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Head Coach: Brian Kelly (10-12,2 years;
118-35-2 overall, 15 years) 2005 Record: 6-5,5-3/T3rd MAC
Location: Mt. Pleasant, MI Turf: Artificial Capacity: 30,199 Seating Chart:
CM won the Div II National Championship in 1974 and then moved to the MAC in 1975. Fourof theirfirstfive years in MAC play they finished #1 or #2 and went on to win MAC Championships in 1990 and 1994 earning 2 bowl bids. In a 17 year streak from 74-'90 they had ZERO losing seasons. Since that last bowl in 1994, they have suffered 8 of 10 losing seasons. In 2003 CM slumped to 1 -7 in MAC play and were outgained by an average of 140.1 ypg so they opted to bring in a new HC in Brian Kelly. Kelly's Div II offense in 2001 averaged 600.8 ypg. In 2004 they returned a 1,000 yard rusher, their top receiver plus four starters on the 0-line and had 17 returning starters. They installed new FieldTurf at their stadium, hoping for fewer injuries. They also opted to move to the West sidelines in Kelly/Shorts Stadium after occupying the East since 1972. On the year they were outgained by an avg of 60 ypg in MAC play and finished just 3-5. Last year QB Kent Smith was back and had a fine senior season. He managed to guide CM to their first winning record since 1998. They gave Indiana a tough game but then were fortunate to block Miami's 28 yd FG attempt on the final play ending Miami's 10 game home win streak. They lost to EM in OT but upset Akron on the road as an 11 point dog and beat Army on the road in a driving rain storm. Versus Toledo; a pass into the EZ bounced off the UT receiver's hands on the last play and CM prevailed by 4. They missed a 39 yd FG with 1 :OC left which would have tied Nl. CM blocked a punt and returned i with 1:51 left for a TD to tie it at Ball St, and then stopped BSL on 4th & inches in OT. Their four road wins were the most sine* 1994. CM improved to 5-3 in MAC play and was +75.0 ypg actually the 3rd best mark in the league. The offense has sever starters back. I was surprised thatthe Kent Smith-led offense las year only averaged 23.6 ppg which was the same mark they hac in 2004 and their best since 1997 (25.6). In the 3rd year of Kelly': offense (even with a new QB) they should top that mark. In 200o CM was last in the MAC in rush defense but last year actually improved to the best in the MAC (114 ypg) and allowed 23.6 ppg the best total by the Chippewas' D since 1998 (23.0). This year's D has 7 starters back including their star, Daniel Bazuin but wil need the young secondary to mature quickly to top last year's total. While CM has a young QB and secondary, they are strong where it matters the most (in the trenches).
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