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September 24, 2013

Enos: 'We have to continue to get better'

Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos addressed the media in the weekly MAC teleconference on Monday. Enos discussed the loss to Toledo and the upcoming trip to N.C. State.

On the conference opening loss to Toledo:

"This Saturday, we had a beautiful day at Central and it was 'Traditions Day.' We wore throwback jerseys and were very classy. We brought in a very tough opponent in Toledo. I thought at times we played very well, but it was not good enough to win. 21-14 at halftime and 24-17 at the start of the fourth quarter. We weren't able to hang on. The biggest thing on offense was that we had 23 first downs, our tailbacks ran for 156 yards and our freshman quarterback turned the ball over four times. When you play a team like Toledo, who is so explosive on offense and scored on defense, we threw an interception that set up another score, when you play a team like that, you cannot give them the short field. Terrance Owens came off the bench and played well. He was banged up and came out and played well, I have to give him credit. At the end of the day, we had four turnovers and [Toledo] had one. Not very many times will you beat a team with a minus-3 turnover margin. We have to build off the things that we did well; I thought we ran the ball effectively, I thought our offensive line and tight ends did a good job handling [Toledo's] front-seven and we have to continue to build off that. I thought at times our defense played well, but other times in the second half, we did not. We were a little banged up, but we have no excuses. We have to continue to get better and play better each week."

On coaching against former NIU (now NC State) head coach Dave Doeren:

"I think there will be some similarities; I know Matt Canada will be the offensive coordinator, he was with him until he left for Wisconsin. They have a new defensive coordinator too. So there will be some similarities, but not much. They are a different football team and program; they have different coaches on the sidelines. Dave is an outstanding coach and always has his team ready to play."

On an Injury update with Cody Kater and Zurlon Tipton:

"Zurlon, from what I hear from a medical standpoint, right now is out for the season. I don't see him returning unless he makes outstanding progress. Cody Kater, I feel like is a few weeks away."

On a medical redshirt for Tipton

"That is a possibility. That is something he and his family are in the process of discussing. That's something you wouldn't need to apply or do the paperwork for until the season was over. That is definitely one of his options at this point."

On expecting the Wildcat from Toledo:

"Yes, we didn't handle it very well. We got blocked."

On how to keep the team's morale high:

"We have to just build on the positives. There were some things we did well. We had a freshman quarterback turn the ball over four times, and at the end of the day I think that was the key to the game. Our senior leadership and junior leadership are at the forefront and we have to be positive in the locker room and be positive to our players. One good quarter or one good game can turn that all around, and we have to wait until that moment."

On Saylor Lavallii's emergence:

"Saylor is from Mason, Mich. When I was an assistant at MSU, it was a town that I lived in. I was very familiar with Mason's football program over the years. To be quite honest with you, Saylor was not very high on our radar his junior year. His coach called me on the phone personally and said 'Hey Dan, I think we have a Division 1 player right here and you should take a look at him.' I respect coach's decision, so we got tape on him and we liked him, and invited him to our camp and he performed very well. Then we got into recruiting battle with a few of the other Mid-American schools and were able to land him. He's a tough guy, good student, great family, blue-collar type of player. He played last year as a true freshman and was really our second back the last four games of the year, with Zurlon as our number one. Now Saylor has been thrust into that role and he's played very well.

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