Penn State Football

Penn State Football vs. Central Michigan: Behind Enemy Lines

There is a buzz around State College as No. 14 Penn State Football is an undefeated 4-0 on the season, and looking to finish the month of September unscathed as the Nittany Lions play host to Central Michigan on Saturday from Beaver Stadium.

To get you ready for Penn State Football’s opponent, Central Michigan, we go behind enemy Lines and talk to Central Michigan reporter Sean Chase, sports editor for Central Michigan Life & below is our conversation

What are your Initial thoughts on Penn State vs Central Michigan

After a subpar 1-2 start to the 2022 season, Central Michigan heads into Happy Valley as massive underdogs, a position the Chippewas are familiar with.
In the season opener, they entered the contest as 22.5-point dogs to Oklahoma State. When it was all said and done, CMU covered the spread, made the Cowboys sweat and seemed to be off to a great start. However, the Chippewas have struggled to get going before the second half. With Penn State favored by 26.5 points, another slow start could be costly.

2. Who on Offense should Penn State be concerned

While most people would say the nation’s leading rusher in Lew Nichols III, especially after a strong performance against Bucknell, I think sophomore wide receiver Jalen McGaughy is primed to break out. Three games into the season, he is finding his footing alongside Maryland transfer Carlos Carriere. His combination of size and speed would allow him to compete at any level. On Saturday he shows that.

3. For those who don’t follow Central Michigan, what makes this matchup very interesting

While an upset is a long-shot, Central Michigan has shown glimpses of the high-powered offense it displayed in 2021. With quarterback Daniel Richardson’s confidence growing after torching the Bucknell secondary, I expect him to enter a hostile Beaver Stadium looking to prove a point. He’s been known to rally the troops and if he shows the elite arm talent he displayed against Oklahoma State, anything is possible.

4. Do see Penn State ever playing a game at Central Michigan or will it be played at Ford Field

I don’t see it being played at Ford Field. While it’s a bigger venue, Kelly/Shorts Stadium holds 45,000 people and the Central Michigan faithful would fill it to the brim. Plus traveling to Detroit isn’t much farther than traveling to Mount Pleasant for a big-time Division One program, and the community could use the influx of people. I also would have to assume Penn State fans would be willing to travel.

5. What is one reason why Central Michigan pulls the upset & defeats Penn State

The talent on the Chippewa roster is often overlooked and nowhere more so than their defensive line, specifically defensive ends Thomas Incoom and Michael Heldman. Against Bucknell they shined, and while it’s a different level of competition, Penn State has struggled to keep its quarterbacks upright. If CMU can get to Sean Clifford and force errant passes it’s anyone’s game.

David Malandra Jr.

I am Sports Reporter that covers Pro & College Sports in Philadelphia