Dan Enos was relaxed, funny and easy-going in his press conference after the Akron win Saturday.
But when the Central Michigan head coach was asked how the Western Michigan game is different, his tone sharpened. He became more serious, direct and intense.
Why? Because its Western week.
“People are very passionate about this game,” Enos said. “It’s one of the best rivalry games in the country – it’s intense.”
He also reminded the media, that CMU didn’t play well last week. And Enos said the team will enjoy the Akron win for 30 seconds Sunday before watching film of last year’s game. Those players will see WMU’s Jordan White catch 13 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns as a part of a 44-14 beat down in Kalamazoo.
In the first season, Enos was at CMU in 2010, he beat WMU, one of two Mid-American Conference wins that season, also the last time the Broncos came to Mount Pleasant.
“We know it will be crazy in Mount Pleasant,” WMU Alex Carder said during MAC Media Day this summer in Detroit.
Carder has been injured most of the season and won’t play Saturday – but you could feel the passion from the WMU side of the rivalry before the season even began.
It is not all hatred between the schools.
“Everybody on the team dislikes them, but I love Western,” CMU running back Zurlon Tipton said. “I say that because, when we play them, it makes everyone want to give their all and play their heart outs. And I love that. I love the atmosphere.”
The rivalry continues at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
“We’re going to have to strap it up,” Enos said. “You can take their record and our record and whip them out the door. It’s going to be fun.”