10-22 MAC teleconference quotes from CMU's Dan Enos, Akron's Terry Bowden
Overall thoughts on 41-30 loss to Ball State:
"I really think it comes down to two things. Our inability to come away with points in the red zone three times. We missed a field goal, we had an interception, and we had a fumble. We didn't get points on any of those turns and then obviously with the way the game goes those turned out to be crucial mistakes. When you are playing an offense like Ball State's, when you have to ball and need to possess it we have to get points. So that was a bit disappointing. And then our inability to stop the run. I thought they did a very good job of running the football. They were persistent with it. Their offensive line did a very good job and we had trouble consistently stopping the run. Usually when that happens, you aren't going to come out on the good end of the deal."
On the keys to being successful in the red zone:
"The thing you have to point out, the first time down there we missed a field goal. So that's a field goal. The next time down there it was third-and-3, (Radcliff) hit a receiver (Courtney Williams) right in the chest and he tried to grab it, it hit him again and it went to the defender. So the quarterback did what he was supposed to do, you just have to catch the football and it's going to be first-and-goal at that point. And then the next time down there, we had an open receiver and the quarterback didn't pull the trigger. Instead of throwing the ball away and giving us a fourth down and a chance to kick a field goal, he tried to make a play and the defensive lineman ended up stripping the ball from him. Their guy made a good play, but he was indecisive. So we talked to him about being very decisive, making a decision, and at least give us a chance to call a fourth down play. We always talk about ending every drive with a kick, so give us a chance to end every drive with a kick. Meaning a PAT, a field goal, or a punt. At that particular point, it would have been going for it on fourth-and-three or we've got to kick a field goal at that time and we obviously didn't get that opportunity. So you point out the mistakes and you continue to move forward."
Impressions of Akron and head coach Terry Bowden's first year running the program:
"I think they are a very well-coached bunch and they play very hard. They do a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. I've been very impressed with watching them thus far. He's an outstanding coach and their guys play hard. So they're doing a real good job and I'm sure they'll continue to get better. I know we're going to face a real good team this Saturday and I know there isn't a lot of difference between their team and our team. So it should be a hard-fought, very competitive contest and we're going to have to play really well to win."
The keys offensively against Akron:
"Run the ball and don't turn it over. That simple."
About CMU senior wide receiver Cody Wilson:
"He is a great player. He comes to practice every day and works extremely hard. A receiver basically has two jobs - get open and catch the ball. He does that. He gets open and when the ball gets thrown to him, he catches it. He's a competitor. He understands how to run routes and he loves playing. He loves game day. We feel really good about our whole receiving corps and Cody is the leader of that group. He's just an amazing player for the three years that I've been here. He has done an outstanding job."
A couple quotes from Akron head coach Terry Bowden:
Assessing his team's performance in its 37-7 loss to Northern Illinois:
"We hung around as long as we could. When you turn the ball over and make the mistakes we made, we've had a bad (habit) of spotting people 10 or 14 points early in the first five or seven minutes and then try to catch up. We're not that kind of team. That's the difference between what winners do and teams that aren't accustomed to winning. Turnovers, defense, special teams, and things like that.But the bottom line is we played a great football team. There is a reason Northern Illinois has won 20 straight conference games and 16 out of its last 17 games. They were the better football team. And one thing especially is that they are such a strong running team that they overpower you in the second half. That's what they've done to their other opponents and that's what they did to us. For a half, we held them here and there. It was still 13-7 late in the first half, but they just overwhelmed us in the second half. But the great thing about this football team is that guys come here, they know what they faced last Saturday, and they are ready to go. They know they've got a Central Michigan team that is going through some of the adversity that we are. So it's like, here is the next game and both teams are looking at it as a possibility of a win. I see our seniors, we're going to learn from our past losses and mistakes. We're going to grow as a football team. This is a great week to do that again."
Thoughts on Central Michigan's defense:
"They are like our defense. They don't have the depth of size, they've had trouble stopping people defensively. Man, if you don't stop people you are in ballgames and it puts pressure on your offense. We've had a lot of injuries and lack of depth on ours and they're facing a lot of the same thing. They've played a very tough schedule, they haven't had the game out there where they said, 'Oh, I wish we'd played good. If we play our best, we win.' I don't know if they've had too many games like that. I think their biggest change is like ours, where if their defense stands up they win. But they lack the depth on defense, just like us."
On Akron's running back situation:
"(Jawon Chisholm) banged up his wrist on the kickoff, so he didn't play at all in the second half . He didn't really carry the ball much at all in the first half. We tried to see if he could go. It looks like he'll be ok to go (Saturday), he's gotten treatment. But he just couldn't hang onto the football. It was really bothering him after he got hit in the hand. So we went with Quentin Hines, then Conor Hundley stepped up and did a good job. 53 yards on 16 carries, 18 more on a catch. We don't have any indications yet that Jawon Chisholm won't go. He needs to be healthy, because when he is healthy he is a big part of our offense."
On close teams his squad has played and if they are close to getting over the hump:
"You'd like to think that. There is a thin line between winning and losing. We've played two of the top teams in the conference the last two weeks. If just keep working, I think you'll get over that hump. There are some things we can't solve with strategy here. There are some things we're going to have to solve with recruiting and development and all those things. Whether or not we're over the hump, we have a long ways to go to be at the top echelon of this conference. But I do believe that if you get over that hump and win, it can lead to other wins. I don't think the snowball comes immediately because we are building so much of our foundation and the depth at our positions. I don't know if you can put together as much as you want right away, but if you have two or three good years of recruiting, you pop over that edge and those losses start turning into wins. Right now, we just have to take it one game at a time. Right now, we have a lack of depth at certain positions. But I do know we have a great attitude. Keep at it, keep the great attitude, and play for four quarters. Eventually, you'll pop a few wins."