Pick 'em: Central Michigan at Virginia Tech
All week, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer has been preaching the positives about the Hokies opponent this weekend, Central Michigan. He's been quick to point out that the Chippewas only lost by five to undefeated Northwestern and took Temple to overtime this year, and that back in 2009 they upset Michigan State.
The one thing that should scare the Hokies is that Central Michigan won't be intimidated by the atmosphere. Since 2007, the Chippewas have played 10 BCS opponents on the road, and after a disappointing loss to Ball State last weekend, they arrive at Lane Stadium hoping to prey on a Hokies team that just three weeks ago had a huge letdown at home against James Madison.
"We don’t go anywhere expecting to, ‘Oh, okay, let’s just try to get by this game,'" Central Michigan center Colin Miller said. "We expect to win. We’re preparing that way. No one is trying to be a hero, no one is trying to step outside their boundary. If we play assignment football like we practice, like we’ve been practicing for the last two months, I expect we will win the game. We’ll give them a run for their money, and I don’t expect to lose.”
Will another huge upset actually happen? Personally, I doubt it. This is not the same Central Michigan that won the MAC last year. Quarterback Dan LeFevour is gone to the NFL, and the new signal caller, Ryan Radcliff, has already thrown as many interceptions (seven) as Lefevour did all of 2009.
The Hokies are undoubtedly more talented at almost every position, but if they let the Chippewas hang around long enough, well just ask James Madison how that works. But after talking with Virginia Tech this week, it seems there's definitely an appreciation of the opponent that wasn't there against the Dukes. No giant upset this time.
My prediction: Virginia Tech 41, Central Michigan 20
How do you see this one going? Will the Hokies get a serious challenge from the Chippewas or will Virginia Tech's reserves finally get to see some garbage time action?