Beat writer Q&A: Jim Lahde of The Morning Sun on Syracuse-Central Michigan matchup

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (1-1) looks to bounce back after its first loss of the season when it welcomes Central Michigan (2-0) to the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Middle Tennessee State topped the Orange, 30-23 last week, while the Chippewas traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, and bested the Jayhawks, 45-27.Jim Lahde is the sports editor of The Morning Sun, which is based in Alma, Michigan, just under 20 miles from CMU’s campus. The Daily Orange spoke with him about Saturday’s matchup.The Daily Orange: CMU barely snuck by Rhode Island but then embarrassed Kansas. What was the difference?Jim Lahde: Against Rhode Island, defensively, they played well. They had six interceptions which tied the single-game school record. The defense played well. It’s just the offense never got going. They could’ve lost that game had the URI kicker not missed a chip shot. The offense just was not going at the time. Week 2, obviously it started clicking. It’s just a matter of getting out there and finding their rhythm.The D.O.: With eight interceptions already, is there something the secondary throws at offenses that is especially tricky?AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJ.L.: It’s a little luck and a little good fortune more than anything else. Rhode Island, they were throwing it all over the place. CMU just kept picking them off. Amari Coleman is a very good defensive back. I believe he has two or three already, including a one-handed one.The defensive play against Rhode Island isn’t going to be a world leader by any means, but with a little luck and little good defensive game-planning. In the Kansas game, they did play well defensively too. A couple of picks in that one. I don’t know if it’s the scheme, but they’ve been playing good defense since the opener. That’s my two cents on that.Courtesy of CMU AthleticsThe D.O.: With wide receivers and Corey Willis and Brandon Childress out, how does that change the offense?J.L.: Good point. Childress was a kid that emerged a little last year and they were hoping he would step up a little more this year. He’s an All-American basketball player out of high school in Michigan. The best kid in the class he played in. I thought he’d go play basketball. He was a kid emerging into a star, whereas Willis is a little more established. He was the top receiver on the team returning. He can make the big play, great in the open field, good vision. Losing him is pretty significant.They also had Ty Conklin who’s their starting tight end. He’s got a foot injury. he’s coming along faster than anticipated. He’s out of his boot, but it’s going to put the onus on kids like Logan Hessbrook. Logan’s a local kid out of mid-Michigan here. He’s kind of emerged at the tight end spot. He’s done some good things the last couple of weeks.There’s another wide receiver, No. 3, he’s a senior leader. It’s going to fall on those two and the young kids. They threw for 467 yards and five touchdowns last week, so the players are out there. The question is, who’s going to step up and into those roles?The D.O.: How about quarterback Shane Morris?J.L.: Shane for Week 1 didn’t do much. Week 2, gosh, he was a superstar. He went for 467 yards and five touchdowns. He looked like Dan LeFevour or Cooper Rush out there. To me, it was a matter of first-game jitters. Teams are looking to find their rhythm and it’s going to be elusive for a while. It takes a game or two to really find it. I think CMU’s coming along and Morris has led that. It’s just a matter of who he is going to turn to. I expect Hessbrook to have a big game. He’s a good kid. He’s a big kid. He’s a physical kid. The running game hasn’t emerged too much in the spread.They changed offenses from last year to this year. They went a little more pro, power style last year and now they’re going to a more spread look, throw it around the yard — which they used to do 10 years ago when they had Dan LeFevour and Antonio Brown and that crew here. They were spreading. It led to good things, but then for five or six years, they went to that spread. I think that might play into it, too. There’s going to be growing pains. That might have been evident Week 1 also. I expect Shane Morris to do more good things. He had a cup of coffee at the university of Michigan. It didn’t work out. He’s up here for his senior year. He looked great last week, I can tell you that much.The D.O.: Syracuse wants to improve its run game but has struggled so far. Quarterback Eric Dungey, though, said CMU has a stout defensive line. Can they dictate play?J.L.: Eh, you look at the interceptions and I think that’s the bigger stat. But in their opener against Rhode Island, I don’t think the defense gave up a whole lot of yardage and rushing until the second half when Rhode Island really put it together and was down 21 to come back and tie it. And at Kansas, CMU’s defense played pretty good. I think it’s the same as Syracuse where they haven’t run for a whole lot of yardage. they’ve been throwing it around the yard. The defensive line has played well but the secondary has been the key. Comments Published on September 14, 2017 at 8:26 pm Contact: [email protected] | @jtblosslast_img

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