IOWA CITY — Good wouldn’t be enough. Heading into a game on the road, Central Michigan’s head coach said his quarterback Ryan Radcliff would have to be “great” not good.
Against Michigan State two weeks ago, a different Big Ten opponent, the Chippewas quarterback was flat out bad. In 41-7 loss to the Spartans, Radcliff was 17 of 38 for 173 yards and two interceptions.
“We thought early in the game we missed on third down opportunities and we had people open,” Dan Enos said on Tuesday in the Mid-American Conference teleconference. “A couple times later in the game we thought we had receivers open and he didn’t set his feet and throw the ball. And that’s obviously unacceptable at this point.”
Saturday after Central Michigan clipped Iowa 32-31 at Kinnick Stadium, Enos had a much different tone.
“I thought Ryan played his best game,” Enos said. “One of his best games in — this is our third season together. He’s had a couple of games where he’s been outstanding. I thought today was very good. He played within himself.”
Radcliff finished the game completing 26 of 35 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception. Entering the game, Radcliff had completed 31 of 61 passes for 344 yards with a touchdown and two picks.
He excelled in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. With Central Michigan tailing by eight with 2:18 remaining, Radcliff completed all five attempts for 57 yards, including a 13 yard touchdown pass and also scrambled for 12 yards. He moved the Chippewas 64 yards in 1:33.
“Honestly when we get in our two-minute offense, it just takes me back to high school,” Radcliff said. “In high school we were five wide all the time. That’s all we ever did. I’m pretty comfortable in the two minute and we do a lot of it in practice so we’re just getting back to the comfort zone.
“I love it. Spread ‘em out and throw it.”