Don’t let Western beat you twice.
That has been the message for the Central Michigan football team this week as it prepares to play Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Ypsilanti.
Sophomore wide receiver Titus Davis said head coach Dan Enos told the team that after the Western Michigan game in preparation for EMU.
“Coming off an emotional game, you don’t want the effects to linger on,” Enos said. “The game has been played and over with, and we have a big rivalry game this week, so we can’t have that affect us.”
Enos said Tuesday he thought his team did a good job putting the loss behind them in preparation for EMU.
Davis received the coach’s message loud and clear.
“That was a disappointing loss, but we’re trying to keep high hopes and practice going good,” he said. “We can’t dwell on the loss; we have to keep working to beat Eastern.”
After being a dormant Mid-American Conference program for years, EMU went 6-6 last year, creating hype entering 2012. A 1-8 season so far has the Eagles back down as the MAC bottom dweller.
Enos said the Eagles game is just as big a rivalry as WMU. EMU head coach Ron English is 1-1 against Enos as a head coach. The two also met as assistants in the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry before taking head coaching jobs.
“Ron English has been a defensive coach his whole career; his defense is always very prepared,” Enos said. “I like their defensive line, and their corners get after it. Last year, I thought they were maybe the best defense in our league.”
Davis has eight touchdowns and 831 yards this season as the CMU leading receiver and deep threat. He credits his success lately to seeing a lot of man coverage.
“When coach calls my number with man coverage, I know I’ve got to win that battle; that’s my mindset,” he said. “(EMU) runs a lot of man, so I’m excited.”
Offensively, English has tried to establish the run – something CMU has taken note of.
“They love to pound the ball, that’s all I see from them,” CMU senior cornerback Anthony Young said. “I love to hit. My job is to make tackles, and I’m glad I’ll be able to have a chance to hit.”
With three games remaining, CMU would need to win-out to crawl to 6-6 and become bowl eligible for the first time under Enos.
Davis said that goal is still out there, but, right now, the team is just focused on winning one game and not letting the WMU game stick with them.
“That’s been our theme of the week,” Young said. “Don’t let Western beat us twice.”