'New opponent, new week': Football moves on after beatdown from Badgers
Simply put, Central Michigan had a bad day against Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium last Saturday.
Everyone has a bad day here and there. It happens. However, the fact that the Chippewas (1-1) were shutout for the first time since Oct. 19, 2002, at Northern Illinois showed a lot of concerning signs.
In the Wisconsin matchup, the Chippewas allowed 61 points and 599 yards to the nationally ranked Badgers. Of those yards, 400 came through the air.
For comparison's sake, Central allowed 82 points and 708 yards to No. 2 Florida in 1997, those numbers are the highest outputs of opposing yardage and scoring in the program's recent history.
Chippewa quarterback Quinten Dormady was injured in the loss, as he took the only sack allowed on the road trip. But when he did, he came up limping.
That said, the senior graduate transfer showed his metal when he went back in for a couple of drives.
He then threw an interception on an off-balance throw in the second quarter.
"He wasn't able to put his foot in the ground and drive the ball, so there was no need to keep him in there," said first-year coach Jim McElwain.
Dormady was removed from the game in favor of junior David Moore. Dormady's status going forward is uncertain, along with running back Jonathan Ward and defensive end Amir Siddiq.
Despite the blowout loss, CMU's game can be broken up into small victories and things to work on.
'It's hard to watch that film'
– The matchup against Wisconsin is over and done with. CMU can move on from the weekend and look towards the rest of the season. While there may be some injuries to deal with, the Chippewas are now tasked with their Mid-American Conference opener against Akron at 3 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
"Right now, we're kind of in the first half of our schedule," McElwain said. "We've got to do a really good job of getting back and tearing off the rearview mirror of what happened and build on the positives and learn from the negatives."
– In the Chippewas moving the ball just 58 yards, the Zips do not have much to go on in film from the Wisconsin game. Akron coach Tom Arth said that playing against Wisconsin is no easy task, and now preparation has begun for both squads.
"It's hard to watch that film and take too much away from that," Arth said. "But the Albany film was good for us. We got to see a lot of different looks."
– CMU will get the chance to play at home. The next game is the conference opener and playing at Kelly/Shorts should give the Chippewas an advantage. McElwain has stressed the importance of playing well in front of the fans since he arrived in Mount Pleasant.
"Getting the opportunity to start the season from a league standpoint, the importance of that is huge," McElwain said.
Things to work on
– Akron has a strong passing game, but an almost non-existent running game. Quarterback Kato Nelson led the Zips in their last game, a 31-20 loss to Alabama-Birmingham, where he ran for 31 yards. Nelson also threw for 369 yards and two scores against the Blazers. Should the CMU secondary tighten up, it could see a successful outing in the conference opener.
"Our execution on both offense and defense was one thing that separated us," said sophomore offensive tackle Luke Goedeke. "It was one little thing where one step too early or too late makes a big play for them. The second we get out of the showers, the preparation begins all over again. New opponent, new week."
– Discipline will play a factor for the Chippewas, as it does for every team. They had six penalties for 39 yards while the Badgers had just one penalty for 10 yards. In the season opener, CMU had 11 penalties for 87 yards while Albany had just four penalties for 30 yards.