November 7, 2008

Interview: Sean Murnane talks NIU

Earlier this week, caught up with Illinois native and current CMU defensive tackle Sean Murnane to get his thoughts on the season so far and the strides the defensive unit has made. Murnane, who is just a sophomore, has collected 39 total tackles, six of which are for a loss and has registered two sacks. When asked about his first career sack this year, Murnane's eyes lit up.

"It's was great. Oh man, it's just an adrenaline rush. But it just makes you hungry for more".

The CMU run defense has been pretty stout for most of the year, excluding the past game at Indiana and the game in Athens against Georgia. As a unit though, the defensive line has made some rapid improvements from last year.

"We understand the defense a lot better. This being our second year in the scheme, we are just a lot more comfortable. And our D-line group, it's a very tight knit group. Defensive line Coach Paul Volero has a mentality and now we understand it," said Murnane.

The defense as a whole has had its ups and downs, but each week they continue to make plays when it matters most.

"I feel like as a whole, we're hot and cold. Were inconsistent, but we finish games. Players just got to make plays, and when we're flying around the field making plays, I feel like were one of the best defenses in the MAC," added Murnane.

These improvements have been made without senior defensive tackle and captain Casey Droscha, who left the Western Michigan game with a knee injury and is not likely to return to action this year. With the loss of Droscha, other players must step up and fill his shoes, one such player is Sean Murnane.

"Casey was our heart and soul. You can't replace Casey, so we just have to take three guys and try to make one Casey Droscha. He was our leader, a captain and a great player".

Murnane who is from powerhouse Carmel High School in Illinois, will be making a homecoming of sorts for the upcoming game against Northern Illinois in DeKalb. The game is very important for the Chippewas in their quest for another MAC Championship. The Huskies are not being taken lightly despite a blowout in Muncie on Wednesday against Ball State.

"We haven't won there (DeKalb) in 22 years. They play hard and they have a tough mentality to run the ball. We are excited to play them".

Murnane will not be the only Illinois native making a return to there home state. Junior DL Mark Dietz, Freshman OL Richard Hayes, Junior OL Joe McMahon, Senior TE Andre Moore, Senior RB Ontario Sneed and Junior QB Dan LeFevour are all from Illinois. As Central Michigan fans can observe, the state of Illinois has been very kind to the Chippewas.

"All the guys from Illinois seem like ballers," laughed Murnane.

CMU now sits at 7-2 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference. The Northern Illinois game is just another stepping stone for the season.

"Were just heading to finish the season. It's about making a name for yourself. Right now, were happy to be 7-2, I mean who wouldn't be? If someone would have came to us in the summer and asked if we'd take 7-2 right now, we would take in a heartbeat. Now, it's just about finishing the season."

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