Here is what Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos and Eastern Michigan coach Ron English had to say during this morning's MAC teleconference.
Coach Enos quotes:
On team's performance in 42-31 loss to Western Michigan:
"Well, obviously we didn't win so we're not too happy about that. We're very disappointed that we had a nine-point lead and we had a fourth-quarter lead at one point that we lost. Then we came back and took another lead in the fourth quarter. We just weren't able to hang on. We gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter, which is just not acceptable. Early in the game we had a dropped third down pass and missed a field goal. Then we had another dropped pass in the end zone and had to end up kicking a field goal. Later in the game, we had another drop in the end zone as well. We still ended up having over 500 yards offensively, but we felt we had room to get a lot more. More importantly, we felt we left 10-14 points out there. Ultimately, that was the difference in the game and you have to give (Western) credit because when they had a chance to capitalize on their opportunities they did that."
On 200-plus day of sophomore wide receiver Titus Davis and what he means to the program:
"He had 10 catches for 208 yards and had a couple drops. He could have had maybe 250 or 300. But he's a great player and works hard. He's a very explosive player. Cody Wilson had another good day and our quarterback threw for almost 400 yards. Western Michigan played a lot of man coverage and Titus did a great job working his routes all afternoon. Again, we had some explosive plays and he is an outstanding player. His work ethic and his things he does off the field make him an even better player, because he is a great person and tough. There is not one aspect of his game that he does not work at. He works at everything. And he's only been here about a year and two months, so we think as time goes on he is going to get better and better."
On continued strong effort from junior running back Zurlon Tipton:
"He's had three in a row over 100. He's a good player and that helps us remain balanced with what we do. Offensively, the formula was there last week. We had over 500 yards and spread the ball around. We used a lot of different receivers. We had tight ends catch balls. Cody Wilson had seven catches, Titus had 10. Zurlon had two catches and rushed for 100 yards. We just have to finish drives, finish on third down and finish games. But Zurlon is a guy who is approaching the 1,000-yard mark and we have three games left. I said this last week, for the first time he is putting together a whole season. We want to keep him going and get him the ball. Give him 20-25-30 touches if we can this week and continue to do that for the remainder of our games."
On challenges EMU sophomore QB Tyler Benz and sophomore RB Bronson Hill present:
"They are very good players and I have a lot of respect for Ron (English) and his program. He does a good job of getting those guys ready to play every week. He is an outstanding coach and a good person. They've done a good job of recruiting and getting his guys in there. The tailback and quarterback are very good. Their offensive line is tough and physical. They run the ball very well. They are very well-coached on both sides of the ball. It's a rivalry game, another rivalry game for us. We have to pick our emotions back up and get ready to move. The guys yesterday had a great attitude and we're looking forward to this game. It's going to be a great environment against an opponent who is well-coached. Again, it's another in-state rivalry so we'll have to be ready to go because I know they are going to be."
On the keys matching up against EMU's defense:
"We have to stay balanced. We have to be able to run the football and stay multiple in our personnel groupings and formations. Again, keep making them defend the entire field and all of our eligible receivers. We have to keep throwing the ball to the tight ends and keep using our wide receivers. Then again, when we run the ball we have to be effective with it. At the end of the day, these games come down to turnovers and which offensive line handles the other team's defensive line better. This game this week is going to be no different."
On the message to his football team heading into Ypsilanti:
"The message is to find a way to win. Anything that we need to do preparation-wise this week we have to do it. We have a 24-hour rule that after you win or lose, in 24 hours you have to move on. Our guys have already done that. We have already put all our focus into this game. We want to get on the road and play a great game on the road. Again, it's an in-state rival and a very important game for our football program. We just want to keep getting better and improving and working on our techniques and fundamentals every day.
Coach English quotes:
On team's performance in 45-14 loss at Ohio:
"We kept it close in the first half, but we had some turnovers. We had one really big turnover in the red zone when we had a chance to cut the game to one possession. We gave up one big run just before the half. So right now, we just aren't playing well enough to beat really good teams like Ohio. I also think it was probably our worst performance on special teams. We played an excellent Ohio team and didn't play well enough to win the game. So really, we are moving on to our rivalry game."
On positives he saw against Ohio:
we did move the ball. We moved the ball, but we didn't score enough points as we did move it. We did run the ball good enough to win. We were over four yards per carry. Did a good job there. And we did force turnovers. So those things were positives and with this young team and those other guys that are playing, another positive is that they continue to play and get reps and get better."
On the importance of the rivalry games ahead:
"I think it is an awesome opportunity. I think it's fortunate to be able to play rivalry games, to have rivalry games like we do that are noted between the three universities. We just put up new oak lockers in our locker room and the reality is that would not have happened if we didn't win the Michigan MAC last year. One of our most influential donors, some of his chairmen are Western grads or Central grads. So he wants to have some bragging rights too. I think it goes a long way between the alumni, the former players. It's just something that you can get really excited for and I know our team is really excited. We want to play our best and give our very best effort on Saturday. Our coaches are really excited too."
On challenges he sees CMU presenting:
I think they are running the ball really, really well. They run two or three backs and they all run the ball hard. Coach has done a good job with his football team. I think they are playing really hard and lost a tough game last week to Western. I think they are playing hard with a lot of energy. His team has gotten much, much better. They have been competitive in all the games. I think as he is putting his program together, that's what you look to see - if your team is competitive. So Dan's team is competitive right now. I like the quarterback, I think he is an excellent quarterback. I like the tight ends and I really like #84 (Titus Davis) at wide receiver. He really stands out because he can make a lot of plays. So I think Central is a scary team to play. I think we have to do our part to show up and really compete and do the things it's going to take to get a win at the end. Because I know Central will do that and I'm really impressed with how hard they play."
On confidence team has after winning against CMU and WMU last year:
"You know, I think this team is so much different. It's just a lot different. We are playing with a lot of different personnel, guys that didn't really play a lot last year. It's kind of evolved particularly as the season has gone along that we are playing more and more younger guys. I don't know if that really helps us. What I try to do is teach our guys what rivalry games are all about. The ebbs and flows of them and that it can be an emotional roller coaster. You look at the game last week and I tried to tell them that Central was way ahead and Western ends up coming back. In fact, Central was ahead in the fourth quarter with five minutes to go. I tell them about last year how we were up 28-7 and Central comes back to tie it before we ended up winning that game. If you can understand how rivalry games work, that they are highly competitive and there are a lot of
ebbs and flows. That you cannot get too emotionally caught up in one play, then you have a chance."