Football team hasn’t taken full advantage of Zurlon Tipton
The Central Michigan football team has trailed in many of its games for the 2012 season which has meant lots of pass attempts by senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff.
Unfortunately, the Chippewas best offensive weapon might be its running back.
Through eight games this season, junior running back Zurlon Tipton has carried the ball 100 times, gained 628 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He is averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
“We want to give him the ball 35 times a game,” head coach Dan Enos said. “That’s the formula when we start; sometimes the game doesn’t dictate that but we want to get him the ball. Somehow, someway, we want to get him out in space. He’s a good player and he’s getting better. We expect him to continue to get better. “
Tipton is tenth in the Mid-American Conference in rushing, despite having no more than 17 carries in a single game this season. Enos said when he does run, he’s done very well, including Saturday against Ball State.
“I thought he ran very hard today and broke tackles,” he said. “I thought he had one of his best games of the year.”
Tipton was off to a good start as the featured running back last season, but only played in seven games due to injury. This season, as a junior, he’s playing the best football of his career at CMU.
“He’s really matured quite a bit since I’ve been here, both as a person and a player,” Enos said. “When guys play well, it’s because they practice well. We just need to keep getting him the ball and good things will happen.”
After Saturday’s loss, Tipton was asked if it’s frustrating not getting carries even when he’s being effective.
“Whatever they feel like I should get is what I get,” he said. “I’m not hoping I get a certain number of carries, but I just try and do the best I can with the plays I get. As a player, you want the ball in your hands. Unfortunately, when you’re down, you can’t run the ball as much as you want to because we have to score quickly. You have to win the game. So if passing is what does that, I’m all for it.”
Tipton will look to continue his strong play when he and the Chippewas host Akron Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
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