The freshman mistakes that Cooper Rush made in Las Vegas last weekend followed him back home, as he threw two costly interceptions and fumbled twice against Toledo on Saturday afternoon.
Central Michigan fell to 1-3 (0-1 Mid-American Conference) after losing, 38-17, to Toledo 2-2 (1-0 MAC).
Rush finished the game 14-for-24, 214 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also gave up a touchdown on one of his fumbles.
“The first one he should have thrown away,” Enos said. “It’s a five man protection and they brought six. He has to learn to throw it away. He’s hanging onto the ball too long. You have to get rid of it.”
Both interceptions hit Toledo linebackers Ray Bush and Chase Murdock directly in the numbers over the middle of the field.
“I always want to give credit to the other team,” Enos said. “They were in the right spot; both interceptions he didn’t see the defender. When you play that position it happens.”
Turnovers, along with Toledo running back David Fluellen doomedCMU. Fluellen finished with 32 carries, 197 yards and two touchdowns.
CMU sophomore running back Saylor Lavallii did his best to keep pace with Fluellen, finishing with 24 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown.
The career-best 144 yards didn’t mean much to Lavallii as he said he would trade stats in any day for a win.
“The guys up front are doing their job,” Lavallii said. “I’m just trying to hit the holes the best I can. We have to put together a 60 minute game.”
CMU finished with a balanced offensive attack with a 156 yards rushing and 214 yards passing.
“Stats are for losers,” Enos said. “Losers find comfort in the stats, but they don’t mean anything in a loss.”
The loss stings for Enos and the team, after staying within a touchdown for most of the game.
“That one hurts,” Enos said. “I thought we competed very well. We cut the game to 24-17 in the fourth quarter, and I thought we ran the ball well with our play-action. At the end of the day, it’s four turnovers to one. That’s the story.”
CMU trailed 24-17 going into the fourth quarter, but Toledo scored 14 points while CMU couldn’t manage any.
CMU starts a three game road stretch starting with North Carolina State, and the up-against-the-wall position is a familiar one for linebacker Shamari Benton.
“We’ve been in this position before unfortunately,” Benton said. “The guys have responded. We are just going to keep continuing to work at practice and get ready to go. It’s a defeated feeling, but all we know how to keep grinding.”