Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks famously said, “Let’s play two.”
Although Mr. Cub was referring to playing a doubleheader in baseball, the Central Michigan football team could use that kind of motivation.
In the Michigan, UNLV and Toledo games, the Chippewas have been outscored in the second half 72-6.
In the lone win against New Hampshire, the struggle came in the first half, where they were outscored 13-0.
There have been a lot of things that have gone against CMU this season, but one thing that sticks out to me is the team’s inability to put together a full game, even in a win.
There will typically be a half where you score more than the other, but there is a clear difference between halves in each game this season.
The Chippewas had 124 total yards in the first half against Michigan opposed to 86 in the second half. Against NHU, 354 yards in the second half, 98 in the first. In Las Vegas it was 253 yards in the first half, 100 in the second. Saturday it was 238 yards in the first and 127 in the second.
In the two worst loses of the season, CMU’s opponents have one thing in common: Relatively equal numbers in the first and second half.
Looking at the opponents, Michigan had 238 yards in the first half and 235 in the second, and Saturday, UT had 201 in the first half and 217 in the second.
The Wolverines and Rockets kept the offenses moving all game and the Chippewas played catchup all game.
CMU has been a first-half team this season, despite the one win where head coach Dan Enos made the decision to put Cooper Rush in to replace Alex Niznak in week two.
To put it in perspective, in CMU’s three losses, it has 313 total yards in the second halves against 615 yards in first halves.
So what’s the deal? What makes the Chippewas lone win different from the three losses?
Enos made the adjustment from Niznak to Rush. When you start slow, you can use halftime to adjust. When you’re clicking in the first half, teams get adjusted too, and that seems to be the problem.
The numbers that we’ve observed point to a lack of second half adjustments.
I’m not in the locker room for Enos’ halftime speeches, and I don’t know what he and his coaches are saying to each other at halftime.
Perhaps they are making the right adjustments in theory, but the players aren’t performing.
The one thing that is clear is that they aren’t winning.