CMU head coach Dan Enos addressed the media this week prior to his team's trip to Las Vegas, talking about Cooper Rush's first start at quarterback and what UNLV does well.
"They've played good teams. Arizona is outstanding. One thing both of the teams they played did was make a lot of plays with their quarterback run-game and that's something we won't be able to create. It's going to be a whole different type of game. I think they are very good on defensive, very big. They will present a lot of challenges for us."
On playing against another spread-type team:
"Everybody has some [spread] in their system. We have some [spread] in ours. I think it's going to help prepare us for our conference: Toledo, NIU, etc. We are definitely up for the challenge."
On Cooper Rush's preparation:
"I think he'll prepare the exact same way. When you're the third string guy, it's a little different, but when you're the second string guy, you know you're one play away from your opportunity. I'm sure it will be very similar in how he does prepare. He's a guy who, when he was being redshirted would always score very high on their tests; knew the game plan and was very studious."
On the difficulty of having third different game plan for a third different quarterback:
"It's challenging. You try to hone in what you're trying to do to their strengths. It becomes difficult. The problem is throughout the weeks, going through three different game plans. We're going to try to hone in on the things that Cooper [Rush] does well and hopefully he can be our starting quarterback for a while."
On the importance of the passing game opening up the running game:
"I think it really helps. When you're a one-dimensional team, I don't care who you play, they are going to be able to load the box on you. You have to keep people off-balance. I think in the second half we did that. We had [New Hampshire] on their toes and we did a nice job at mixing up the passes and play-actions and making the throws, and next thing you know, we were hitting some runs. I think they go hand-in-hand."
On the status of Alex Niznak:
"I think Alex is fine. This is a very humbling game, whether if you're a player, a coach, anything. It's humbling. Right when you think you got things figured out, you get a dose of reality. [Alex] was very good Sunday, he was good [Monday], and was very good today. He was into it, he's hardworking and has a very good support system. I know he will bounce back and I told him we haven't lost confidence in him. He has to continue to get better and the next time he gets his opportunity, he has to make the most of it."
On what went wrong for Niznak against New Hampshire:
"It wasn't all him. There were some protection issues and we couldn't run the ball. We were a little bit snake-bit. We were out of sync a little bit. I thought he played a little tentative and that's why we made the change."
On timing issues between the quarterback and receiver, since you're starting a third different quarterback this week:
"They work together so much in the summer. One thing that I'm glad now, that we did then, was during two-a-days we worked all three quarterbacks with the ones. Cooper had the opportunity to throw to Titus Davis, Courtney Williams, Andrew Flory, and all of them. In hindsight that was something good that we did. We didn't limit the reps to one person; we gave them all an opportunity."
On playing at UNLV:
"I think it's going to be a challenge. It's going to be a great opportunity for us to go to that part of the country. A lot of guys have not been to that part of the country. It's a business trip for us. We'll get there in the evening on Friday and leave right after the game to come home. It's another opportunity for us to get a chance to play a team that we normally wouldn't play and it's going to be a great challenge. I think it's going to be a great game to help us prepare for league play."
On the Rush-Lavallii backfield relationship:
"I thought Saylor played pretty well on Saturday. He needs to get better. He's a guy who I thought got better as the game went on. When he was in high school, [Mason HS] would give the ball to him 35 times and he'd get better as the game went on. Those guys are buddies. Saylor is from Mason and Cooper is from Charlotte. They have some good chemistry."
On the team's short yardage play against New Hampshire:
"The first play was on the coaches. We made the wrong call on things [NH] had dialed up. We had three short yardage plays. Saylor had a short yardage play that could've been huge, but he made the wrong cut. The third one, we converted. But that's exactly what happened on those first two plays."
On any injuries:
"Andrew Flory practiced today. Jake Olson hurt his wrist and he's questionable to play Saturday."
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