Thursday, August 7, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
A pair of veteran teams meet three weeks from tonight (7
p.m. ESPN3) as host Central Michigan has 18 returning starters (6-6) and the
UTC Mocs have 15 starters back from an 8-4 season.
The Mocs open with a Thursday night game for the third time
in the coach Russ Huesman Era (1-1) and the 11th time (6-4) since 1998. The
last time UTC opened on the road on a Thursday was in 2006 with a 31-7 win at
Tennessee Tech. Central Michigan lost at home to Boston College the same night.
The Chippewas are 11-2 on Thursday nights all-time,
including winning the last three, 2008-2011-2012.
“Opening the season with a Thursday game on the road is not
much difference than playing on a Saturday, except that there will be only a
handful of games that night,” said UTC coach Russ Huesman.
“We will fly to Michigan Wednesday after class (just as if
they would leave on a Friday for a Saturday game) and return to Chattanooga after
the game so our players are back in class Friday morning.”
Opening the season on Thursday nights is a positive for CM
as the students are in their first week of school and many go home for the
Labor Day weekend after class on Friday and would miss the opener if played at
home on Saturday.
“Opening at home on a Thursday is a big deal for our fans
and we hope to draw 16-18,000 for the Chattanooga game,” said CM sports
information Rob Wyman.
Central Michigan also has Thursday home openers scheduled
for the next two seasons with Oklahoma State visiting Mount Pleasant in 2015
followed by Presbyterian College in 2016.
Central Michigan Football
Coach: Dan Enos, 5th season (19-30)
2013: 6-6, won Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
First Season: 1896; 586-387-36
Coach: Russ Huesman, 6th season (31-25)
2013: 8-4, Co-Southern Conference champions
First Season: 1904; 502-507-35
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com