SpartanDigest.com Crystal Ball Week 4

A year ago SpartanDigest.com believed Michigan State was in for a special run during the 2010 college football season. We went out on a limb and predicted the Spartans would go undefeated and took some ribbing from those who did not believe. In the end the Spartans went 11-1 during the regular season. How do we see Week Four working out against Central Michigan? We look into our Crystal Ball.

Central Michigan (Saturday September 24, 2011) Spartan Stadium

12:00 PM EST

CMU 2010 Record: 3-9

Last Game Against Central Michigan:

Mark Dantonio and his staff remember well their battle with CMU in 2009 as Dan LeFevour threw a touchdown pass to Paris Cotton with 32 seconds remaining making the score 27-26. Chippewas head coach Butch Jones looked for the win and went for two only to see a two-point conversion pass to Antonio Brown fall incomplete. What looked like a Spartan victory soon changed as Bryan Anderson recovered a perfectly executed onside-kick, and LeFevour completed three straight passes moving CMU into field goal range setting up Andrew Aguila's 42-yard field goal with 3 second remaining giving CMU their third victory in seven meetings all time. This will be the first time friend and former assistant coach Dan Enos will face his former boss.

About the Chippewas

Dan Enos heads into his second year as head coach of CMU after a poor first year at the helm. While it looks like there was a lack of talent from the last time the Spartans played the Chippewas, Enos has looked to bolster his offensive staff with the hiring of veteran coach Morris Watts as his passing game coordinator. Watts coached Enos during his playing days as a Spartan (1987-90) and will bring his experience to the Chippewas after helping MAC foe Miami a year ago. Other ties to Mark Dantonio or Michigan State on the CMU staff include director of football operations Plas Presnell (73) and graduate assistant Gino Guidugli who played for Dantonio in his first year at the University of Cincinnati.

Thirty-five returning lettermen, including eight starters on offense and six on defense have Enos excited about his second year at CMU.

Look for CMU to use the arm of junior quarterback Ryan Radcliff who returns for his second season after posting the third most completions and passing yards in school history a year ago.

Radcliff's main target will be Cody Wilson who pulled down 83 passes for 1,137 yards and five touchdowns in 2010.

On defense CMU will look towards senior linebacker Armond Staten and junior defensive back Jahleel Addae to lead the way.

What We Expect This Year:

Much like last season's battle against Western Michigan, we expect CMU to come out throwing the football as they did a year ago. This will be a good test for the Spartans prior to opening Big Ten play as they'll have another chance to apply pressure on a quarterback from the front seven and see how the secondary responds to the Chips passing attack.

Look for the Spartans to use their balanced offensive attack with the ground attack looking to push CMU to the brink as CMU gave up an average of 171 yards a game a year ago. Kirk Cousins should also be able to use all of his receiving weapons on the day and make it a long day for the former Spartan quarterback and coach.

SpartanDigest.com Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans win 38-14


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