QA and with SaturdayEdge.com
TCR was recently approached to do a QA with SaturdayEdge.com about the 2013 season. Visit their site for the complete MAC run down and more news on CFB in general.
1. 2012 Review – How’d CMU do last year vs how you thought they’d do?
CMU’s 2012 season was pretty much the best case scenario for most fans. After back-to-back 3-9 records, even noticeable improvement could have seen the Chippewas finish with a losing record. A nationally televised beat down from Navy and a 2-5 start to the year didn’t do anything to raise those expectations, either.
But Dan Enos and his team finally turned the corner mid-season, winning five of their last six in route to a bowl victory. It came as a shocking turn of events to a fan base that grew accustom to watching multiple MAC championships during the recent Dan LeFevour and Antonio Brown years.
2. What are CMU’s main strengths heading into spring practice?
Statistically, CMU finished in the middle of the pack among MAC teams in nearly every notable category last year. Not without bright spots, however, juniors wide receivers Titus Davis and Courtney Williams demonstrated a flare for the spectacular despite both being suspended from the Motor City Bowl* due to “violation of team rules”. In their absence, unheralded sophomore Andrew Flory registered over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
There are a lot of question marks heading into spring practice for the Chippewas, but wide receiver should be a bright spot if these young playmakers continue to develop.
*Actually called the Little Cesars Pizza Bowl
3. What are their main weaknesses?
In 2012, CMU’s pass rush ranked 9th in the MAC in sacks and was the main culprit in an all around miserable season in defending the pass. Dan Enos used considerable resources to bolster the defensive line the last two recruiting seasons and found some really nice pieces to build around. The defensive line keeps getting bigger and faster but this is a work in progress and more troubles could be afoot in 2013.
4. Does CMU have the talent and experience this year to improve upon last year 7-6 record and challenge for the MAC Championship?
CMU football made great strides in 2012 and met the expectations of most fans. The 2013 squad will be the most talented team, top to bottom, to strap it up since 2009 but there is one major question mark heading into the season–the quarterback position. Coach Enos did not do a good job of preparing for Ryan Radcliff’s departure as none of the replacement candidates on the roster last year saw any sort of meaningful playing time.
The quarterback position will be very competitive as Cooper Rush, Alex Niznak, Cody Kater and Darrien Boone duke it out for the starting gig. That said, I have a hard time believing that a first year starter could lead the team to a conference title but sometimes funny things happen, right? See the 2006 Chippewa squad led by Dan Lefevour.