Miami Univ. Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Miami University RedHawks Preview 2006 - Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Two Times – There are plenty of guys who double as a returner and a receiver.  Few, if any, do both as well as Ryne Robinson, the record breaking Miami Redhawk gamebreaker.  As a return man, Robinson is just over 250 yards away from being the career leading punt return man in the history of college football.  That’s not chump change, for sure, but teams have to get smart and not kick him the ball.  As a receiver, Robinson can hurt a defense anywhere on the field.  He can catch short and run long.  He can make the catch in the intermediate areas – 15 to 17 yard digs and deep crosses.  He can stretch the field vertically.  There really isn’t anything that the 5’10”, 170 pound senior can’t do in the passing game.  Well, outside of throwing the ball to himself, but we’ll talk about the QB situation later.  He finished the season with 75 catches and over 1,000 yards, so defenders are going to have to find ways to take him out of the game, whether in the return game or on offense.  Don’t expect too much man coverage when Robinson is lined up on offense, though; that might ultimately be the best thing that he does for this team.  However, if he’s not the number one focus for defenses this year, drawing single coverage throughout a game, defenses will pay with a couple of six spots on the board, as Robinson takes MAC corners to the cleaners.  And, don’t compound your mistake by punting him the ball.  That could hurt twice as bad.

2nd and Seven – Don’t Play with this Card – No matter the conference.  No matter the competition.  Miami free safety Joey Card is one of the best tackling safeties in the nation.  Put him in the SEC or send him west to the Pac-10 and the nation would know a lot more about Card.  The leading returning tackler for the Redhawks piled up 67 tackles last season and is as sure a tackler as you’re going to find anywhere.  Okay, so he did also have three interceptions, but we’re talking ‘physical’ and tackling here, folks.  With many in the front seven departed due to graduation, Card is going to be that much more valuable in supporting the run.  But, he’s shown that he can be a ‘box’ player, and then some.

3rd and Three – Smurf Murph – Coming into 2005, there were as many questions about the Miami running back situation as there were about any other position on the field.  Well, Brandon Murphy answered that question, leaving no such ‘situation’ for this season.  The diminutive one is blessed with good vision, some serious wiggle and explosion.  That combination of traits helped Murphy average more than 100 yards per game and playing off the talented Robinson for a second straight year, he should be able to do the same in 2006.

4th and One – Who’s Next? – So much offensive talent in the stable, and a newbie shall lead them?  Can you imagine what this offense would do with Ben Roethlisberger or Josh Betts at QB?  Okay, sorry Redhawk fans, you’ve probably already petitioned for an additional year for Betts, but to no avail.  With Betts graduating, following Roethlisberger’s tremendous career, the QB position is as unsettled as it has been in quite some time.  Mike Kokal has taken snaps in the past, but Jared Elliott is one big kid (6’5” uberstud).  No matter who lines up under center this fall, they’ve got some help.  Just get the ball to the people who know what to do with it – in other words, the guys listed above.  Sure, it’s easier said than done, but someone has to be next.

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