October 4, 2009
Jones: "I thought is was a great win, but we have a lot of work to do".
A win is a win. While it may not have been in the fashion that many predicted, Central Michigan went into hostile territory and defeated the defending MAC Champions despite two lightning delays and rainy conditions.
"I thought it was a great win, but we have a lot of work to do. One side of me is excited and the other side of me, I can't wait to get back on Sunday and go to work because we can't beat ourselves. I thought we made too many mistakes at different periods of the game, but again we had some individuals step up. Bryan Anderson, a senior, played like he should. Dan LeFevour, Antonio Brown and I thought Josh Gordy, a senior corner, has been playing extremely well," said Butch Jones. "We knew we were going to be challenged. We challenged our receiving corps - that was the best secondary we've faced up to this point. They're very well coached. Any time you can go on the road and get a W it's big."
LeFevour would have another big day in the dual threat mold. He completed 22-28 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns against one interception and added 98 yards on 21 carries running the ball. For the game, LeFevour would total 366 of the Chippewas 412 total offensive yards.
CMU's talented receiving corps would also have a strong showing, namely All-MAC performers Anderson and Brown. Together, the two would combine for 207 yards on 14 receptions. After a quiet game against Akron, Anderson would return to form and assert himself as a familiar weapon in the CMU offense.
I think Bryan just did a great job," said Butch Jones. "He ran routes extremely well. He caught the ball in traffic. He took care of the ball. He's one of our quiet leaders. But what Dan (LeFevour) brings to our offense and our team, the same can be said for what Bryan brings to our wide receiving corps. It's a quiet confidence.
Defensively, CMU would allow only 13 points, but had breakdowns in areas that have been solid all year. For starters, the Bulls were able to rush for 223 yards on a Chippewa defense that has been stout against the run all year. In particular, Buffalo running back Ike Nduka and quarterback Zach Maynard were able to pace the Buffalo offense on the ground. Nduka, the teams backup after starter James Starks went down with an injury this summer, ran for 178 yards and averaged a whopping 7.8 yards per carry while Maynard was able to break contain a few times and added 37 yards. Even wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt had a big day with six receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown. But...when the storm clouds subsided and the clock showed zeroes, the Chippewas defense had allowed just 13 points and made the big plays teams must make to win on the road in the MAC.
"I thought we did a good job. The fourth down and inches was obviously a critical point in the game and a critical stop. I thought we made the plays when we had to. Our kids stepped up and made some big plays defensively when they needed to. We were challenged. Everything in our program is based off of perseverance. I thought for the most part our guys did a pretty good job of that" added Butch Jones.
What Central Michigan found out Saturday was bulls-eye that comes with being the conference favorite. Buffalo came out ready to play, and the game was of the utmost importance because a loss put Buffalo at 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the MAC, a big hole to climb out of. The Chippewas made a few costly turnovers, but scored when they reached the redzone and stepped up defensively when the game was on the line.
A 20-13 victory on the road in the MAC? Any team in the conference would take that. While the win was not the 48 point offensive explosion from the last two weeks or the statistically smothering defense that the CMU faithful have come to expect, a win is a win.
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