Shafer withholds Rawls’ absence from players as Syracuse shuts down Central Michigan running game

first_img Published on September 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — At the top of the paper stack in front of every spot in the Kelly/Shorts Stadium was a game-changing announcement.Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan’s starting running back and bonafide offensive leader, didn’t play due to an issue that CMU was made aware of on Friday. Scott Shafer heard the news but didn’t rush to tell his team. He actually never told them at all.“When I heard he wasn’t going to play, I didn’t want to say anything to the kids because they were really juiced up to try and slow him down,” Shafer said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get an opportunity to play against him.”Shafer’s psychological ploy — whether it was one or not — worked to a tee. In a 40-3 win on Saturday, the Orange (2-0) held the Chippewas (2-1) to 34 rushing yards on 23 attempts. Without Rawls, Syracuse frequently blitzed CMU quarterback Cooper Rush and only one player, Saylor Lavalli, rushed for 15 yards. Central Michigan’s longest rush of the game went for 11.“I still didn’t know it until game time until I saw No. 6 at the start of the game,” starting nose tackle Eric Crume said. “I didn’t really concern myself with that they were doing.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth Shafer and Crume said that they would have liked to have faced Rawls, who came into the weekend with the most carries of any Football Bowl Subdivision running back thus far this season.He also had taken 58 of the Chippewas’ 76 carries before the game, which showed in CMU’s failed by-committee approach.“I don’t think it changed anything,” Crume said. “We were prepared for anybody who was going to be in the backfield, as usual. So I think we just worried about us and not worried so much of the other team.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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