The first game of any season is usually a little sloppy. You usually don’t see the best your team has to offer. I sure hope that is the case for CMU football this year. The good news CMU beat Hampton 33-0 in the first game for new head coach Dan Enos and the first career start for QB Ryan Radcliff, however they hardly looked dominate against a team that was extremely overmatched. Hampton was playing a FBS team for the first time in their history and it showed early, as they had a punt blocked through the end zone for a safety, and then after a quick CMU score that was set up on a long return on the ensuing free kick, Hampton then fumbled the kickoff when the returner ran in to one of his teammates, another quick score and it was 16-0 CMU with 6 minutes gone in the game. Things slowed down a lot the rest of the way however for CMU, who managed only one more touchdown before halftime and then only 10 points in the second half. The biggest problems were the field goal kicking, true freshmen kicker missed 3 field goals, all less than 40 yards and a good amount of drop passes by two of our better wide outs. In the end Radcliff finished 20 for 34 for 242 yards and a touchdown, plus a rushing score, and RB Paris Cotton had a very nice day with 94 yards rushing and a score.
I thought Coach Enos made a few questionable moves, the biggest being on a 2nd and goal from the 3, up 33-0 already, throwing two straight times, I assume he was trying to see how Radcliff would do close to the end zone, since most of the game he had been handing the ball off, but there is no reason to throw the ball there, run the ball, and score, instead there was two incompletions and a missed FG, not a good drive at all. I did think Radcliff showed some nice touch on some deep balls only to have the wide outs drop them. He made some poor throws of course, but all in all I think he did a good job. He does need to make quicker decisions since he got sacked a few times in the game and even though Hampton does have a few good players on defense across the board they are not to the level of players that CMU will see the rest of the year.
One thing I did like was it looked to me that the players like the new staff and have seemed to buy in. Just watching the player’s reaction and how they handled themselves I think they enjoyed playing. They even gave coach Enos a Gatorade bath for his first coaching win, not something you may do after beating a non-FBS team 33-0. To me it showed they like him, and believe in him and the staff, the players were happy for him, and I saw a lot of them go up to him and give him a hug after the game.
It gets tougher from here as the Chippewa’s will not play at home again until October 2nd. Next Thursday is going to be a real test, and will be a great judge of where this team is. Temple is the preseason pick to win the MAC east, and the MAC title overall and going to Philly will be a tough test for this young team. CMU fans will know a lot more about the kind of season they will have in 2010 after next week’s game.
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