Head football coach Dan Enos has made it known he’s not huge on freshmen playing a ton.
Even so, it’s happened quite a bit throughout the 2012 season. On Saturday, it turned out to be a good thing.
One of the young guys, redshirt freshman wide receiver Andrew Flory, caught nine passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in Central Michigan’s 34-31 win over Eastern Michigan.
Flory played because of an injury to the leading Chippewas receiver, Titus Davis.
Before Saturday’s game, Flory had just three catches for 55 yards and no touchdowns in limited playing time.
“I’ve been trying to stay mentally ready, because I know my number could be called anytime throughout this year,” Flory said. “Titus and I have been going back and forth in practice all year. He’s having a hell of a year, and I was lucky to get in there and do what I did today. The coaches really believe in me; they tell me that week in and week out.”
Enos said he wasn’t surprised by Flory’s big game. He and the rest of the coaching staff singled him out as a “player to watch” before last April’s spring game, as well as in fall camp.
“Andrew Flory is a guy with a lot of ability,” Enos said after the game. “He doesn’t play a lot because, obviously, Titus plays a ton. But we knew when we recruited him, he was going to be a good player.”
Enos said it was only because of a hamstring injury in fall camp that Flory was redshirted a year ago. It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
“The injury is probably going to be a good thing for him and our football team in the long run,” Enos said. “He’s very talented, and he stepped up today when we needed him.”
The Chippewas also got a lift from true freshman safety Kavon Frazier, whose 49-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter gave the Chippewas their first lead of the game.
The play was an encouraging sign for Enos and his staff, as Frazier was much maligned following the loss to Navy on Oct 12. when he was burned on play-action passes twice.
“He hasn’t played a lot of safety except for these three months of the season,” Enos said. “Still, he’s out there against everyone. It was a great individual effort, and we had some good blocks on the return.”
The Chippewas will play their final home game when they host Miami (OH) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.