11-19 MAC teleconference quotes from CMU coach Dan Enos, Umass coach Charley Molnar
Quotes from CMU head coach Dan Enos:
On the 30-16 victory over Miami:
"Well, we had our final game at home so we were certainly excited to be able to have our seniors end their career here at Kelly/Shorts Stadium with a win. We had a lot of good performances out of a lot of different people. We ended up running the ball pretty effectively, we won the turnover margin. We had some pretty good special teams play and I thought it was a really good team win."
On thoughts going to UMass:
"I know they are a football team that continues to get better every week. I've been impressed with their football team on video from what I've watched so far."
On keys for success versus UMass:
"I think first and foremost, we have to win the turnover margin. Obviously, it's a key every game. But with us and our formula, it's how we win. That's a pretty key ingredient. Also, our ability to run the football. If we can take care of the football and run it effectively, we should be alright. It's very important that we play with a lot of effort and toughness. It's important that we be a (strong) football team in all three phases."
On the positive changes CMU has made in winning its last two games:
"We have a lot of young players that are still playing in our program and I think gaining experience helps every week. I think the other key is that offensively we've been able to stop turning the ball over these last several games. We've been able to keep them to a minimum. I also think we've gotten much more consistent play out of our defense."
On whether he is using the chance at a bowl game as motivation:
"I think to get to .500 and to be bowl eligible is something that is very important to our team. Yes, we've talked about that. But more importantly, we've talked about winning our last game. There's nothing guaranteed past this one and we understand that. This is the only game guaranteed to us and we want to make sure we play very well."
On his thoughts about his seniors playing their final game at Kelly/Shorts Stadium this past Saturday:
"I feel it was a very emotional day for our players and to be able to see them and their families before the game. It's why you coach, to have an impact on people. It's really neat to see these guys come along the last couple of years. The maturity of these young men these last couple years has been amazing. We talk about it all the time as coaches how far these guys have come with their live. The other thing is that they are going to be moving onto the next phase of their lives pretty soon and it's exciting for them. It's exciting for us to watch them and I know they are going to be successful because they are really, really good people."
Quotes from UMass head coach Charley Molnar:
On what he sees out of CMU:
"Number one, looking at their offense.... they have three really, really good football players. Number one is their quarterback, Ryan Radcliff. Each year as the starter he has gotten better and better. They have two receivers. The one guy, Cody Wilson, he reminds us in Massachusetts of Wes Welker. He's quick, he's got great hands when receiving the football, he's dynamic with the football in his hands. He's really impressive. Then the running back (Zurlon Tipton) is big, he's rushed for over 1,000 yards. He's like an NFL running back back there. They've got a very good offensive line, a good running back, and certainly Dan has done a good job of putting together his kind of offense and gotten his kind of people in place. It's going to be a real challenge for us. Then on defense, the one guy that really sticks out to us is the safety Jahleel Addae. He's around the ball all the time. Every play you look and see him there. So we've got our work cut out for us Friday, no question about it."
On the transition from the FCS to the FBS:
"Well, I knew the transition was going to be difficult. Any time you take a group of young men from one level of football to a higher level, there are going to be some growing pains. I think from an administrative standpoint, we were ready for the move. They knew what the commitment had to be from that end. But the players, I don't think they had any idea. I don't think they had any idea about the stadiums they were going to be walking into, the caliber of competition. They had played some guaranteed games in the past, so they knew what big-time football looked like in the stadiums. But I don't think they expected this kind of competition on the field. When you go and play any of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference versus any of the other guaranteed games, the level of competition is going to be almost the same. The venues are a little bit smaller and the crowds are a little smaller, but the competition on the field there's not much difference. I think that was a real eye-opener for them. Some of our guys were recruited as FCS players and haven't been developed yet to their maximum physical potential. They have a ways to go. We're a young football team and quite frankly we've been mismatched some games. That's just the way it is. But we are a hard-working group of guys. We work really hard in the weight room and some guys have made some miraculous gains. We're hoping the rest of the team can catch up so we are ready for 2013."
On the keys versus Central Michigan:
"Offensively, they are very diverse. In my mind, they have two really good receivers in addition to the big running back. So we need to stop the run without committing so many guys that we get shredded in the pass game. That balance on defense is critical. The guys need to make sure they play their gaps, they are gap sound. Don't try to do too much, just try to do their job and stay under control. Then of course on offense, we just have to sustain drives. We don't have to score every series, it'd be sure nice if we could. But we need to use the clock. I think what really hurt us against Buffalo is that we were just worn out. Our defense was just on the field too much. So if we are able to sustain drives offensively and we are sure capable of doing that, we'll have a shot. We need to do better with our pass protection and not have breakdowns. We need to make sure we are assessing our schemes throughout the game. Make sure we have the right guys fitted in the right places. Of course, we have to make plays. We have to have our quarterback be a little more precise against the pass defense. Just the normal things that every football team needs to do. Those will be the keys for us Friday."