August 30, 2010

Enos shares thoughts on upcoming Hampton game

Central Michigan kicks off their 2010 season this Thursday at 7pm when they host the Hampton Pirates in what will be Hamptons's first contest against a FBS team. Although the Pirates finished just 5-6 last year, they are known to be a perennial contender in the MEAC conference year in and year out, and they feature transfers from programs such as Auburn, Michigan, Syracuse and Washington State. Despite being a team with plenty of talent and experience, many CMU fans and media members are quick to assess this game and credit an easy win for the Chippewas as they look forward to the week two game against Temple.

However, that same sentiment is not shared by CMU head coach Dan Enos and the people involved with his football program.

"You know, I don't feel that way becacue I don't know what other people are doing and I'm just so locked in to where our program is," said Enos. "There isn't one person around out program talking about Temple right now and everyone around our program is talking about Hampton and that game. That's been our focus, really since spring ball ended, was to have great summer workouts and be in great condition and then be ready to win this football game. So we are very, very focused on the task at hand."

As mentioned above, Hampton is no slouch on the gridiron. They boast size, speed and experience at key positions and Enos was quick to point out that Hampton is a talented team that is going to come into Kelly/Shorts stadium amped up to play their first FBS school.

"Things that I look at that garner our attention a lot, is their athleticism on both sides of the ball. They have a quarterback who has played quite a bit and they have a wide receiver who came in there, and he's a good player. They have a big running back and a big, athletic offensive line. And on defense, they probably have the best defensive player in their league at linebacker, they have a 340 pound defensive tackle that NFL scouts are looking at, and they have a defenive end who can rush the passer. So, they're going to have some good players and they're well coached and we're expecting them to come in with their guns loaded and ready to play. We're going to have to match their intensity and some."

On the Central Michigan front, it appears the quarterback position is now concrete. Ryan Radcliff was named the starter earlier this week, and he has emerged as the definitive starter in the sense that there will be no shared snaps under center.

"Yeah, right now we anticipate that Ryan will play the whole game," added Enos. "That's our plan, he's earned it beyond a reasonable doubt and we feel really good about him."

While Enos will be carefully monitoring his Radcliff in his first start, he is also looking for his CMU team to play well and translate their practice sessions over into the first game.

"I just want to see us play fast," said Enos. "I want to see us play with great effort and a lot of toughness. I want to see us tackle well, control the line of scrimmage, and not hurt ourselves with undisciplined plays like penalties or late hits, things like that. I want to see us play within the rules, play smart football, and not beat ourselves."

And this first game will present a new era of CMU football as not only will it be Enos's first game as head coach, but numerous players will be stepping into starting roles after 13 seniors graduated from last years 12-2 squad.

"There are going to be chances throughout the game on both sides of the ball and special teams to make plays, and we want to find out who those guys are who are going to make plays. We think we have a really good idea, but we want to find out for sure."

Look for live game coverage from ChippewaCountry during the Hampton game as well as instant analysis and interviews with Coach Enos and select players.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.

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