The Coach Enos era begins in Mt Pleasant on Thursday night against Hampton. A team from the division formally known as 1-AA. This is a game of course you have to win. Sure you have a new QB, and a new coach bringing in a new system, but there is still enough talent left from a team that went 12-2 last year, that you can’t lose your home opener to a non D1-A team. Now because this game comes a week before a big road game at MAC east favorite Temple, I would bet that the offense will not show too much in this game. I think they will run the ball, control the clock and be happy with a win. Don’t look for any tricks to be shown, unless they want to show it, just to make Temple worry about what they may do, but I think that is one of the biggest advantages of having a new coach and new system, teams have no tape to go on when they are preparing for you. I don’t expect Coach Enos to give up that advantage any earlier then he has to.
I didn’t know anything about Hampton, so I did some research and found out that Thursday nights game will be Hampton’s first game against any D 1 football subdivision team. Hampton was 5-6 last year, and even though they have 7 starters on offense and 9 starters on defense coming back they were still pick to finish only 4th in their conference, the MEAC. They have won their last six season openers, that streak will be stopped Thursday night however. They are lead by LB Julio Sanchez who had 98 tackles last year, good enough for1st team all conference honors. He was also named the preseason conference defensive player of the year. A defense that gave up only 19.6 points per game last year will be tested however. Even though CMU is starting lots of new players at the skill positions on offense they are still bigger, stronger and faster. Sanchez is 6’0 225lb MLB, CMU’s MLB is Nick Bellore, who is 6’1 and 250lb of pure tackling machine. He had 132 last year, and has started 41 straight games, every game he has played. He leads all active FCS players in career tackles with 382, in other words, he is good, and will be in the Hampton backfield all day long.
CMU does have some minor off the field problems going in to this game, that is a small concern. Two players have been suspended for the game for a violation of team rules. Would be starting defensive end Kashawn Fraser has been suspended on game, leaving the defensive line with some red shirt freshman and true freshmen in the two-deep depth chart. Not too worried about that because of who we are playing, but it isn’t something that you want to have happen a lot. I do like the fact that Coach Enos seems to be running this program right. He is holding his players accountable and that is great to see. Coach Enos also suspended RB Zurlon Tipton for the first two games of the season, for a incident that Drew Ellis from the Morning sun reported happened before training camp started. Tipton is a red shirt freshmen who has a lot of speed and ability so hopefully this is the only off the field problem he has to deal with.
Predictions: So CMU comes out hard and wants to make a statment early that this team is still a good team, dispite who they lost from last years team. I expect them to jump out on Hampton early and then just run the ball the rest of the way. I would love to see a shut out, but I feel Hampton will put up enough of a fight to at least get on the score board. I like CMU to win this game 42-7. That may be a little high, but I still have a lot of faith in this team, and the fact that Hampton has never played a D1-A team, I think we will be fine.
About the Author
Written by Steve Schwanda
Proud 2006 grad of CMU. Chippewacountry.com basketball analyst, I love and follow most sports, but I follow basketball the most. Coached and worked camps for 8 years. Favorite pro teams are: NY Giants, Detroit Pistons, Tigers, and Wings