Head coach Dan Enos is not about to proclaim that the football team has found its quarterback.
He said he still has to look at the tape.
What the tape will show is freshman quarterback Cooper Rush making an inept offense flourish in the Chippewas 24-21 comeback win against New Hampshire at Kelly/Shorts Stadium Saturday that was capped with a field goal by freshman Ron Coluzzi.
“I challenged them at halftime. Got pretty personal with them, and they responded,” Enos said. “I think the defense held them to eight points in the second half, which was a really positive and obviously our offense got on track due in large part to our freshman quarterback Cooper Rush.”
The 27-yard game winning kick by Coluzzi, which gave Rush a win in his first time on the field, was his fourth of four this season.
“I’ve dreamed about a game-winning kick every single day,” Coluzzi said.
Rush, who was third in line at quarterback to start of the season, completed a 17-yard pass to take CMU within field goal range on a third and 15 from the Wildcats 35-yard-line.
“I scrambled and I was going to check it down to tight end Mike (Kinville), but I saw Titus (Davis) open up late and I thought I could get it in there and it worked,” Rush said. “(The receivers) all can make plays. We put them in one on one situation, we feel pretty good.”
It was his 19th completion of the day of 32 attempts, and it gave him 326 passing yards. He also was responsible for three touchdowns. Enos said the performance, which involved bringing his team back from 13-0, will “probably” earn him a start.
“Got to give Cooper a lot of credit. It’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “Be a backup quarterback and don’t know if you are going to play and you get thrown into a tough game and its pouring rain and things aren’t going very well. It’s almost unfair.”
The recipient of his last pass of the game was junior receiver Titus Davis, who tallied 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
He was the reason it did not matter that the Chippewas started its game-tying drive at its own three-yard line.
Davis caught a ball and saw no one in front of him as he took it to the end zone on the second play of the drive to tie the game for the 97-yard score in the fourth quarter.
“To be a good offense, you can’t just drive the ball down the field in 12-play and score,” Enos said. “That’s not how football works; you’ve got to have explosive plays. Titus gives us that.”
Rush brought it within seven points with 12:16 left in the fourth quarter when he completed a 20-yard pass over the shoulder of sophomore wide receiver Andrew Flory in the end zone after New Hampshire added eight points.
Rush took over for sophomore Alex Niznak in the middle second quarter after he struggled to get anything going with the offense.
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