AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -Fifteen months into his college career, Dan LeFevour already has a chance to do something former Mid-American Conference stars and current NFL quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich and Bruce Gradkowski never did.
If Central Michigan beats Miami of Ohio on Saturday in the MAC championship game, the Chippewas' sophomore would join Chad Pennington as the only quarterback to win the conference title game in consecutive seasons.
Pennington won three straight for Marshall from 1997-1999, and Leftwich almost joined him at the same school. He won in 2000 and 2002, but the Thundering Herd were beaten in the 2001 game by Toledo and stellar tailback Chester Taylor.
Last season, LeFevour threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns and Central Michigan beat Ohio 31-14. He thinks he's got a great chance to join Pennington.
``We have a lot of options in how we can move the ball, and a lot of confidence in our front line,'' he said. ``That means there are a lot of ways we can do things out there.''
LeFevour, the MAC offensive player of the y, threw for 3,175 yards and 22 touchdowns and added 838 yards rushing and 15 more scores.
``We know very well that we're going to be facing an outstanding offense,'' Miami coach Shane Montgomery said. ``It all starts with Dan. He's the best offensive player in the MAC, and that says a lot. He can beat you with his arm and he can beat you with his legs, and he's got a lot of explosive players out there with him.''
LeFevour provides stability for a Central Michigan program that lost coach Brian Kelly to Cincinnati after last season's championship game.
Chippewas coach Butch Jones was an assistant coach at Central from 1998-2004 and helped recruit LeFevour before going to West Virginia for two seasons, so he was a good fit the replace Kelly.
``They are going to pose a great challenge for us,'' Jones said of the RedHawks. ``They are extremely talented on defense, and they've got as much skill on offense as anyone we've faced in the MAC this season.''
While Central Michigan leads the league in scoring offense, they will be facing the MAC's top-ranked scoring defense.
``I think every team's defense feels they should be able to carry the team,'' said RedHawks linebacker Clayton Mullins, the MAC's defensive player of the year. ``We certainly feel like we'll be prepared to do that on Saturday.''
For Miami, the challenge will be to overcome a slew of injuries in their offensive backfield. Cory Jones is Miami's fifth starting tailback, while sophomore Daniel Raudabaugh replaced Mike Kokal at quarterback.
``It's important that we had a lot of depth, because when we've lost a couple players at a position, we've still had people who could step in and take over,'' Montgomery said.
Still, Montgomery is worried about his team's offense. The RedHawks beat Akron 7-0 on Nov. 14, then struggled in a 38-29 loss to Ohio on Nov. 24.
``We can move the ball, but we've hurt ourselves with mistakes,'' he said. ``Against Central, we're going to have to find a way to score the ball, because they don't need much time to put points on the board.''

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