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Central Michigan Chippewas

The Lowdown
Coach: Brian Kelly
(1st season)
2003 record: 3-9
MAC finish: 1-7 (7th West)
'03 I-A Offensive Rankings:
Rush: 22nd (195.8 ypg)
Pass: 96th (174.8 ypg)
'03 I-A Defensive Rankings:
Rush: 117th (245.8 ypg)
Pass: 99th (256.0 ypg)
2004 Schedule
Date Opponent
Sept. 4 at Indiana
Sept. 11 at Michigan State
Sept. 18 SE Missouri State
Oct. 2 Kent State
Oct. 9 Bowling Green
Oct. 16 at Northern Illinois
Oct. 23 at Toledo
Oct. 30 Western Michigan
Nov. 6 #Eastern Michigan
Nov. 13 at Buffalo
Nov. 20 Ball State
# at Detroit
Depth Chart: Offense
7 returning starters in bold
% - starter in 3-wide sets
Ps. No. Player Yr. No. Player Yr.
WR 5 Justin Harper Jr. 82 Damien Linson So.
WR 2 Jacob Brown Sr. 89 Jovan Witherspoon Sr.
%WR 80 Scott Gibson Jr. 85 Jacob Petzke Fr.
LT 70 Adam Kieft Sr. 79 Brandon Zukoff Fr.
LG 78 Drew Mormino So. 64 Eric Karbowski So.
C 69 Eric Ghiaciuc Sr. 64 Eric Karbowski So.
RG 72 Jeff Jenerou Jr. 77 Dean Zarafonetis Jr.
RT 87 Joe Staley So. 77 Dean Zarafonetis Jr.
TE 85 Tory Humphrey Sr. 84 Dave Condeni So.
QB 17 Grant Arnoldink Sr. 16 Nick Gildersleeve Fr.
FB 48 Troy Peyerk Jr. 42 Bryan Lindstrom Sr.
HB 15 Jerry Seymour So. 37 Spencer Lewis Jr.
Depth Chart: Defense
8 returning starters in bold
Ps. No. Player Yr. No. Player Yr.
DE 52 Michael Ogle So. 55 William Brookshire Sr.
DT   Temirez Williams Jr. 97 Damon Petty So.
DT 76 Tony Thompson Jr. 99 Kalani Muragin Sr.
DE 93 Dan Bazuin So. 55 William Brookshire Sr.
SLB 24 James King Sr. 44 Jason Smith Jr.
MLB 45 Anthony Tyus Jr. Sr. 39 Jimmy Reese Jr.
WLB 26 Jon Nelson Sr. 57 Leython Williams So.
CB 27 Richard Kiel Sr. 32 Derrick Holoman Sr.
CB 33 Marlin Maxwell Jr. 30 Jesse Dailey Jr.
Rov 8 Tyrone Kelly So. 20 Matt Gorman So.
FS 28 Orlando Walton So. 22 Mike Thomas Sr.
Special Teams
Ps. No. Player Yr. Ps. No. Player Yr.
P 31 Tony Mikulec Fr. K 43 Mike Gruzwalski Jr.
KR 5 Justin Harper Jr. PR 5 Justin Harper Jr.

Brian Kelly, fresh off back-to-back Division II national titles at Grand Valley State University, arrived at CMU in December and immediately began the difficult task of infusing a championship spirit into a program that hasn't had a winning record since 1998.

Kelly coached at Grand Valley State for 13 years and never suffered through a losing season. He's set his sights on the season-opener against Indiana to unleash the Chippewas' new attitude. "Winning the opener would be huge for this team," Kelly says. "This team needs to have success."

Kelly believes in the spread offense. And for good reason. He's won back-to-back Division II championships running the spread at Grand Valley State. Now Kelly must find a quarterback who can run it at Central Michigan. A decision on who will lead the Chippewas' offense won't come until August. Jeff Perry, who injured his knee after starting the first four games in '03, has decided not to return for a fifth season, which means Kelly will have to rely on redshirt freshman Nick Gildersleeve, senior Grant Arnoldink or junior Kent Smith.

Fortunately, running back is a little more solidified for CMU. Sophomore Jerry Seymour earned Freshman All-America honors after rushing for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns in just nine games.

Someone will need to step up to offer Justin Harper some help at receiver. Harper caught 45 passes for 441 yards and two TDs in '03. Scott Gibson, Damien Linson and Jacob Brown will offer depth, but the trio combined for just 28 receptions last season. Tight end Tory Humphrey will offer a solid receiving outlet for CMU. He caught 14 balls last year.

CMU is solid in the trenches. Adam Kieft offers experience and credentials. The left tackle took home second-team all-conference accolades last year.

Dan Bazuin will be asked to wreak havoc again in opposing teams' backfields. Bazuin had six sacks and 14 tackles for a loss en route to second-team Freshmen All-America honors at his defensive end position. William Brookshire will find time at defensive end after starting last season, but sophomore Michael Ogle will likely start opposite Bazuin. Junior college recruit Temirez Williams is penciled in at tackle and returning starter Tony Thompson will continue to anchor the frontline.

One of the more talented defensive players for CMU, James King, will move from safety to drop linebacker to get him involved in more plays. King has accumulated 329 career stops. Two returning starters, seniors Anthony Tyus Jr. and Jon Nelson, will play alongside King.

The secondary returns three starters (and that doesn't include King), but that may not be a good thing; CMU allowed over 250 yards passing per game in '03.

Mike Gruzwalski returns after nailing 4-of-6 field goals and all 35 extra-point attempts last season. He will be a steadying influence for CMU. Freshman Tony Mikulec is the likely replacement for departed punter Brian Brandt.

Final Analysis
Kelly, who compiled a 41-2 record over his final three seasons at Grand Valley State, arrived at CMU in December and immediately began the difficult task of infusing a championship spirit into a program that hasn't had a winning record this millennium. CMU's struggles, however don't faze Kelly, who has kept his expectations high despite his new surroundings.

"People have called me crazy, but I expect CMU to make a run at the MAC championship," he said. "First we need to break some bad habits."

That starts with fixing a defense that allowed 501.8 yards per game last season. Kelly's optimism will help, as will his aggressive defensive alignments and spread offense, but this will likely be a learning year for CMU.

Click here for a complete list of 2004 Team Previews from Athlon

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