2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 6 - Army at Miami Univ.
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Oct. 8 at Miami University 35 … Army 28
CFN Analysis: Finally, Don Treadwell got his first win as the RedHawk head coach, and with a bad Kent State team up next and with Buffalo and Akron coming up soon, there's a chance to throw the poor start to the season in the trash and go on a nice run. Zac Dysert was brilliant, and he had to be with the defense having problems getting off the field. Army's passing game was fantastic – Army doesn't have a passing game – but MU was able to take advantage of the mistakes and rally for a big comeback after getting down 28-14 in the third. Finally, the punting game wasn't a disaster, with Zac Murphy averaging 43 yards per boot, but it remains a huge concern.
How did Army blow it? Fumbles. It was a perfect situation against Miami University. The Knights were up by two scores in the second, half, Trent Steelman was throwing well – connecting on all eight of his passes – and with one of the nation's best running games ready to close things out. But the team can't hang on to the ball, giving up ten fumbles so far this year and with two killers against the RedHawks. This was a winnable game that was there for the taking, and now with the nasty Vanderbilt defense up next, 2-5 is possible with nasty games against Rutgers, Air Force, Temple and Navy to deal with, and with only one true home game left. If the turnovers stop, Army should be fine, but the problem is getting worse.
(AP) OXFORD, Ohio -- Don Treadwell saw no need for a big celebration after his first coaching win. Standards are a lot higher at the Cradle of Coaches, where four new statues tell the history.
Zac Dysert threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half Saturday, rallying Miami (Ohio) to a 35-28 victory over Army on a day dedicated to the school's reputation as a launching point for successful coaches.
It took five games and one big comeback to get the first win for Treadwell, a former Miami player who joined in singing the fight song on the field afterward.
"It's been a long time," Treadwell said. "We were overdue to sing the fight song. Being an alum, I knew the words but I didn't know we sing it so many times now. But if you win, I'll sing it as many times as they want."
His quarterback got the band warmed up.
Dysert had only two touchdown passes in the first four games. He put the RedHawks (1-4) ahead midway through the fourth quarter with his 20-yard pass to Nick Harwell, completing a 98-yard drive against an inexperienced defense.
"Obviously that's horrible, to have the ball go down the field," Army coach Rich Ellerson said. "Give them credit, but we're better than that."
Dysert also ran 1 yard for a score against Army's young defense -- which had three sophomores and two freshmen starting.
"We were playing a little out position on a couple of plays," Army linebacker Steven Erzinger said. "Obviously they're going to exploit that. They saw us doing some things they liked and at halftime made some adjustments. Once you get them hot, it's hard to stop."
Army (2-4) blew a 14-point lead in the second half and remained winless in three road games. Trent Steelman threw a 45-yard touchdown pass and ran for two more scores, but was sacked on fourth down from the Miami 15-yard line with 25 seconds left.
Miami unveiled four more statues on its Cradle of Coaches Plaza before the game, honoring Ara Parseghian, John Pont, Bo Schembechler and Earl "Red" Blaik, who played and coached at both Miami and Army.
The RedHawks had trouble getting that first victory for Treadwell, the 34th head coach in school history. The defending Mid-American Conference champions were off to their worst start since 2009, when they lost their first eight games and finished 1-11.
Dysert and Harwell pulled it off.
"It was a great experience," said Dysert, who was 24 of 37 for 342 yards. "That should start us rolling."
Harwell had 10 catches for 186 yards, the third-highest total in school history. He topped 100 yards receiving for the fourth straight game, matching Martin Nance's school record.
The RedHawks were coming off a 27-0 loss to rival Cincinnati a week ago, the Bearcats' first shutout in Oxford since 1898. Miami opened the game with Dysert's 13-yard touchdown pass to Harwell on the sixth play.
The RedHawks couldn't stop the triple option in the first half.
The Black Knights have topped 300 yards rushing in all six games, their longest such streak since 1996. Steelman ran 24 times for 99 yards overall and completed all of his eight passes for 124 yards against a defense that dared the Black Knights to throw.
Steelman started his 31st consecutive game, the longest streak by a quarterback in Army's history. He threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Brown for a 21-14 lead late in the first half. It was Steelman's third touchdown pass of the season and the longest play so far by the Black Knights.
Steelman also got the Black Knights rolling at the start of the second half. He carried three times for 55 yards, taking it the final 5 yards for a 28-14 lead on the opening drive.
Another turnover figured in the Black Knights' undoing. Raymond Maples' fumble set up Dysert's 9-yard touchdown pass to Andy Cruse that tied it at 28 on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Army lost two more fumbles, leaving it with 10 lost fumbles in the first five games.
Army (2-3) at Miami University (0-4) Oct. 8, 1:00
Here's The Deal … Army travels to Oxford, Ohio this week to take on the Miami Redhawks. These teams meet for the first time since 1997 when the Redhawks upset Army 14-13.
The Black Knights have struggled to a 2-3 record so far. While they have played well at home this season, Army suffered decisive losses against MAC teams Northern Illinois and Ball State. However, the Black Knights put together a dominating performance last week, rushing for 353 yards, and holding a potent Tulane passing attack to a meager 74 yards.
With 17 starters returning from last year's MAC championship team, Miami entered 2011 with extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, they have stumbled out of the gate this season. Former Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell took over as head coach as Mike Haywood left the program to take over at Pitt, and the Redhawks have struggled under the new schemes. Even though they have not won their first game yet, the Redhawks have remained competitive in every game, with the exception of last week's 27-0 loss against Cincinnati.
Both teams need this game to save their respective seasons. If the Army wants to return to a bowl, they must get a win against Miami, considering the brutal schedule that they play the rest of the way. On the other hand, a Redhawk victory would give Coach Treadwell his first win as Miami head coach, and establish some momentum for the second half of the season.
Why Army might win: Can anyone or anything - other than Army turning the ball over - stop Army's run game? The Black Knights have run their triple option offense to near perfection this season. Over the first five games, Army has rushed for over 1800 yards and ranks second nationally in rushing offense. This trend continued last week, as they racked up 353 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry in a 49-6 victory Tulane. The rushing attack has been so successful that the Black Knights have already eclipsed the 400-yard barrier twice this season.
On the other hand, Miami has failed to stop anyone on the ground, yielding 236 yards against 1-4 Minnesota. Sure, the rushing totals do not look as bad on paper, but that is because the defense has recorded some timely sacks. Teams often struggle against a triple-option attack because they cannot simulate the speed of it during practice. With the way that Army's offense operates, it will be a long day for the Miami defense.
Why Miami might win: The Redhawk offense holds the keys to victory. While Miami has not had any success in the win column this season, they have thrown the ball well, racking up over 1000 yards passing through the first four games. While this total might not seem impressive, Miami put up these numbers against three BCS opponents. Last week, the Redhawk passing game continued to gel, as they passed for 265 yards with a 60% completion rate against Cincinnati.
In addition, Army already has two losses against the MAC this season, suffering losses to Northern Illinois and Ball State. Other than an exceptional performance against Tulane last week, the Black Knights have failed to stop anyone from passing this season. If Army gave up 383 yards against Ball State, they will have a very long day facing Miami QB Zac Dysert, who is much more accurate than any other passer that the Black Knights have faced this season.
What To Watch Out For: Army will rely on its triple option attack, and lean heavily on the decision-making skills of Trent Steelman. The unquestioned leader of the offense, Steelman enters his third year as the starting QB, and is having another great season. Steelman leads the team in rushing with 437 yards rushing, and an astonishing 9 rushing TD's. While he might not have an ideal completion percentage, Steelman can also hit some deep throws, going 3 for 3 for 70 yards against Tulane week. His dual threat ability will force the Redhawks to play assignment football – or pay the price.
On the other side of the ball, Miami will turn to the air. When they do, they will look to get the ball explosive WR Nick Harwell whose speed will cause matchup problems for the Black Knight secondary. After missing the first game of the season due to a suspension, Harwell has emerged as the go-to receiver for QB Zac Dysert, catching 26 passes for 450 yards. With his 149-yard performance last week, Harwell became only the third player Miami history to record three consecutive games with over 100 yards receiving.
What will happen: Steelman will move the Black Knights up and down the field with the triple option. Miami will answer with some big plays from Harwell. While the game will remain close throughout, the consistency of the Army offense will prevail. The Black Knights earn a much-need win, and take a step closer to bowl eligibility.
CFN Prediction: Army 35 … Miami 17
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Army -2 O/U: 47.5
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