The time has finally come. It’s rivalry week in Ypsilanti as the Central Michigan Chippewas (3-6 overall, 1-4 Mid-American Conference) come to town to take on the Eastern Michigan University Eagles (1-8 overall, 0-5 MAC), who are the reigning Michigan MAC football champions after beating CMU and Western Michigan University last season.
The game will be held at Rynearson Stadium Nov. 10 with a 1 p.m. kickoff.
This is the 90th meeting between the two schools where CMU has a 55-28-6 lead over EMU, but the Eagles have won the last five out of eight meetings dating back to 2004.
When the two teams met last year in Mount Pleasant, the Eagles won 35-28 in dramatic fashion with quarterback Alex Gillett running in the game-winning 30-yard touchdown, untouched.
The Chippewas are coming off a 42-31 loss to WMU in their Battle for the Cannon, even after sophomore wide receiver Titus Davis had a career day with ten catches for 208 yards and a touchdown.
Other players on the CMU roster to watch out for are senior
quarterback Ryan Radcliff, running back Zurlon Tipton and defensive back Avery Cunningham.
This season, Radcliff has completed 180 out of his 302 passes for 2,337 yards, 16 touchdowns and one interception.
Tipton was off to a slow start at the beginning of the season, but has picked it up in the past three games when he ran the ball 77 times for 481 yards and six touchdowns.
Cunningham has five tackles for a loss, leading the Chippewa defense in that category. He has also broken up three passes, making him a versatile defensive back.
EMU’s offense will have to be running on all cylinders as it’s led by quarterback Tyler Benz, running back Bronson Hill and tight end Garrett Hoskins.
Since the win against Army on Oct. 20, Benz has completed 20 out of 45 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, Hill has ran the ball 38 times for 168 yards without a score and Hoskins has only caught two passes for 22 yards.
One player to watch for is team captain Gillett, who has been playing at the wide receiver position the past few games, where he has totaled three catches for 42 yards.
Gillett came into the season as the starting quarterback and now, converting to the receiving-end of the passes, the potential he can bring to the last three games of the season is unknown.
After putting up only 17 points in two games on the road, the offense will have to take advantage of a Chippewa defense that lets up 36.9 points per game.
The Eagles are looking to win the trophy in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2007 and 2008 seasons. EMU and CMU have both won the championship three times, while WMU has only won once.