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Sunday, September 2, 2007

CMU: Mistakes proved costly

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Dan LeFevour summed up Central Michigan's opening loss succinctly enough.

"They made plays and we didn't," LeFevour said. "That's about it."

LeFevour, CMU's touted quarterback, completed 19 of 37 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown, while his counterpart Todd Reesing racked up 261 yards in the air, went 20-for-29 and threw four touchdowns.

The result was a 52-7 loss to the Jayhawks on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Central Michigan coach Butch Jones, in his first game at the helm, said the Chippeawas continually failed to execute.

"When you play a team the caliber of Kansas, you can't beat yourself," Jones said, noting that Raimond Pendleton's 77-yard punt return that made it 28-0 was particularly disheartening for the road team from the Mid-American Conference.

"Way too many mistakes to be able to come in here and beat a talented team like Kansas," he said.

Although Central Michigan had little game film to prepare for Reesing and plenty of footage of the Jayhawks' pass defense that was worst among Div. I teams last year, Jones said Reesing and his teammates played how the Chippewas' coaching staff expected them to.

KU thrashes UCM, 52-7

The star of the night was Todd Reesing in his very first start in a Kansas uniform.

"We were expecting exactly what we saw and knew they were a good football team," Jones said, adding that KU's 2006 6-6 record was deceptive. "They could've very easily been a nine- or 10-win team last year."

Jones said Reesing was "very active" and thought he managed the game well.

When LeFevour got a chance on the sidelines, he liked what he saw of Reesing. The Chippewas' quarterback said Reesing moved the ball well and echoed Jones' assessment of his game-management skills.

Curtis Cutts, Central Michigan's senior strong safety, said Reesing may have caught the defense somewhat off guard.

"We expected a little more scrambling and things like that," Cutts said, adding that Reesing showed a lot of that ability on film.

Cutts said the Central Michigan secondary helped propel Reesing.

"We made a lot of mistakes in the back end," the defensive back said. "Their offense was good, but a lot of it came back on us for missed assignments and blown coverages."

CMU players and coaches blamed themselves for putting up only seven points, which came on a LeFevour pass to Bryan Anderson and the ensuing extra point at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

"I feel like I know what I'm doing out there, it was just a lack of execution on our part," said LeFevour, who threw for 3,031 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2006.

However, the QB admitted the Jayhawks' secondary had a hand in the outcome as well.

"They stuck to their assignments. They didn't give up the deep ball. I thought they really knew what they were doing out there," LeFevour said.

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