Football / Top Stories

Signature win: Enos calls Ohio win ‘one of my best victories of my entire career’

Head Coach Dan Enos motivates his team during their Aug. 31 loss to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. (Katy Kildee/Assistant Photo Editor)

Head Coach Dan Enos motivates his team during their Aug. 31 loss to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. (Katy Kildee/Assistant Photo Editor)

ATHENS, Ohio — Dan Enos emerged from the Central Michigan locker room Saturday all smiles, his face glistening from the sweat dripping from his cheeks.

Supporters and parents of players hurled words of congratulations. Others came up to him and offered hugs.

A few feet away stood Saylor Lavallii. The sophomore running back was on the phone with his dad in south Florida, who had just watched his son break his career-high in rushing yards for the second consecutive week.

Enos wanted to know who he was talking to, so Lavallii handed the phone over.

“This is coach Enos. Fire Up Chips, baby,” he said.

While this was all going on, chants could be heard from the CMU locker room behind them. On the field was the Ohio marching band, performing as part of homecoming festivities.

But the Bobcats’ homecoming was ruined. Central Michigan, a team few thought had a chance given their struggles and battles with injuries all season, had just upset the Bobcats, 26-23, a team predicted this preseason to play for the Mid-American Conference championship.

“I told the players, this was one of my best victories of my entire career,” Enos said. “As a player, as a coach – everything. All the adversity this week and the last two weeks we’ve gone through, having to drive 80 miles on gameday to get there (from the hotel), the injuries … I’m really proud of them.”

And then there was Titus Davis, sidelined for the game with a shoulder injury. As receiver Courtney Williams, quarterback Cooper Rush and cornerback Kavon Frazier lined up to talk to the media, Davis could be heard shouting: “These guys are the real heroes.”

Rush for his game-winning touchdown drive, a 5-yard pass to Williams, and Frazier for forcing two of Ohio’s four turnovers.

But it was the gameplan that made the difference. Enos made it a point all week to publicly talk about the need for other receivers to get involved, and for Rush to be mistake-free in marching the offense down the field.

He instead opted to run the ball in the first half, with CMU racking up 25 carries for 158 yards (Lavallii had 131).

“We needed to run the ball, but I knew eventually (Ohio) was going to start loading the box up if we could run the ball,” Enos said. “Then those guys would have to make plays outside. The big thing is you’ve got to run the ball. Even if you can’t, you’ve got to call runs to give them the illusion that you’re going to stay persistent with it.”

True to Frank Solich form, Ohio made adjustments in the second half. The Bobcats began compressing their defense, forcing CMU to throw it, while allowing the offense to regain its composure. Not only did they take the lead in the fourth quarter, but it looked as if they would escape with a win.

In a true testament to this team’s improvement, they were able to capitalize off a costly turnover – the miffed punt with less than three minutes remaining – and string together a game-winning drive that relieved on Rush’s arm.

“Sticking to the plan, I guess he did that as far as running the ball goes,” Williams said. “He said he wanted to get out there and run the ball and show that we weren’t just a passing team. For us passing in the second half, as a wide receiver you love that. Anything that helps us get a win helps.”

The win marks the first time CMU has won back-to-back games since its four-game winning streak that closed last season.

Now the Chippewas turn their attention to undefeated Northern Illinois, which will come to Mount Pleasant on Saturday ranked No. 23 in the nation.

Contact Aaron McMann: aaron.mcmann@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.

15 Comments

  1. Don’t you just love this “humble” guy? When he wins, it’s “MY” win, not the team. And when he loses, it’s “THEY,” not “we, or me.” Can’t wait for him to leave!

    • michmediaperson says:

      CE, you are right. The few times CMU wins, Enos says “MY.” Then, when CMU loses, it’s “THEY.”

      Enos is the Obama of college football coach. Never his fault. Takes the credit if something ever goes right. Blames other people when the failures are nearly constant.

      Good catch.

      Unfortunately, with 3 cream puffs at the end of the season, he will probably finish 6-6.

  2. Florence Schneider says:

    Dan Enos inherited 18 players with starting experience from a 12-2 championship team and the MAC’s top recruiting classes from both 2008 and 2009. He also inherited an offensive system well ahead of the curve in college football.

    What did Sparty Dan do?

    Arrogantly and irresponsibly trashed the system and the champions he inherited.

    Maybe that is why, in year four of his tenure, CMU is talking about how great it would be to finish 6-6 again.

    How far and fast this once proud program has fallen.

  3. Charles W. Murphy says:

    Cowards unite. It’s what they do bast when dealing with Spartan Derangement Syndrome….

    When you can’t get accepted to Michigan State, bash everything about it…

    REAL CHIPPEWAS SUPPORT THEIR FOOTBALL COACHES…

    Only in the MP.

    • Unimpressed Chip says:

      So, Dick Flynn was derided because he played for MSU in the early 1960s, not because he ran the program down after Herb Deromedi moved up to AD? What about Smelly Rodent Derangement Syndrome for the debacle that was the Mike DeBord era? I am not buying that argument.

      We expect a team to be well-coached; with a scheme appropriate to the caliber of talent willing to accept a scholarship offer.

      Real Chippewa fans do not need to shout support for a coach who trashed the Championship Culture created by Kelly and continued by Jones. Real Chippewa fans do not resort to ad hominem attacks. I cannot speak for everyone, but your over-generalization is off the mark. I am both a Spartan and a Chippewa alumnus.

      Good luck, Chippewa players. Like the dwindling number of fans in attendance, you deserve better.

    • Get over it Chuck! This team has potential – but, is inconsistent. This is Enos’ fourth mediocre year! Time to change… the attendance the balance of this year will speak for itself!

  4. Dan Enos has had so few wins that every one is “memorable.”

    I will say this in Enos defense: at least he is not as bad as Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck. He can’t even beat BAD FCS teams.

    • Florence Schneider says:

      WMU has beaten Enos’ the last two seasons. This year is in Kalamazoo and a win is anything but certain with our outdated offense.

  5. At least we’ll have a meaningful game at home this weekend. We haven’t had too many of those in October since Enos has been here. Not that I think we have what it takes to beat N.I.U., but it carries big implications none the less.

  6. Enos saying it was a big win for his career was showing how important he thought it was for the team. Enos beat U of M when they were number one in the country and is the only MSU QB to win 2 bowl games in a row, he is also the only head coach to win a bowl game at CMU. CMU Lost Dan Fefevor, A. Brown, Anderson, Frank Zombo Johh gordy… They did not have 18 starters back they lost some of the best players in the history of the MAC! THe MAC is also a lot better than it was a few years ago by far! HE had to rebuild a depleted program if you cannot see that well….. Charles hit the nail on the head. Insignificant, irrational….. I guess I am just as bad responding to t your nonsense. Fire up CHIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Florence Schneider says:

      Facts are facts, Pete. You are wrong and you know it.

      Enos inherited enough talent to continue winning at CMU. Granted, he did not inherit enough for championship caliber teams, but MORE than enough for winning seasons.

      His irrational and disturbing decision to throw the players he inherited (players who won championships representing OUR university) under the proverbial bus should insult any true Central Michigan University football fan. Obviously, Pete and Charles do not fall into that category. Screw the players, support the coach they say.

      Do some homework, Pete. Educate yourself and you’ll want Enos gone, too.

      • Charles W. Murphy says:

        Real men use real names.

        Don’t be a coward Mr. Schrotenboer(your real name), silence the agitator.

        I do on every post. REAL CHIPPEWAS DON’T HIDE BEHIND COMPUTERS WITH FAKE NAMES.

        You can run to the CM Life editor, I possess the smoking gun evidence that it’s you.

        Deal with it.

    • He’s the only head coach to win a bowl game at CMU. So the other two wins just don’t mean anything cause there was an interim coach? He also has a 16-28 record. How is the MAC better than it was a few years ago when teams like Akron, UMASS, Eastern and Western have been terrible and accumulated only a few wins over the last couple of years? Who has greatly improved over the last few years besides NIU and Ohio? If anything it has gotten weaker overall.

      Wow really stretching it there to support this guy…

  7. It was a good win for the program, and one I didn’t expect. I’ve ripped him for his failures. I’ll give him credit for his successes as well. After all, I’d love for him to prove my thoughts about him wrong and bring CMU to high levels. Will that happen? Probably not. But, nevertheless last Saturday’s game was a nice win and a thrilling one at that. Too bad it was only on ESPN3. Hate watching it on the computer.

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