Chippewas to Face Bowling Green on Homecoming

MOUNT PLEASANT - New Central Michigan University football coach Brian Kelly couldn't have been more pleased with his team's performance in Saturday's Mid-American Conference opening triumph over Kent State University.

"It was a tremendous win for our football team, one in which we showed great resolve by rallying in the fourth period," Kelly said.

His excitement is tempered, however, by what stands ahead for the Chippewas -- defending MAC West and Motor City Bowl champion Bowling Green.

Kickoff in Kelly/Shorts Stadium is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.

"We're playing a great football team, one which has climbed to the top of the MAC," said Kelly. "It's a place where we want to get and Gregg Brandon has done a great job with that program.

"We're excited about the opportunity of playing Bowling Green on Homecoming. If Bowling Green doesn't play well, we'll have a chance. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did in the Kent State win, though."

The Chippewas, riding a modest two-game winning streak, are 2-2 for the season and 1-0 in MAC action. BG is 2-2 overall and 0-1 in MAC action. The Falcons, however, are coming off a 70-16 win at Temple.

Kelly said the two teams will have a similar look on offense.

"We run virtually the same spread offense," he said. "Bowling Green throws the ball better than we do and has better speed on the edge with its skilled players."

Bowling Green marks the first of three premier MAC teams in a row for the Chippewas.

Central Michigan follows the BG game with a pair of road games at Northern Illinois (Oct. 16) and Toledo (Oct. 23).

The Coaches

Central Michigan -- Brian Kelly (Assumption, 1983). Career record: 119-37-2 (13th year). CMU record: 2-2, first year.

Bowling Green -- Gregg Brandon (No. Colorado, 1978). Career record: 13-5. BGSU record: same.

The Series

Bowling Green holds a 20-16 lead in the series that began in 1924.

The Falcons have won four straight meetings, the last one a 23-3 verdict in Bowling Green in 2003.

CMU's last win came at home in 1995 by a 22-16 margin.

The biggest game between the two schools may have been in 1994 when the Chippewas won by a 36-33 margin at Bowling Green to win the MAC Championship and earn a bid to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Scouting Bowling Green

The Falcons opened with a 40-24 loss at No. 2 ranked Oklahoma and then drilled Southeast Missouri, 49-10. BG opened the MAC with a 34-17 loss at Northern Illinois before the 70-16 win at Temple.

BG leads the MAC in scoring (40.) and is second in total offense (456.5) and passing offense (286.2).

QB Omar Jacobs leads the MAC in total offense (311.5) and second in passing (286.2) and passing efficiency (152.9) while Cole Magner is tied for fifth in receptions (6.) and P.J. Pope is seventh in rushing (73.0).

Shaun Suisham is second in scoring (8.8) and B.J. Lane is second in kickoff returns (25.1).

Chippewa Training Room

Eric Tunney (defensive tackle), out indefinitely with a leg injury.

William Brookshire (defensive end), missed the KSU game and is questionable this week with a shoulder injury.

Jeff Jenerou (offensive guard) missed the KSU game with an ankle injury and is questionable for BG.

`Bam Bam' Bounces Back

Jerry "Bam Bam" Seymour, held to one yard in two carries against SEMO before being sidelined with a hip injury, returned to form with 131 yards in 28 carries against Kent State.

The 5-6, 190-pounder now has 10 100-yard games in 13 career games. He finished the 2003 season with five straight 100-yard games and three of four games this season.

Seymour, with career highs in yards (207) and rushes (36) in a win over Eastern Michigan in 2003, was named first team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News. He was a second team All-MAC pick.

Below are his 100-yard outings:


•New Hampshire 166 in 27

•E. Kentucky 116 in 25

•UCF 114 in 17

•EMU 207 in 36

Akron 105 in 19

•WMU 162 in 27

Navy 154 in 33


Indiana 111 in 21

Michigan State 164 in 26

•Kent State 131 in 28

Blockin' Bazuin

A prolific shot-blocker as a prep basketball player at McBain High, Daniel Bazuin collected his first two blocked kicks as a Chippewa defensive end -- both field goal attempts in the fourth period against KSU. The last one came with 35 seconds remaining to preserve the win.

Bazuin also made seven tackles, three of them for losses of 14 yards and one a QB sack for minus six yards. He also had a pass breakup.

Kent Finds the End Zone

Junior quarterback Kent Smith started the fourth game of his career in CMU's 24-21 win over Kent State and has shown a nose for the end zone in his last two outings.

The 6-5, 210-pounder has rushed for two touchdowns in each of the last two games and has thrown for three TDs in the same contests.

"Kent has become a playmaker for us," said head coach Brian Kelly. "We may have given him too much for the Kent game but he battled back and made plays at the end.

"I think you'll see him to continue to get better and better."

Smith was 15-of-28 for 143 yards against KSU after completing 17-of-30 for 303 yards against SEMO.

Smith's first start of the season was at Michigan State where he hit on 10-of-30 passes for 93 yards. He also rushed nine times for 52 yards.

After lettering in 2002, Smith did not play last fall. He completed 10-of-32 passes that season for 96 yards and a TD and ran for 106 more and another score.

Smith's start at Michigan State was his first since the final game of the 2002 season when CMU lost a 35-10 home decision to WMU.

King Eyes Record

Senior linebacker James King continues to move up the charts in career tackles for CMU, and now stands fifth.

The converted safety had 143 stops in 2003, tied for 10th in the country with 11.92 per game.

He has been credited with 24 stops in the first four games.

Here's who is ahead of King:

1. Brian Leigeb (1997-00), 486

2. Ray Bentley (1979-82), 443

3. Rich Curtiss (1987-90), 402

4. Bryan Gross (1976-78), 396

5. James King (2001-), 353

It's Becoming Contagious

James King collected the 11th blocked kick of his career in the win over SEMO -- an extra point in the second period.

He is the current national leader in Division I football for blocked kicks, eight of them coming as a redshirt freshman in 2001.

Daniel Bazuin was not the only person to block a kick against Kent State. Junior linenbacker Jason Smith blocked a punt in the first half for his first career block.

The Chippewas have four blocked kicks this season.

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