Shafer scouts Central Michigan offense, looks ahead to 9-week stretch

first_img Published on September 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Scott Shafer is quite familiar with the brand of football that’s played in the Mid-American Conference.He spent nine seasons as an assistant coach in the conference, so he knows what to expect from Central Michigan (2-0) on Saturday.“Good, physical football team. Got after a Big Ten team with no problem and beat Purdue,” the Syracuse (1-0) head coach said during the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday. “They run the ball extremely well. They get into two-back situations where they run a lot of lead plays, both strong and weak. They’ve had a lot of success rushing that football.”Through two games, the Chippewas have averaged 154.5 rushing yards per game and scored three rushing touchdowns.Senior tailback Thomas Rawls, a Michigan transfer, has led the charge in the running game for CMU with back-to-back games of 120-plus rushing yards.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s playing extremely well,” Shafer said. “Physical, downhill runner, so we’re going to have to match that with our defensive effort. And their quarterback’s managed the game extremely well. He’s done a nice job taking what the defense has given him. He doesn’t try to force things.”Chippewas quarterback Cooper Rush has completed 26-of-42 attempts thus far for nearly a 62 percent completion rate. He has thrown for 345 yards and four touchdowns to just one interception.The Saturday matchup with CMU kicks off at noon and starts a stretch of nine consecutive weeks of games for Syracuse until its next bye week.Having the bye week so early in the season is what it is, Shafer said, and the Orange will have to just move forward. If SU’s injuries heal in time for Saturday’s game, Shafer pointed out, some players will have only missed one game, not two.“You’ve got to try to look at the silver lining, I guess. That’s how we’re going to approach it,” he said. “Now we have a long haul, nine straight, but that’s kind of the way it used to be when I first started coaching. The good thing is, you just get into a rhythm and get into that grind mode.“It’s all kind of the things that you love as a coach, to be quite honest with you.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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