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November 20, 2013

Enos: 'I expect a big challenge this week'

Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos spoke with the media this week, addressing the upcoming matchup with UMass and reflecting on the win over archrival Western Michigan.

On the WMU win:

"As we all know, that's a huge game for our school as well as (for WMU). It's a great rivalry game. We had a great crowd and atmosphere and it was a very exciting game. It was back and forth for most of the game and I felt like both teams played very well. We were very fortunate to come out with a victory."

On getting the running game going early on against WMU:

"Yeah that was big for us. We felt that we needed to get off to a good start and we were able to do that. We had a 14-6 halftime lead and Western Michigan came back and took the lead. I thought our guys were very resilient and played hard. I can't say enough about the way our defense played and how our defensive coaches had them prepared. Zurlon Tipton had 29 carries in a game and most people thought he was done for the year two weeks ago. Titus Davis had nine catches for over 100 yards again, and he played huge for us, especially on third down. I thought those were the keys to the game. And being 10-for-14 on third down, offensively, helped us keep our defense off the field."

On Tipton's comeback:

"Yeah I was very happy for him. After he had the surgery early in the year, he and I had a lot of conversations. His goal was to come back and play against Ball State. He wanted to play a little bit, but really wanted to be ready to play against Western Michigan. Sometimes things don't work out the way you want them, but this time things worked out for Zurlon. He got his feet wet a little bit against Ball State, and this week he got 29 carries. He ran hard, and our team needed him. Zurlon and I have a very good relationship and a real good honest relationship. He would have told me if [his injury] was bothering him. It bothered him for a few minutes in the game. He came out and felt right back to normal and went right back in the game. He brings a lot more to our team than just what you see on the field; he's a great leader as well."

Thoughts on UMass:

"I think their tight end is outstanding and their quarterback is playing well. They do a good job at getting their tight end the ball. We played them last year in the final game of the year and I was impressed by them at that point. I am impressed by them this year so far. I think they are playing better and better as a team. Defensively, they play a lot of quarters coverage and their corners press and challenge your receivers. They play with a lot of guys in the box to stop the run game. They present a lot of issues for you. I see a team that plays with great effort, very well coached, and I expect a big challenge this week."

On Tony Annese's game against WMU:

"Well Tony made a big play. He's got good size and he's tough and he played very tough at the end of the game. We didn't like the way we were playing, so we put him and he gave us a spark in the fourth quarter of the game. He played very physical and we gave him an opportunity. He made the most of it and he played very well, but he still has a long way to go. He's got a bright future and he's the kind of guy who plays with a lot of effort and toughness. He's going to make us all better."

On if this season mirror last season, in terms of winning-out to make bowl game

"Yeah a lot of people have asked me about that. And each season is different. We're 3-3 in the league and we want to get to 4-3 in the league. It's very important to our players. You just have to take the games one at a time. In November, the games are huge. The games are huge all year, but in November they have the most magnitude, in my opinion. We have a great opportunity to get our fifth win and we have to prepare like we did last week in order to get it."

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