As my trip to Michigan winds down, I just wanted to get a few thoughts put down, “pen to paper” so to speak. My goal is to get the more typical reviews that you all know and love from RCT posted on Wednesday, even though that’s four days after the game. Until then, this will have to do.
I still don’t believe what I witnessed on Saturday.
Central Michigan (the area, not the campus) looks pretty similar to eastern Kansas. Lots of trees, probably not as many fields, but it just has a familiar feel. The town is definitely a misnomer, though. There are no mountains here, nor is it particularly or obviously pleasant.
The campus was nice enough I suppose, although admittedly I experienced just the very southern part of it. The football stadium is located right off the main drag, on the southern end of campus which also happens to be the southern end of town.
Pro tip: If you ever go to a game at CMU, pay the $5 for parking at O’Kelly’s on the northeast side of the stadium, not $20 for parking on campus on the southwest of the stadium.
It seems like a decent pregame atmosphere around the stadium; we spent our time at the aforementioned O’Kelly’s to keep an eye on the K-State game and the Purdue game.
Once we got to the stadium, I noticed that CMU fans are very astute. They realized early on that “This isn’t basketball!” and were kind enough let our sideline know that several times early on in the contest. Although... I guess if they were expecting a basketball game, that would make them not so very smart. Either way, it seemed odd to me.
It was cloudy, cool, windy, low-to-mid 60s - I can’t even imagine how cold it is here in December/January/February.
Joe Dineen had a helluva game.
Peyton Bender was... rough. I’m sure he just needs a better offensive line, but criminy.
Speaking of the offensive line - did it get better in the second half? I haven’t looked at any replays or film yet. They were awful in the first half. But, the first half as a whole was pretty boring. I’m sure the upcoming semi-statistical recap will note how many punts there were.
Pooka... wow. I think maybe we should get the ball to our best player more often.
David Beaty still likes to punt on fourth-and-short from around midfield. Good to see he’s watching film and learning from his mistakes.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
For the most part, though, it seemed like he did better with his timeouts.
There were maybe 40 or 50 KU fans there in the southwest corner of the stadium. Most of them appeared to be family members. I chatted up one group close to us in the fourth quarter; they live in Michigan and drove up for the game.
There was a Rock Chalk Chant led by the cheerleaders with about 50 seconds left on the clock. That was kinda cool.
I expected the team to run over to our corner and celebrate with the fans for a moment, but they just immediately ran off the field. I guess they’re new at this “winning on the road” thing.
David Beaty is now 2-0 when his defense gets six takeaways. (And only one of those games went into overtime.)
I still don’t believe it. But the streak is over. Not even Kansas can lose 47 straight road games.
I mean, they completely dominated another Division 1 team. We haven’t seen that since...
... well, probably since Iowa State in 2014. Which means we’ve never seen a Beaty-coached team do it.
I believe Rutgers’ offense rates pretty similarly to CMU (he says without having done any research yet). Next weekend could be fun. But let’s not get our hopes up for conference play just yet.