CMU Kicks Off 2016 Campaign with Presbyterian

MT. PLEASANT – The Central Michigan football program and second-year coach John Bonamego are 24 hours away from kicking off their 2016 campaign.

The Chippewas open their season at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Thursday, welcoming in FCS opponent Presbyterian (S.C.).

Thursday’s meeting will be the first between the two programs, with the Blue Hose transitioning from Division II to FCS play in 2007. Members of the Big South Conference, Presbyterian went 2-9 in 2015 and has posted just two winning seasons since 2007.

CMU has won eight straight against FCS opponents, with its last loss coming against five-time FCS National Champion North Dakota State in 2007.

Though Thursday’s opponent doesn’t quite match up against some of CMU’s other non-league games with Oklahoma State (Sept. 10) and Virginia (Sept. 24), the Chippewas are hoping to use it as a springboard for a successful 2016.

“Honestly, I think the sky is the limit with this football team,” former CMU center and current radio broadcaster Brock Gutierrez said. “They have got a couple of tough non-conference games, but with Coach Bonamego, I mean his attention to detail, the enthusiasm he brings to the game and the things that he has this team buying into, it’s back to the way Central Michigan football, I think used to be played. With him at the helm and the coaching staff that he has assembled and most importantly, having Cooper Rush in there, pulling the trigger at quarterback. I mean, if everybody gels, on the same page, this team, this team could do great things.”

Kickoff Thursday is set for 7 p.m.