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CFN Take: Miami Bombed On By Ball State

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 29, 2013


Miami University RedHawks 2013 ... Head Coach: Mike Bath


Miami University RedHawks

2013 Record: 0-12
8/31 at Marshall L 52-14
9/7 at Kentucky L 41-7
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 Cincinnati L 14-0
9/28 at Illinois L 50-14
10/5 Central Mich L 21-9
10/12 at UMass L 17-10
10/19 Akron L 24-17
10/26 at Ohio L 41-16
11/5 Bowling Green L 45-3
11/13 at Kent State L 41-21
11/19 Buffalo L 44-7
11/23 OPEN DATE
11/29 at Ball State L 55-14  
at Ball State 55, Miami University 14
Basically … Keith Wenning threw six touchdown passes overall with three to Jamil Smith from ten, ten and six yards out, and highlighted by a 72-yarder to Jordan Williams on the way to a 35-0 halftime lead. MU came up with a 58-yard Dawan Scott touchdown pass and a three-yard Austin Gearing score, but the Cardinals kept on rolling with a 75-yard touchdown catch from Williams.
- Ball State WR Jamil Smith caught seven passes for 127 yards and three scores. Jordan Williams caught five passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, and Willie Snead caught 11 passes for 133 yards and a score.
- Miami QB Drew Kummer completed 4-of-13 passes for 93 yards with a score.
- Miami turned the ball over three times and was outgained 585 yards to 281
- Ball State QB Keith Wenning completed 27-of-33 passes for 445 yards and six scores.

Buffalo 44, at Miami University 7
Basically … Buffalo ran at will with Branden Oliver scoring twice in the second quarter and Alex Dennison catching a one-yard touchdown pass. The defense also helped out with a 60-yard fumble return for a score from Okoye Houston on the way to a 28-0 halftime lead. Patrick Clarke hit three field goals as UB got up 44-0 before MU scored on a two-yard Drew Kummer run with just over three minutes to play.
- Buffalo ran for 311 yards and held on to the ball for over 36 minutes. Miami University gained 200 yards total.
- UB RB Branden Oliver ran 26 times for 150 yards and two scores, and Anthone Taylor ran 17 times for 154 yards.
- Miami University QB Austin Gearing completed 5-of-19 passes for 65 yards and a pick.
- Miami converted one of ten third down chances, missed on its lone fourth down try and gained just nine first downs.

at Bowling Green 45, Miami University 3
Basically … Bowling Green held Miami to 228 yards of total offense and only gave up a 51-yard Kaleb Patterson field goal in the first quarter. Matt Johnson threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and BooBoo Gates returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons scored 38 unanswered points.
- Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson completed 20-of-26 passes for 252 yards and three scores with a pick, and he ran for a score.
- Miami turned it over three times and managed just 97 rushing yards on 37 carries.
- Miami QB Drew Kummer completed 9-of-19 passes for 199 yards, while Austin Gearing hit all six of his throws for 31 yards
- Bowling Green RB Travis Greene ran 14 times for 112 yards

at Massachusetts 17, Miami University 10
Basically … UMass scored ten unanswered points in the second half with A.J. Doyle finding Rob Blanchflower for a 47-yard score and Blake Lucas hitting a 25-yard field goal. Miami, in the first game under interim head coach Mike Bath, managed just 290 yards with a 13-yard touchdown catch from Steve Marck and a 45-yard Kaleb Patterson field goal.
- It might not have been a blowout with an offensive explosion, but UMass got a win. A.J. Doyle wasn’t bad, throwing for 249 yards with two scores, but he gave away two picks. The defense picked up the slack for the offense with a terrific performance when it came time to get off the field. The MU offense didn’t do much of anything in the first half, and the O took advantage.
- It was a rocky week with the coaching change, but there wasn’t much of a boost in production. MU is still miserable when it comes to moving the chains, and it failed badly time and again to make something happen going 1-of-11 on third downs. The problem continues to be the lack of accuracy on the short-to-midrange passes for a short-to-midrange passing offense. Austin Boucher completed 14-of-34 passes for 166 yards with a score and three picks.

Central Michigan 21, at Miami University 9
Basically … Saylor Lavallii ran for scores from 16 and three yards out and Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore ran for a 16-yard score as Central Michigan took the lead late in the third quarter and closed well with 14 unanswered points. Miami started out the scoring with a 40-yard Kaleb Patterson field goal, and got in the end zone on a ten-yard David Frazier touchdown catch, but that was it for a sputtering offense that couldn’t take advantage of a few late chances.
- The Central Michigan offense didn’t crank out anything big, and the 294 yards were hardly impressive, but Saylor Lavallii carried the attack with 151 yards and two scores on 25 carries. There were two turnovers, but only two penalties as the O did what it needed to do to break through late against a struggling team.
- And that’s it for the Don Treadwell era. The Miami offense just didn’t score, and after a disastrous start to the season, the administration pulled the plug. The RedHawk short passing game didn’t come up with enough long drives against CMU, but the rushing attack had one of its better games. However, the nine points once again showed the offensive woes and why a change was needed. Offensive coordinator Jon Klacik was let go, too. Mike Bath was named the interim head man.

at Illinois 50, Miami University 14
Basically … Nathan Scheelhaase threw five touchdown passes with two to Matt LaCosse on the way to a 36-0 first half lead for Illinois. The Illini got up 43-0 before Miami got on the board with two second half touchdowns from one-yard out, but the outcome had been long decided.
- If you’re Illinois, and you’re trying to step up and become an improved team overall, you have to rise up and drill a bad team like Miami University. Nathan Scheelhaase got time and was almost flawless, he threw a pick, completing 19-of-24 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns.
- Miami actually committed more to the run this week, but it didn’t matter much. The running of quarterback Austin Gearing helped and provided a little bit of pop. Overall the RedHawks ran for 155 yards and a score on 41 carries. It’s not much, but compared to rest of the season so far, it’s a start.
- The Illini didn’t need much of a pass rush. They allowed MU to try its short passing game that hasn’t gone anywhere all season long, and it cleaned things up with good, sure stops. Jonathan Brown made nine tackles with a broken up pass.
- Illinois converted 10-of-14 third down chances, while Miami converted just 2-of-11 times.

Cincinnati 14, at Miami University 0
Basically … Cincinnati was bad, Miami University was worse. The Bearcats finally got on the board with under five minutes to play on a one-yard Hosey Williams touchdown run, and Brendon Kay sealed it with a one-yard score with just over two minutes to play. Miami managed just four first downs and 87 yards of total offense, going 0-for-11 on third downs.
- To be fair UC QB Brendon Kay isn’t healthy with a bad knee, but ugh. The Bearcats tried to do everything possible not to win the game on offense, but Kay and the attack finally broke through late. He completed 23-of-37 passes for 171 yards and two picks.
- Miami’s offense came up with seven rushing yards. It’s a weekly problem now. No running game is one thing – MU is used to that – but there’s no passing attack to pick up the slack, Austin Boucher completed just 7-of-16 passes for 80 yards and two picks, mostly because he had absolutely no time to work.
- Cincinnati generated five sacks and was constantly behind the line. The Bearcats got production from everywhere, with Jordan Stepp leading the way with two sacks.
- Kent Kern made 15 tackles and seemed to be in on every stops. The RedHawk defense more than did its part – corner Dayonne Nunley was terrific – but the offense provided no help whatsoever.

at Kentucky 41, Miami University 7, Sept. 7
Basically … The Wildcats had no problems getting the offense rolling early as Jalen Whitlow kicked off the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown run and Maxwell Smith threw three long touchdown passes on the way to the easy win. Javess Blue closed out the first half with an 88-yard scoring play, and Jonathan George scored from 48 yards out. MU’s only touchdown came in the first half on a fumble recovery from Chris Wade.
- The two quarterback situation worked for UK. Maxwell Smith bombed away for 310 yards and three touchdowns on an effective 15-of-23 day, while Jalen Whitlow completed 10-of-12 passes and ran for 48 yards. Miami didn’t have any answers.
- Miami will never have a top-shelf running game, but the passing attack was a disaster for the second week in a row. Austin Boucher only completed 4-of-14 passes for 23 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with 28.
- Kentucky defensive end Za’Darius Smith was all but unblockable coming up with three sacks and six tackles.
- Miami was 1-of-16 on third down chances and was outgained 675 yards to 122.

at Marshall 52, Miami University 14, Aug. 31
Basically … Rakeem Cato threw five touchdown passes helping Marshall roll up 38 unanswered points after a 14-14 halftime tie. MU got an eight-yard touchdown catch from Steve Marck, and Spencer Treadwell ran for a two-yard score, but Cato was too much finding Gator Hoskins for two scores and finishing it off with a 54-yard Devon Smith scoring play.
- Miami’s short passing game is built for converting on third down, but the O didn’t get it done converting on just 2-of-13 chances.
- Cato didn’t have to take any chances because he wasn’t under any real pressure getting sacked just once. He did a great job of taking what the RedHawk defense gave him.
- Is this a new year and a new era for the Marshall defense? Jermaine Holmes led the way for a whale of a day making eight tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss.
- Miami made an effort to run the ball, but it still didn’t work with just 74 yards on 34 carries. The offense is going to be Austin Boucher’s passing or bust, and against the Herd, it was bust.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited ... There’s a ton of returning experience from a team that lost three of its last four games by a touchdown or less. Eight starters are back on offense including leading receiver Nick Harwell and promising target Dawon Scott to help out quarterback Austin Boucher, who’s just experienced enough to be able to step in and produce with Zac Dysert gone. Four starters are back on an offensive line that struggled, but was young, and seven starters return to a defense that rocky defense that will at least be experienced.

Why To Be Grouchy ... Yes, four offensive linemen are back, but that hasn’t necessarily meant anything to MU’s offense over the years. Last year the line was 112th in the nation in sacks allowed and the ground game was the third-worst. In 2011, MU allowed the second-most sacks and finished dead last in rushing. In 2010, the line gave up 30 sacks and the ground game averaged 98 yards per game. It’s partly because of the design of the offense, but the wheel probably won’t be reinvented with this year’s attack, either.

What Needs Working On ...The run defense has to improve. The ground game might always be an issue in a passing offense, but the bigger problem as the year went on was a run defense that got ripped up for 35 rushing scores and almost 3,000 yards. Buffalo was the only team to run for fewer than two scores against the MU D that generated more than one sack in just three games. Both starting defensive ends are gone with Jason Semmes and Luke Kelly needing to be replaced.

Non-Conference Games: at Marshall, at Kentucky, Cincinnati, at Illinois
Games Against The West: at Ball State, Central Michigan
Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Worst Case Record: 2-10
Likely Finish: 4-8

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Central Michigan, at UMass, Akron, Buffalo

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Marshall, at Kentucky, Cincinnati, at Illinois, at Ohio, Bowling Green, at Kent State, at Ball State

Schedule Analysis: 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.

Team Concerns For 2013: MU needs to the running game to work and it needs to all start with the offensive line. If that sounds familiar, it's because the team has had major issues getting the ground attack going over the last few years. The run defense wasn't a prize, either, finishing second-to-last in the nation allowing 241 yards per game. The return game has to find some punch after averaging just 3.17 yards per punt return and 35 yards on kickoffs.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebackers. The RedHawks got some good offensive linemen with Randy Heideman a strong tackle prospect, and the receiving corps got a boost with Jared Murphy and Damon Washington, but the linebackers are going to be the top position. Safety Airion Kosak is the star of the class, but linebackers Zach Smierciak and Matt Smallbone should eventually be two of the biggest producers on the D. Corner Heath Harding has the tools to eventually be a No. 1 coverman.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 75. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive line. The RedHawks continue to go after big class after big class with the lines getting the most help. The offense hasn’t gotten anything out of the line over the last few years, and this class has quality more than quantity. The defensive front gets the most talent with decent athletes at tackle and a few nice players for the end. The receiving corps should get some immediate help. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 112. That Class Was Heavy On ... The Secondary. The last few classes were about bringing up the talent level a bit with more players and more options to provide depth. Those two classes will mature this year for new head coach Don Treadwell, and now he and the coaching staff, with little time to work, are trying to secure the secondary with several corner prospects, led by the speedy Jamarcus Darden, and big-hitting safety Tre Clif

ton. 2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 113. That Class Was Heavy On ... More bodies. Shane Montgomery came up with a huge class last year based more on bulk prospects than sure-thing stars. The same goes for this year with a slew of players brought in to create more depth and to do more developing. OT Jeff Tanner will be an All-MAC performer before his time is done and he should combine with Tyler Grubbs to form a nice pair of bookends.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 94. That Class Was Heavy On ... Bodies. This is a big class full of a variety of prospects that don’t necessarily fit a type, and with a program that fell off the map with one of the most disappointing, disastrous seasons of any team in America, it’s rebuilding time. The idea will be to use this class to build towards the future; don’t expect a whole bunch of help right away.

 

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