There’s a “24-hour rule” spoken about it in college football, particularly after a loss.
When you lose, you dwell on it for a day, review tape and come back regrouped and prepared for the next opponent. You forget about what happened.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Rush had a tough time abiding by that last week, coming off a loss at UNLV in which Central Michigan lost a 21-point first-half lead.
“He felt that he had some plays that could have made the difference,” said quarterbacks coach Morris Watts. “And it was bothering him, and I hope it always bothers a guy. You don’t want to coach a guy where it doesn’t bother him when he doesn’t do something as well as he could do it.”
When Rush steps onto the field at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday against North Carolina State (3:30 p.m., ESPN3), he remains in discovery mode. After he posted a productive first six quarters, combining for 517 yards on 33-of-54 passing and four touchdowns in the season opener against New Hampshire and first half at UNLV, his completion percentage hasn’t changed too much — but mistakes have.
He has since turned the ball over six times in the last six quarters, including four times in CMU’s 38-17 loss to Toledo. His numbers have also swelled, to 23-for-48 for 298 yards and one touchdown.
“He just made four crucial mistakes,” Watts said. “He recognized it, and he knew he was hot and just didn’t pull the trigger. He was on it. I’m always disappointed when the quarterback turns it over four times, and he is too. But he’s still a good player.”
Rush, like head coach Dan Enos, called his two interceptions against Toledo — both errant passes that appeared to be telegraphed — “just bad reads.”
“You’re young, you’ve just got to learn,” Rush said. “It’s a constant process, every snap for you — especially for a young guy — and I’m trying to learn from it.”
After having a bad practice early last week, both Watts and Rush agreed that he was much better in practice on Tuesday, but still has a learning curve.
“From all the years they’ve played, they learn to move on,” Watts said. “You’ve got to learn how to play the next play, how to forget about a bad play, forget a bad series, forget a bad game.”
Contact Aaron McMann: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.