October 16, 2010

Postgame Quotes: Miami (OH)

It wasn't the way the game was supposed to end. Heck, It hasn't even been the start Central Michigan envisioned for their 20100 campaign, but make no mistake CMU's 27-20 loss to Miami (OH) in the final seconds on Saturday was a monumental loss. The Chippewas are out of the MAC Championship race for the first time since 2004 and sitting a 2-5 overall means a fifth consecutive bowl game is a looking nearly unattainable.

After the disappointing loss on Saturday, CMU head coach Dan Enos, quarterback Ryan Radcliff and linebacker Nick Bellore addressed members of the media.


Opening Statement

"Obviously very, very disappointing. You have to give credit to Miami though, they made plays when they needed to and their quarterback played very well. It was a total team loss, we gave up 500 yards of total offense, fumbled on the one, missed a field goal, and didn't execute when we needed to."

On the 71 yard touchdown pass to a wide open receiver for Miami (OH) to win the game in the final seconds

"Yeah we were in Tampa 2 and the safety came down with the scramble rule, and we go into the scramble the corner goes into a man situation, and the corner came down and started chasing the quarterback, and the guy went down the field. Freshman corner, Avery Cunningham. Not blaming him, but he's going to have to learn and we're playing some young guys back there. But he's going to be a real good player for us in the future."

On CMU's inability to punch it in the endzone on their last two scoring drives, and having to settle for field goals instead

"I think our biggest thing is our lack of ability to run the ball. You know when you get down there the field shrinks, and you don't have the same spacing with your passing game, so it really forces you to make tight throws or just run the ball. So it was our inability to run at that time in my opinion, that's how I felt on the sidelines."

On Miami (OH) quarterback Zac Dysert who threw for 399 yards and 3 touchdowns

"I watched that young man last year in about four different games during the offseason, and I thought he was a pretty good player. Then I put in this year's tape, and he's dramatically improved. He's a very good player. He sits in that pocket, he's very poised and he had unbelievable time to throw the ball, which we helped with that. But he's a very good player and he's the best one we've played against in my opinion."

On his team's struggles to run the ball and the impact it had on Radcliff as a quarterback

"The run game, I have to be honest with you one of our goals was we wanted to be able to run the ball today, and we still gave it to Paris Cotton 15 times, Carl Volny 5, and we were trying to be persistent with it, but as you start to go through the game and you're not producing there, it's tough to keep calling those plays. We try to, and I'll have to look at the tap, but in my opinion we're not getting it done inside like we need to. And we'll have to take a look at the personnel in there for the next game, so we're going to take a real hard long look at it in film. And I think it does hurt Ryan, I look at the stats right now and 52 attempts…that's not what we want to be. We want to be 35 or 38 attempts, somewhere in there, and have 30 rushing attempts from our tailbacks."

On this loss on top of all the team's previous close losses and the immediate impact it's had on the team

"Oh guys are frustrated, I'll tell you that. Guys are frustrated, coaches are, and my job is to make sure we can learn from this and move on. But it's wearing on them…our older players a little bit too. But like I told them, this is a team loss, coaches and players, and we just have to keep going and come back because we have a very talented team to play next week."

On whether CMU is missing a leader or a player to step up and make plays

"Football is such a team game, guys have to do their job and 11 guys on offense need to do their job and 11 guys on defense, and I know that's cliché, but I really don't know if one player can make a difference. Every once in awhile maybe a guy can step up and make a plays, like maybe their quarterback (Zac Dysert) was that guy today. He was scrambling around and making plays, even on their one touchdown drive to end the game it was like 3rd and 15, and there's nobody open and he runs out of the pocket and makes a pass, that's how you score touchdowns, guys make plays on third down. Maybe he is that guy for them, and maybe we don't have that guy, that's a good analogy. We have a young quarterback that's just trying to find his way and he's doing some good things, and he has to improve on some things. But we feel good about him and we think he has a chance to be real good, maybe if you as the Miami (OH) coaches they would say the same thing about Zac Dysert last year. They may say last year he was lacking in some areas, and now he's a different guy, and he's making some of those plays now. I know this…watching him on the field and everything, he's very confident."

On how disappointing this loss was in the broad spectrum

"Very disappointing. At home, homecoming, family day, whatever it is, it hurts. We work hard, we all work hard, and everybody is disappointed. When we had our crystal ball before the season started, we didn't think this is where we would be after seven games. But it's adversity, and we're going to step up and move forward."

On whether these losses are taking a toll on Radcliff's confidence

"I was worried about him last week a little bit. After we played Ball State in what I thought was his worst performance, we were going to Virginia Tech and we watched those guys on film and it really wasn't the type of team to get your quarterbacks confidence back. But I thought he did a good job last week. Even though he didn't make all the plays he wanted, I really liked the look in his eye and him talking to the team, and I think he got better. This week he was doing to same thing in the huddle, I saw him grab a guy and get firm with a couple of guys and that's what he has to do."


On the loss to Miami (OH)

"Well..it's not good because it was kind of a pivotal point in our season. Before this game we were still able to achieve a lot of the goals we had set and still be able to challenge for the MAC, but now we probably can't."

On CMU's struggles running the ball
"The plan was to be balanced, and sometimes you get put in positions where you're not going to be able to do some things. And I think that's what happened today, we were behind pretty much all game and it was just catch up, catch up, and that led to me throwing the ball quite a bit."

On CMU's inability to score touchdowns in the red zone

"You know I honestly don't know, but we need to figure it out because we're taking too many field goals down there and not getting in the endzone."

On where his confidence is at

"There are always positives, but nobody likes to lose you know, and I don't know, I'm not really too worried about that, I'm more worried about where the team is at. We just need to keep fighting regardless. We still have five games ahead of us and by no means is the season over."


On whether the team is lacking something small to get them over the hump

"I think defensively we're just making dumb mistakes. I think we'll play good ¾ of the time, and then as you see we just give up huge plays. And I think that is something that we did in my first two seasons here, and we had an awful defense despite having Red Keith, Ike Brown and all those guys. But we just kept making mistakes and hurting ourselves, and that's what we did today. You can't have that. You can't let a guy go, you can't miss tackles here and there, and that's what we've been doing lately."

On the toll all these close losses have taken on him as senior

"It's been rough because we've been spoiled the last three years. We were an exciting team to watch because we always seemed to win the close games, whether it be really lucky or just making the right plays. And we don't have that this year. I guess we have to win games more decisively because we can't win a close game like this. We don't have guys making field goals repeatedly, we're missing tackles on defense, we're not executing in any phase of the game, and you can't win like that."

On how surprised he was to see a wide open wide receiver on Miami (OH)'s game winning touchdown

"It was shocking. But the play broke down and we've got to get him down and stay on them in coverage. Just kind of a messed up play."

On the state of the team right now sitting a 2-5 overall

"Everyone is really disappointed, but we can still make a bowl game, and as a senior that's what I want to do. As a senior, I can't go to Detroit now (MAC Championship site), at least I don't think there is a chance, which is tough enough to take. We have a lot to play for this season, and we can still turn this around, you know 7-5 gets you to a bowl game, and that's what we do here is go to bowl games. So if we can stop talking about it and start doing it, then I think we'll be fine."

On whether injuries are taking a toll on the team

"Yeah, you look around practice and you see a lot of red jerseys out there. It's just a physical sport, I wouldn't attribute it to anything specifically, I would just attribute it to bad luck I guess."

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