October 3, 2010

Postgame Quotes: Ball State

After Central Michigan's disheartening 31-17 loss to Ball State at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Chippewas head coach Dan Enos, linebacker Matt Berning and quarterback Ryan Radcliff addressed members of the media. Look below for a full transcript of the postgame quotes.


Opening statement:

"First I want to give a lot of credit to Ball State, they were well prepared and they outplayed us, and we're thoroughly embarrassed with how we played today. In the five games that we've been here, that was very, very disappointing in all three phases, and we got beat. There isn't much else to say about it, and there weren't very many positives."

On whether he was surprised about Ball State's ability to control the line of scrimmage

"Yes, absolutely. We were very surprised, we thought we had a good match-up. We knew they were pretty good on the offensive line, but they ran the ball for over 300 yards…and that's inexcusable."

On why Ball State defensive end Robert Eddins and why he was able to record 4.5 sacks throughout the game and whether that was attributed to Rocky Weaver subbing in for an injured Jake Olson at left tackle.

"You know, I don't know, but he was a factor and I thought we had guys open several times down the field, and we couldn't throw them the ball. That's the first time this year we felt like we were getting handled up front, and you have to give him credit because we couldn't handle him. I'll have to go back and look at it, but at the end of the day those are out five best. The thing with our offensive line is we try to get our five best out there, and with Jake Olson being out we moved Rocky over because Eric Fisher was not as comfortable. So we move Rocky over there, and those are the best guys we got, we don't question that move all and that's how we're going to line up next week."

On momentum in the game

"They did a good job of keeping us off the field on offense and they did a good job on third down of extending drives. And they did a good job of making plays, they had that big wheel (route) for a touchdown and it really is a game of momentum. They had the momentum for most of the first half, and most of the entire game to be honest with you, and as I mentioned I thought we had things there and we couldn't make a play. We get pressure, we drop the ball or we throw it to the wrong guy, whatever it might be, and it was just very uncharacteristic of our football team."

On why Ball State was able to have so much success rushing the ball against a CMU defense that allowed just over 90 yards per game on the ground coming in

"They did a good job of doing different things and the big thing is they handled us up front, and we were getting blocked. When you're not getting off blocks, there is going to be problems. To me that was the biggest thing they did."

On how frustrated he is knowing this is the first game CMU was unable to compete in this season

"Very frustrated. I'm disappointed, our players are disappointed and they're frustrated. We're embarrassed to play like that in front of our home crowd and we just have to challenge the team. How we respond to this will define the rest of the year and we have a pretty good opponent coming up next week on the road (Virginia Tech), so the only way I know how to do it guys is to just get back to work and find out what happened. You guys have all seen us play and that wasn't the same team that we rolled out in the first four weeks, and it's everybody involved, coaches and players, and we need to get back to work tomorrow."

On linebacker Nick Bellore who started the game, then left, and later re-entered in the second half as he battles an ankle injury

"Yeah, he's been hobbling and we felt like Mike Petrucci healthy was as good as him hobbling. And after halftime, Nick's talking coaches into it and wanting to go back out, and he ended up playing."

On quarterback Ryan Radcliff and his play in this game

"You know, I'll say this, we have to look at the tape and I feel pretty accurate about this when I say this is the worst game he has played. He was out of sync, his feet weren't right and ball wasn't coming out of his hands like it always does. He's not the reason we lost, I'm not saying that and I'm sure he'll be the first one to tell you he didn't play very well, but he has to play better. We have to put him in better positions and we have to protect him better, and then we dropped a few balls, but we have to protect for him and when he has a chance to make plays he has to make them, and he did for basically the first four weeks."

On a kickoff that looked like it could be an onside kick

"We weren't trying to onside kick it. We were trying a sky kick it but the ball got caught up the wind and Brett (Hartmann) didn't hit it very well. We were trying to do what we call a sky kick because the wind was so strong and we were going to kick it down to the thirty, but it just got caught up in the wind."

On whether any positives can be taken from this game

"We're going to have to look at the film, but Cody Wilson is a guy who plays well all the time. David Blackburn got involved today, and we haven't been throwing him the ball much, not by design, but that's just the way the offense worked and he made some big plays and we have to continue to get him the ball. Zurlon Tipton did a few good things when he was in there, and he'll continue to get better…but it's tough to see many positives out of today."

His thoughts on the CMU student section that emptied out after halftime

"I would have left too. To be honest I would have left too and I don't blame the crowd for anything."


On the play of the defense

"Towards the end of the first half, the defense stepped up. We had a couple of good drive to end the half. We put ourselves in a good position, but we were not able to capitalize."

On the play of junior linebacker Mike Petrucci

"I'm glad Mike was able to step in for Nick. We came in together and I have total confidence in him. He made great calls today setting the stregnth and I was able to trust what he did and he made me right today. I don't think you can ask more out of a guy who makes the most of an opportunity."

On the mindset of the team

"We can't let our heads hang right now. We have to go out there and get back to work, learn from the mistakes we made. Once we get back to work tomorrow and get this game out of our system, we are going to prepare the best we can for Virginia Tech. As a family right now we have to be closer then ever. I have full confidence in our senior leaders and our captains to keep the morale up and keep us heading towards Ford Field."


On the mindset of the offense

"There is no give up on this team. More of the issue is we may have been pressing too hard. We know we have to play within oursevles and take what the defense gives us."

On the locker room after the game

"We are disappointed with what happened her today. No one wanted to come out and lose this MAC game. Everyone understands what has to be done to move on. We'll think about the game for 24 hours and move onto the next one.

On the team moving forward

"We need to come back and learn from this game. We are going to go out there next week and play to win."

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