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November 3, 2012Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos addressed the media after his team's heartbreaking 42-31 loss to arch-rival Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
Opening StatementFirst off, I just want to say congratulations to Western. They did a good job and they made more plays than we did. Ultimately, I thought we had a lot of chances to win the game. As you look back on it, you're going to see some dropped passes in the first half in the redzone, resulting in a missed field goal and then a field goal attempt and then you're going to see our inability to get stops in the fourth quarter. Those were the keys to the game. I thought our guys played with great effort and unfortunately, we had the fumble on the kickoff. We would have the ball first-and-10 at the 50-yard line and the way we were moving the ball, we felt good. I thought Ryan Radcliff played outstanding. I think for the most part, the offense played very well, except for inconsistency in the redzone.
On the defensive performanceI think their offense was good. I think they played well and made plays. That's kind of been the story of our defense all season. We play well in spurts, but we don't play consistently well. It's almost as if as soon as we lose momentum a little bit, we seem to take a step back. We have to continue to work on that, but when you're playing young guys, there is a tendency for that to happen.
On Titus Davis and if they were force-feeding himWe don't force feed the ball to anybody in this offense. We call it and there are options. The quarterback has to be really smart and has to understand what he is doing. Today, they were in a lot of man coverage. We thought they couldn't hold up on him and that turned out to be true. We just had more routes that went down the field to Titus this week, just based on all the man coverage that we saw. Ryan did a good job with finding him and I thought our offensive line did a good job protecting Ryan. I know that Titus is also to say that he had two drops in the endzone and those were crucial. We expect a player of his ability and his caliber to make those catches and he'll continue to work this week. Titus is capable of doing that every week.
On playing well in all three phases and still come up shortIt's frustrating, but our defense is still not where we need to be. They had 500 yards of offense and scored 42 points. When we get into game where we're scoring 31 points, 38 points, 34 points, we have to start winning some of these games. That's the frustrating part, because when our defense was playing well, they were pretty good. We just had too many lapses and we gave up too many explosive plays.
On Eric MonetteHe's a good player. He's got good size. Their quarterback gave him chances and was very accurate. On the one touchdown throw on the corner route, we had a guy about to hit him on a blitz and he made a great throw. That's tough to defend. They went to Monette and he made plays. Like I said, at the end of the day, the stats were all very similar. We each had one turnover. We just didn't capitalize on some opportunities.
On possibly kicking a field goal on the last driveNo. We wanted to score and go for two and then go for the onside right there.
On the team's inability to convert in the redzoneIt's dropped balls. We had a drop in the endzone and we had a drop on third down. The dropped balls on those three drives killed us. You don't get those opportunities back.
On possibly challenging the drop by Titus Davis in the endzone on the last driveOur people in the booth looked at the replay and thought that he dropped it. To be quite honest, our league has done a really good job of challenging things and I asked him and he said 'he dropped it'.
On Courtney WilliamsYou just have to build him up. You have to show support because nobody feels worse than Courtney Williams. I've been in football a long time and I've seen guys that have had something like this happen to them and everybody reacts differently. I'm always going to take the road of supporting him and encourage him, pick him up and let him know that that's not the play that cost us the game. There were about 130 other plays in that game where somebody could have made a play. Courtney Williams is a good young man and he's a good football player and nobody feels worse than he does. But we're going to support him.
On Zurlon TiptonI thought Zurlon ran well. It was kind of a quite 100 yards to be honest. It seemed like a lot of his carries were in short yardage situations. Once again, I keep talking about the formula. We got 25 carries to our tailbacks and that's not enough. We need to get to 30, but the way the game unfolded, it ended up not happening. But Zurlon continues to play well.
On whether finishing .500 would be a successful seasonAbsolutely. We just have to get number four right now. That's our goal right now. We have to go to Eastern Michigan next week. It's another rivalry game, a big rivalry game and we want to play well next week. We have to look at today's game tomorrow, critique and move forward. We have a lot of football left and we're looking forward to watching our team get better.
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