
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Must See Rating: 3
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MAC Championship History
2018 Northern Illinois 30, Buffalo 29
2017 Toledo 45, Akron 28
2016 Western Michigan 29, Ohio 23
2015 Bowling Green 34, Northern Illinois 14
2014 Northern Illinois 51, Bowling Green 17
2013 Bowling Green 47, Northern Illinois 27
2012 Northern Illinois 44, Kent State 37 2OT
2011 Northern Illinois 23, Ohio 20
2010 Miami University 26, Northern Illinois 21
2009 Central Michigan 20, Ohio 10
2008 Buffalo 42, Ball State 24
2007 Central Michigan 35, Miami University 10
2006 Central Michigan 31, Ohio 10
2005 Akron 31, Northern Illinois 30
2004 Toledo 35, Miami University 27
2003 Miami University 49, Bowling Green 27
2003 Marshall 49, Toledo 45
2002 Marshall 49, Toledo 45
2001 Toledo 41, Marshall 36
2000 Marshall 19, Western Michigan 14
1999 Marshall 34, Western Michigan 30
1998 Marshall 23, Toledo 17
1997 Marshall 34, Toledo 14