Thursday, October 29, 2009

BCDraft Special: Keys to the Game w/ Chippewa Country's Tyler Parsons

Today we will learn more about our opponent for Saturday, the Central Michigan Chippewas. Today, to help us we have Tyler Parsons from

First, Welcome to BCDraft Tyler, We appreciate you taking the time to discuss what we should both expect to see on Halloween at the Heights.

BCDraft)As CMU has had a great start of 7-1, what do you feel the reason for them not being in the top 25 is?

Chippewa Country) Strength of schedule. CMU has beat some good teams, but the MAC has beat itself up this season and only CMU has really separated themselves as legit contenders on the national stage. Because of that SOS, the Chippewas are the only team with 7 wins not in the Top 25. The week 1 loss @ Arizona would have helped a lot, but a victory over BC will put them in the Top 25.

BCD) CMU has been a offensive powerhouse so far this year, averaging about 35 points a game. Can you explain their offensive style? Tendencies?

CC) Spread offense that utilizes the short passing game and runs at a quick tempo. They have an outstanding QB, three legit NFL prospects at WR and an athletic offensive line that can block in space.

BCD) CMU seems to have a VERY Senior laden team this year, although giving great support this year, how do you feel they will be able to restock next year?

CC) CMU is in fact a VERY young team. There are only 13 seniors on the entire team, but a majority of them start so the appearance is made that CMU needs to replace a ton. CMU is actually one of the youngest teams in the nation.

Offensively, only LeFevour and OG Allen Ollenburger as seniors and on defense they must replace 6 starters. With Butch Jones being there for a few years now, CMU has been able to recruit and establish depth, which in-turn allows them to redshirt players that would normally play. That said, you just don't replace players like LeFevour and Bryan Anderson, so there will be some rebuilding.

BCD) Dan LeFevour seems to be having a disgustingly great year, AGAIN. He currently has a 153 passing rating , and 16 TDs. What do you feel is his recipe for success?

CC) He has a great feel for the offense in his fourth year as a starter and has a lot of talent around him to work with. As a QB, he has such great poise in the pocket and is able to keep plays alive with his legs. And, teams have to factor in his ability to run. Overall, he's just a tremendous QB and will go down as one of the best players in MAC history.

BCD) What other past or present QB would you compare him to?

CC) I've always compared him to former Alcorn St. Tennessee Titan great Steve Mcnair. Big build, nice arm and the ability to pick yards up on the ground. Steve Young is another nice comparison, but I think LeFevour and Young have different running styles.

BCD) Boston College , seems to be a run first/ pass second type of offense. Which when they run, they seem to be very successful, I.E. NC State, and when they cant establish a run, they don’t. CMU has given up over 100 yards 4 times, and over 200 twice. How do you think they fare this week against the run?

CC) Somewhat of a misleading stat outside of the Buffalo game, where CMU had trouble plugging gaps. CMU has actually been very stout against the run and their last two MAC opponents (Western Michigan and Bowling Green) basically abandoned the run game. Michigan State was basically shut down and Arizona had trouble running despite the stats. Overall, CMU has the second best run defense in the MAC, allowing only an average of 113 yards per game, and have only allowed 6 rushing TD's on the ground.

BCD) Who is LeFevour’s go to man? Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson seem to have split the yards so far, but who would you think his choice receiver would be?

CC) Simply depends on the game. CMU has three very talented WR's in Anderson, Brown and Kito Poblah. As a defense, it's a pick your poison thing, key on one guy, and another will be open.

LeFevour probably doesn't have a go-to WR, he just goes game by game on who is getting open.

BCD)LaFevour is currently the leading rusher for CMU, with 522, with 9 rushing TDs, can you kind of explain how / when LaFevour is used , or how he racks up all these yards/ TDs?

CC) Well, he's 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds, and he's the best short yardage back CMU has right now. CMU run's a lot of designed runs in much the same way Florida does with Tim Tebow, and LeFevour also has the ability to break the pocket when nothing is open down field. His running ability opens up lanes for the other RB's as well as Antonio Brown on his designed runs, so it's a type of rushing offense system that CMU uses to force defenses to defend multiple threats.

BCD) Who is Central Michigan’s biggest rival? The team that they really get up for?

CC) Without a doubt, Western Michigan. It's one of the most hated rivalries in the Midwest and has been featured on ESPN 2 of the last 3 years.

BCD) When BC played CMU a number of years back in ‘06, it was the Eagles defense that knocked then-starter Duane Brooks out of the game, clearing the path for true freshman Dan LeFevour to rally the troops and start his remarkable career at Central Michigan.

CC) It was actually Brian Brunner that was the starter who was knocked out, and a very talented QB himself who threw for over 500 yards replacing the injured LeFevour last year against Indiana. Duane Brooks was a speedy change of pace guy that was switched to WR before he transferred.

BCD) How much credit does BC deserve for his success, and is it too much to ask Dan to throw a couple interceptions our way as a sign of thanks for giving him the opportunity to play early?

CC) Surviving that game with a win should be thanks enough. For a backup QB to come in and almost beat a damn good Boston College team in his first game action, speaks volumes about the type of player that LeFevour started out as. CMU should ask for a few Dave Shinskie INT's for helping Matt Ryan start his impressive career as well haha.

BCD) On the road this season, BC has struggled going 0-3.

However, the Eagles have been markedly better at home going 5-0 and have the stats to prove it. The “experts” have BC as a three point favorite at Chestnut Hill. How much of a difference do you think it is going to make for your Chips playing at Alumni Stadium instead of Mount Pleasant?

CC) Nothing this team isn't used to, that's the experience factor you get with players like LeFevour, Anderson, Brown, Bellore etc. who have been starters for years. They have played at Clemson, Kansas, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona, Purdue etc. Home fields are always an advantage, but CMU has played in those type of environments before and are battle tested.

BCD) BC tends to play a “bend but don’t break” defense between the 20’s, then gets much more aggressive once you enter the Red Zone. To have success against BC on offense you either need to A) Blow the D-line off the ball, B) Protect for a good long while to let the deep routes develop, or C) take the super-short passes (3-5 yards) and take what the defense gives ya. What do you think the Chips will do if they’re having success against BC, if you had to pick just one?

CC) CMU has the #2 ranked red zone offense in the MAC and has cashed in in the redzone 33-36 times, with 28 of those 33 being touchdowns. I think what CMU does in the redzone will be dictated by what BC does defensively. If they blitz, CMU won't have time to sit back in the pocket and will have to utilize the short passing game. If BC sits back, CMU can wait for longer routes.

BCD) What is the perception of BC as both a football team and a school by Central Michigan fans and alums? Most BC folks realized that CMU was an up and comer a few years back when we first saw DLF, so trust me—BC fans (and we hope players) are not taking this contest likely despite CMU not being an a BCS-Auto bid conference.

CC) CMU perspective of BC is a very talented football squad that has overcome some coaching issues and talent discrepancies to become quite possibly, the best ACC team over the last 5-10 years. Recruiting wise, BC doesn't recruit well based on the "star system", but they have developed players with great success and have put plenty of talent in the NFL. They win big games and have become the standard for success in the ACC with little fanfare. Great football program and easily one of the most underrated in the country.

BCD) What teams from the ACC do you believe CMU would beat on a neutral field if they played 9 times? Meaning, we all know any team can beat any other team any given Saturday, but who does CMU match up with the best and would consistently beat from the ACC at a rate of .501 or greater?

CC) Tough question and one that is really hard to judge. On a neutral field, I think CMU could hang with anyone in the ACC, but obviously Va. Tech, Georgia Tech and Clemson present some match-up problems, especially with their defensive line speed.

Arizona gave CMU a lot of trouble with just that, but I also think CMU's poison has been good opponenet QB play. Outside of Jacory Harris, the ACC lacks some talent at QB IMO.Going to cop-out of this answer and just say we will have a lot better of an idea after Saturday.

Tyler, thank you for the time, and the insight. Please visit Tyler for other Chippewa information at

Please stay tuned for our responses to his questions regarding the Boston College Eagles!!

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