Friday, September 10, 2010

Missed opportunities cost CMU game against Temple

By Anthony Fenech, Senior Reporter || September 10, 2010

Cody Wilson pushed for five more yards. Cedric Fraser caught a pass and then threw a defender off of him. Paris Cotton cut a 14-yard loss in half.

The Chippewas offense had it Thursday night. They had the ball, they had the game and they knew it.
“We were doing everything we could to win,” Wilson said.

They had it, but they didn’t. And after a 13-10 overtime loss at Temple, their first Mid-American Conference opening loss in six years, they knew that as well.

“We tied it up,” he said. “We just couldn’t finish today.”

In the end, the same missed opportunities that put the offense to sleep in the first half would ultimately sink the Chippewas when, with only seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the football escaped sophomore quarterback Ryan Radcliff’s hand and trickled to midfield, where the clock would expire on regulation, the play noting an offense’s biggest missed opportunity with an exclamation.

The Chippewas outgained Temple by 86 yards, but they turned the ball over twice as much. They tallied two more first downs, but committed three more penalties.

CMU drove into Temple territory on the first three drives of the game, yet all they had to show for it was a punt, an interception and a turnover-on-downs.

It didn’t get much better, save a 70-yard hookup between Radcliff and Wilson and its complementing one-yard touchdown run from Cotton, the offense sputtering and kicker Paul Mudgett’s kicks fluttering, but there they were, in the fourth quarter, with a chance to win the game.

“It was a big part of the game,” Wilson said afterwards.

And suddenly, Radcliff was leading an offense, completing pass after pass as the Chippewas marched down the field for its longest drive in terms of plays, and second-longest in terms of yardage.

“He has a really good demeanor with our team,” head coach Dan Enos said of his quarterback’s performance with the game on the line.

Pinch-kicking, David Harman knocked one through the uprights with 1:11 remaining; the offense finally feeling gelled, hoping for another chance with the ball.

They had it, and then they didn’t.

“I thought we kind of left a lot out there,” Wilson said. “But we will learn from that and come back next week even stronger. I think good will come from this.”

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