A calmer, more relaxed Dan Enos appeared earlier this week.
In the stark contrast from a frustrated Central Michigan coach who appeared before the media Saturday night following his team’s 31-21 loss at UNLV, a game in which the Chippewas allowed 31 unanswered points.
“We had a lot of opportunities to separate ourselves, and we just didn’t do it,” Enos said of the game during Monday’s Mid-American Conference coaches’ teleconference. “Their backup quarterback came in and really gave them a spark, very similar to what we had done the week before.”
On Tuesday, Enos went one step further, revealing what he told the team in the locker room on Saturday.
“You got a taste of your own medicine. You gave it to New Hampshire and it just happened to us,” he said. ”We obviously didn’t learn our lesson.”
Senior quarterback Caleb Herring was thrown into the fire early on Saturday, after UNLV starter Nick Sherry reverted to his old ways of throwing interceptions – he threw more picks (17) than touchdowns (16) last season and has already thrown five through three games – and was benched following the Rebels’ second drive of the game.
Similar to how redshirt freshman Cooper Rush found himself behind center last week, Herring jump-started the UNLV offense almost immediately. The Rebels scored a touchdown late in the second quarter on a 12-yard pass from Herring, pulling to within 21-7, and signaled a turning point that left CMU hapless on both sides of the ball.
Herring finished the game 24-for-28 for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He was 24-for-41 for 301 yards and two touchdowns all of last season.
“We’ve got to learn how to win on the road, and we’ve got to learn how to finish games and find a way to win,” Enos said. “We didn’t do that, on Saturday, but there were a lot of really good learning moments.”
The loss drops Enos to 1-8 in non-conference regular season road games as head coach, with North Carolina State on the schedule for Sept. 28.
Before then, and more importantly, CMU’s Mid-American Conference schedule kicks off Saturday against Toledo.
The Rockets entered the week with a question mark at quarterback after starter Terrence Owens was carted off with a sprained knee during the Rockets’ 33-21 win against Eastern Washington over the weekend. Reports on Monday listed Owens as questionable for Saturday’s game (Noon, ESPN Plus/ESPN Gameplan/ESPN3.com).
And Toledo is what CMU is preparing for this week.
“We have a 24-hour rule,” Rush said on Tuesday. “We’re on to this one. It’s a big MAC game, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Vegas: CMU favorite versus Toledo
Toledo’s uncertainty at quarterback has left CMU a major favorite in Saturday’s game, Las Vegas oddsmakers have determined.
CMU opened the week as a 26.5-point favorite against the Rockets, according to VegasInsider.com. Toledo is 1-2 after losses at Florida and Missouri.