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November 5, 2012Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English spoke to the media on Monday in his weekly MAC teleconference, giving his thoughts about the Chippewas prior to their game in Ypsilanti on Saturday.
On team's performance in 45-14 loss at Ohio
"We kept it close in the first half, but we had some turnovers. We had one really big turnover in the red zone when we had a chance to cut the game to one possession. We gave up one big run just before the half. So right now, we just aren't playing well enough to beat really good teams like Ohio. I also think it was probably our worst performance on special teams. We played an excellent Ohio team and didn't play well enough to win the game. So really, we are moving on to our rivalry game."
On positives he saw against Ohio
"I thought we did move the ball. We moved the ball, but we didn't score enough points as we did move it. We did run the ball good enough to win. We were over four yards per carry. Did a good job there. And we did force turnovers. So those things were positives and with this young team and those other guys that are playing, another positive is that they continue to play and get reps and get better."
On the importance of the rivalry games ahead
"I think it is an awesome opportunity. I think it's fortunate to be able to play rivalry games, to have rivalry games like we do that are noted between the three universities. We just put up new oak lockers in our locker room and the reality is that would not have happened if we didn't win the Michigan MAC last year. One of our most influential donors, some of his chairmen are Western grads or Central grads. So he wants to have some bragging rights too. I think it goes a long way between the alumni, the former players. It's just something that you can get really excited for and I know our team is really excited. We want to play our best and give our very best effort on Saturday. Our coaches are really excited too."
On Central Michigan
I think they are running the ball really, really well. They run two or three backs and they all run the ball hard. Coach has done a good job with his football team. I think they are playing really hard and lost a tough game last week to Western. I think they are playing hard with a lot of energy. His team has gotten much, much better. They have been competitive in all the games. I think as he is putting his program together, that's what you look to see - if your team is competitive. So Dan's team is competitive right now. I like the quarterback; I think he is an excellent quarterback. I like the tight ends and I really like (Titus Davis) at wide receiver. He really stands out because he can make a lot of plays. So I think Central is a scary team to play. I think we have to do our part to show up and really compete and do the things it's going to take to get a win at the end. Because I know Central will do that and I'm really impressed with how hard they play."
On confidence team has after winning against CMU and WMU last year
"You know, I think this team is so much different. It's just a lot different. We are playing with a lot of different personnel, guys that didn't really play a lot last year. It's kind of evolved particularly as the season has gone along and we are playing more young guys. I don't know if that really helps us. What I try to do is teach our guys what rivalry games are all about. The ebbs and flows of them and that it can be an emotional roller coaster. You look at the game last week and I tried to tell them that Central was way ahead and Western ends up coming back. In fact, Central was ahead in the fourth quarter with five minutes to go. I tell them about last year how we were up 28-7 and Central comes back to tie it before we ended up winning that game. If you can understand how rivalry games work, that they are highly competitive and there are a lot of ebbs and flows. That you cannot get too emotionally caught up in one play, then you have a chance."
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