2013 CFN Preview - Miami Univ. RedHawks
Miami University WR Dawan Scott
Miami University WR Dawan Scott
Posted Jul 20, 2013

CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Miami University RedHawks

Miami Univ. RedHawks

Preview 2013

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By Pete Fiutak

Head coach: Don Treadwell
3rd year: 8-16
Returning Lettermen: 52
Off. 24, Def. 24, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 25
Ten Best Miami Univ. Players
1. CB Dayonne Nunley, Sr.
2. WR Dawan Scott, Jr.
3. LB Chris Wade, Jr.
4. QB Austin Boucher, Sr.
5. SS Brison Burris, Jr.
6. DE/LB Wes Williams, Sr.
7. DT Mwanza Wanulumba, Sr.
8. PK Kaleb Patterson, Soph.
9. OT Josh Harvey, Sr.
10. RB Jamire Westbrook, Soph.
2013 Schedule
8/31 at Marshall
9/7 at Kentucky
9/21 Cincinnati
9/28 at Illinois
10/5 Central Michigan
10/12 at UMass
10/19 Akron
10/26 at Ohio
11/5 Bowling Green
11/13 at Kent State
11/19 Buffalo
11/29 at Ball State
The MAC championship came just two years ago, but that's looking more and more like an aberration. It was the only winning season over the last seven seasons, and none of the problems of 2011's 4-8 season appeared to be fixed in the 2012 campaign.

The defense was bad, the running game worse, and the team managed just one win over the final seven games to ruin a good 3-2 start. Miami University football is full of really, really smart guys – it's time to figure out how to fix the glitches.

The offense relies on the short-to-medium passing game, but when the defensive front is full of medium-sized players that get flattened by anyone who can run the ball with any force, ball control is a must and MU doesn't do that. Meanwhile, the defense that relies on quickness and athleticism doesn't really use the advantages to get much going in the backfield. The run defense was the second-worst in college football, the running game was the third-worst in the game, and there were major problems in several areas that led to a second straight mediocre season. But there's hope.

With 17 starters returning including a terrific receiving corps, a good quarterback in Austin Boucher and a promising secondary that should grow into a solid unit if there's any help from the pass rush, it might not take too much tweaking for MU to get back among the living in the MAC East. As bad as things might have seemed at times last season, three of the last four losses were by a total of 14 points – 4-8 could turn into a 6-6 in a hiccup.

What to watch for on offense: More of the same. Miami always pays lip-service to doing more for the running game, but it doesn't happen. The offense will rely on the great group of receivers and the experience of new starting quarterback Austin Boucher to keep the short-to-midrange passing game going. The key will be to keep control of the ball and the clock to help keep the beleaguered defense on the sidelines, but with now ground game to rely on, it's hard to keep things moving. MU will have to once again throw its way to wins.

What to watch for on defense: The shuffling. There are plenty of interchangeable parts across the board, and the coaching staff will have to try finding the right fits. Wes Williams was a defensive end before moving to middle linebacker, but the outside spots should be set and need depth to work into the rotation. The defensive line has option on the outside, but there isn't one killer end to make anyone worry, meaning Williams could have to move around a bit more. The secondary should be the strength with depth and experience, but with little pass rush to count on it's going to take some work to come up with a good group of five defenders for the right nickel situations.

The team will be far better if … the defensive front can do something right. It can't get into the backfield, generating just 15 sacks on the year with six coming against Ohio. It can't consistently stop the run, getting punished for 200 yards or more in every game but four. Overall, the defense only came up with two recovered fumbles. Second-to-last in the nation against the run and with no size returning up front, MU will have to rely on experience and moxie to try making plays.

The schedule: It's going to be a bit rough, especially after starting out with three road games against Marshall, Kentucky and Illinois before October. Making matters worse is the one September home game is against Cincinnati. If the RedHawks can get past Central Michigan in the MAC opener, there's a chance to come up with a nice conference start with a trip to UMass and a date against Akron to follow. And then come the big problems with road trips to Ohio and Kent State wrapped around a home game with Bowling Green. Finishing out at Ball State could make or break the season.

Best offensive player: Junior WR Dawon Scott. With Nick Harwell gone, Scott has to shine. a 6-1, 173-pound speedster averaged 14.9 yards per catch making 57 grabs for 851 yards and seven scores highlighted by an 11-catch, 208-yard, two score day against Akron. While he disappeared at times, when he's targeted he's great at hitting the home run.

Best defensive player: Senior CB Dayonne Nunley. Wes Williams could be the most valuable defensive player with his ability to work as a pass rushing end or as a middle linebacker, but it's Nunley who's the star of the show with 25 career broken up passes and 12 picks. Very strong, very quick and experienced with a nose for the ball, he's an excellent all-around playmaker who isn't afraid to get his nose dirty.

Key player to a successful season: Senior DT Mwanza Wamulumba. The RedHawk defense doesn't have any semblance of a steady pass rush, needing Wamulumba to help do it all in the interior after coming up with a team-leading 2.5 sacks. He's not all that big, but at 6-3 and 264 pounds he represents the bulk in the interior; he needs to rock against the run.

The season will be a success if … MU wins six games. It's going to be tough to dig out of an early hole, but with winnable games against Central Michigan, UMass, Akron and Buffalo, there should be a decent base of wins if everything goes according to plan. It'll take some big upsets to get to six wins, but after winning four games last year, the program has to improve a little bit.

Key game: Oct. 5 vs. Central Michigan. It'll be a fight to come up with a September win against Marshall, Kentucky, Cincinnati or Illinois, but everything kicks off with the start of the MAC season at home against Central Michigan. The schedule eases up in a big way up until the battle with arch-rival Ohio, but with no Toledo or Northern Illinois to deal with from the West, there isn't a sure-thing loss the rest of the way with the possible exception of the home date against Bowling Green. Beating CMU would be a great tone-setter.

2012 Fun Stats:
- Defensive Fumble Recoveries: Opponents 7 – Miami University 2
- Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 241.1 – Miami University 86.6
- Penalties: Opponents 72 for 694 yards – Miami University 57 for 443 yards

- 2013 Miami Univ. Preview | 2013 Miami Univ. Offense
- 2013 Miami Univ. Defense | 2013 Miami Univ. Depth Chart