September 11, 2009

CMU head coach Butch Jones discusses Arizona loss and Michigan State

The expectations are high at Central Michigan this year. And despite a 19-6 loss to Arizona last Saturday, those expectations remain high. Recently ChippewaCountry was able to talk to the man in charge; head coach Butch Jones. In this discussion we were able to get his lasting thoughts on the Arizona game and the tough challenge against Michigan State tomorrow.

Starting off with the loss to Arizona, it's apparent the coaches were dissatisfied with the way the game turned out.

"Obviously it was a very disappointing loss. Anytime you play, you expect to win, and we came up short. I thought there were some things that we can take and apply it to game two and the rest of the season. We did a real good job in the redzone defensively, but we need to improve our tackling and we put or defense in to many adverse situations with three out of their first four possessions starting at the 35 yard line" said Jones. "We need to get back to execution on offense and playing out type of football".

What the team can do is take a look back on the Arizona game and learn from the experience that was gained.

"I think fist of all, we played a very high level opponent," said Jones. "And they played them in their stadium in front of a hostile environment, and we had an opportunity to win the game. Obviously we didn't get it done, but I told our team when we started in August that we can't be a team that beats ourselves. I thought we beat ourselves Saturday night".

A lot has been made about that loss to Arizona and how it may translate over to the Michigan State game tomorrow. As it's been alluded to before, both Arizona and Michigan State are high level teams from their respective BCS conferences and share a lot in common, but also have some glaring differences.

"Both are very, very good football programs. Michigan State, probably size wise is much bigger than Arizona, but both are very talented and share a lot of similarities. Their very physical, good speed, good skill, so we definitely have another great challenge ahead of us" added Jones.

Michigan State presents a roster full of challenges, but perhaps no position is harder to scout than the one that has yet to name a full starter, quarterback. Both Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol showed flashes of brilliance against Montana State and have played to a dead draw from spring ball up until week one.

"Their both very talented. I've watched both, and I was very impressed. I thought they managed the football game very well, they made plays and they ran the offense. Their also very accurate, so I came away very impressed, they have a great situation there with two players that are very skilled and talented".

Besides two talented quarterbacks, some other things have stood out about Michigan State.

"Their physicality," said Butch Jones. "In all three phases, a lot of time you can find out the physicality of a football team by watching their kick coverage teams, and they do a great job in kick coverage. I think the thing that stands out to me is their size and the physicality".

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