CFN Take: Miami Univ. O Works In Loss To NIU
Miami University RedHawks 2014 ...
Head Coach: Mike Bath
Oct. 11 at Akron 29, Miami University 19
Aug. 30 Marshall L 42-27
Sep. 6 Eastern Kentucky L 17-10
Sep. 13 at Michigan L 34-10
Sep. 20 at Cincinnati L 31-24
Sep. 27 at Buffalo L 35-27
Oct. 4 UMass W 42-41
Oct. 11 at Akron L 29-19
Oct. 18 at Northern Illinois
Oct. 25 Kent State
Nov. 1 Western Michigan
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 at Central Michigan
Nov. 22 OPEN DATE
Nov. 25 Ohio
And You Care Because … Jawon Chisholm ran for two touchdowns and Cody Grice added a two-yard score as Akron got up early and never trailed. Miami University got a huge day from QB Andrew Hendrix, but turnovers and penalties killed drive after drive. Hendrix threw three touchdown passes including two to David Frazier, but Akron remained in control in the second half.
What Else? Penalties: Miami University 12 for 102 yards – Akron 9 for 74 yards
- Miami University QB Andrew Hendrix completed 24-of-41 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns with a pick, and ran 13 times for 28 yards
- Akron RB Jawon Chisholm ran 17 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns
- Miami University WR David Frazier caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: C+
Oct. 4 at Miami University 42, UMass 41
And You Care Because … Down 27, Miami roared with 28 straight points with Andrew Hendrix running for a one-yard score and finding Sam Martin for two of his four touchdown catches in the comeback, but UMass drove deep into MU territory in the final moments, didn’t go for the field goal, and time ran out as the drive stalled on the MU two. Blake Frohnapfel threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers for the Minutemen, and Khary Bailey-Smith returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Hendrix was unstoppable from late in the first half on, and the RedHawk defense came up with four key takeaways.
What Else? Total yards: Miami University 557 – Massachusetts 554
- Miami University QB Andrew Hendrix completed 32-of-58 passes for 437 yards and four touchdowns, and ran 13 times for 91 yards and a score
- UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel completed 35-of-59 passes for 389 yards and four scores. Tajae Sharpe caught nine passes for 154 yards
- Miami University WR Sam Martin caught eight passes for 111 yards and four scores, and Rokeem Williams caught six passes for 133 yards
Game Rating: A
Sept. 27 at Buffalo 35, Miami University 27
And You Care Because … Anthone Taylor ran 36 times and scored three times, with his final scoring run from one yard out finally giving Buffalo the lead for good in the fourth. Miami took the lead early and held tough in the nip-and-tuck game the entire way, with Andrew Hendrix throwing three touchdown passes and Dawan Scott running for a 61-yard dash. Hendrix gave MU the lead in the fourth on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Alex Welch, but UB scored eight unanswered points and held on late and was able to run out the clock.
What Else? Buffalo RB Anthone Taylor ran 36 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns
- Miami University QB Andrew Hendrix completed 12-of-38 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and ran four times for 15 yards
- Buffalo QB Joe Licata completed 28-of-38 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns
- Time of possession: Buffalo 38:44 – Miami University 21:16
Game Rating: A-
Sept. 20 at Cincinnati 31, Miami University 24
And You Care Because … Gunner Kiel threw four touchdown passes including a 29-yarder to Johnny Holton in the third quarter to bounce back from a 74-yard touchdown catch from MU WR David Frazier, who started out the scoring with a 23-yard touchdown catch, but the Bearcat O sputtered in the fourth and had to hang on. Andrew Hendrix threw two touchdown passes for the RedHawks, but he could only lead the offense to a field goal in the fourth.
What Else? Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel completed 25-of-39 passes for 271 yards and four scores with two picks
- Miami University QB Andrew Hendrix completed 13-of-26 passes for 262 yards and two scores with a pick, but he was stuffed for -7 yards on 17 carries.
- Third down conversions: Miami University 8-of-15 – Cincinnati 7-of-14
- Turnovers: Miami University 3 – Cincinnati 2
Game Rating: B
Sept. 13 at Michigan 34, Miami University 10
And You Care Because … It wasn’t a dominant bounceback performance, but the Wolverines pulled away from a 10-10 tie with 24 unanswered points. Devin Gardner threw two touchdown passes including a 29-yarder to Jake Butt, and Derrick Green ran for two short scores.
What Else? Michigan turned the ball over three times, but outgained Miami 460 yards to 198.
- Michigan RB Derrick Green ran 22 times for 37 yards and two touchdowns.
- Miami ran 24 times for 33 yards. QB Andrew Hendrix completed 12-of-26 passes for 165 yards and a score with a pick
- Michigan QB Devin Gardner completed 13-of-20 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns with a pick
Game Rating: C-
Sept. 6 Eastern Kentucky 17, Miami University 10
And You Care Because … EKU WR Jeff Glover threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Deno Montgomery for with just under five minutes to play, and the D held on with a late pick to pull off the upset. Andrew Hendrix threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jared Murphy and Kaleb Patterson hit a 22-yard field goal to give MU a 10-3 lead in the third, but a 55-yard interception return for a score from Stanley Absanon was part of six EKU takeaways. The MU defense was solid, allowing just 280 yards and 1-of-13 third down conversions, but the turnovers were the downfall. Henrdix threw for 359 yards with a score and three picks.
Game Rating: B
Aug. 30 at Marshall 42, Miami University 27
And You Care Because … Rakeem Cato threw three touchdown passes with two to Eric Frohnapfel, and he ran for a short score, as Marshall jumped out 21-0 and to a 28-3 halftime lead before taking it easy – that was a problem. Miami came rocking back in the second half with three Andrew Hendrix touchdown passes including a 40-yarder to Rokeem Williams to pull within eight late, but Cato led the way to an 11-play, 65-yard drive finishing with his two-yard score. MU’s offense worked for the first time in years thanks to Hendrix, the Notre Dame transfer who threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 46, but Marshall’s Devon Johnson ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and Cato was able to come through late.
Game Rating: B
There really was a time when Miami University football wasn’t awful.
The RedHawks really did win the MAC title game in 2010, and the program really did rule the MAC world for a while, highlighted recently by the Ben Roethlisberger-led 13-1 campaign of 2003.
They don’t call the place the Cradle of Coaches for nothing.
But the program fell completely off the map over the last few seasons coming up with an absolutely abysmal 2013 with an offense that failed to score more than 17 points in any game, and defense that couldn’t pick up the slack. And that’s where Chuck Martin comes in to try to restore the glory. He has a clean slate to work with.
For good and for bad, 16 starters are back from one of the nation’s worst teams, and Martin needs to get a little time to change things around needing to do something, anything, for the awful offensive line while needing to infuse some pop to the attack that went nowhere.
The former Notre Dame offensive coordinator showed he could work with both Everett Golson in 2012 and Tommy Rees last year to make the O move in different ways, and he knows the defensive side coaching the Irish defensive backs for a few years after a wildly successful year as the national championship head coach at Grand Valley State.
In the past 13 years, Martin has coaches in seven national championship games. At Miami, all he needs to do is generate a few wins this year, and then he can worry about titles.
The offense couldn’t protect the quarterback and couldn’t generate any sort of a push up front to give the backfield space to move. There’s talent at receiver, but can the quarterbacks start getting the ball down the field?
Can Notre Dame transfer Andrew Hendrix be the answer? Four starters are back up front, but it has to be a far, far more cohesive unit, and Job Two is to find playmakers. If nothing else, the attack can’t be any worse.
The defense wasn’t much better, but seven starters return including a terrific group of linebackers and a young array of defensive backs. Again, in the glass is half full sort of way, only when you’ve lost everything are you free to do anything. Whatever happens this year will be a positive.
How fast can Martin make this happen? Miami went from 1-11 and totally miserable in 2009 to 10-4 and MAC champions in 2010. It’s a tall task, but it’s been done before.
What to watch for on offense:
Anything the new coaching staff does will be better than what happened last season, and it all starts with establishing some semblance of a running game
in the new up-tempo spread attack. The RedHawks didn’t generate any push up front, was a total disaster in pass protection, and finished the year with just 1,219 yards and five scores. How bad was the attack? The leading rusher was QB Austin Gearing with just 478 yards, and the No. 2 guy was Dawan Scott with 231 yards – he’s a wide receiver. The top running back was Spencer Treadwell – the son of the former head coach, Don – running for a mere 171 yards and a score. With veterans up front, the line has to be a wee bit of a positive, and at the very least, it can’t be a total disaster again. The goal will be to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands in a hurry, and to get the backs into space. Easier said than done, but again, any improvement will seem major.
What to watch for on defense:
It all starts with the defensive front and generating pressure into the backfield. The secondary struggled to keep the big plays to a minimum, partly because the front only came up with 14 sacks to go along with 62 tackles for loss. The line was shoved around way too easily and didn’t stop anyone’s running game, allowing 5.1 yards per pop and 223 yards per game. The RedHawks gave up 200 yards or more in six games, allowing 300 or more three times, and got worse as the season went on allowing 611 yards to Kent State and Buffalo in back-to-back games in November. Seven of the 14 sacks came in two games against Central Michigan and Bowling Green, and now there has to be more hits on the quarterback and plays behind the line on a consistent basis.
The team will be far better if …
the offense scores when it gets the chance. With an attack that finished second-to-last in the nation in total offense, scoring offense and passing efficiency, nothing worked. The O failed to move the chains, there weren’t any big plays down the field, and long drives were non-existent. So for an offense that came up with a mere 117 points on the year, it’s vital to come away with points every time it gets within range. The kicking game wasn’t a problem overall, with a decent year from Kaleb Patterson, but he only hit two red zone field goals. The RedHawks got inside the 20 just 19 times and got points on 12 of the drives. By comparison, Florida State got into the red zone 73 times and scored on 71 of the drives.
There isn’t a 100% sure-thing layup on the slate if the team plays like it did last season, and that includes Eastern Kentucky who comes up in Week Two after the date with Marshall. After two home games come the paycheck days on the road against Michigan and Cincinnati to kick off a run of five road games in six weeks. The lone home game against UMass has to be a win, and the team has to find its stride late with three home games in the final four including winnable dates against Kent State and Western Michigan. Along with the game against the Broncos, the RedHawks have to play Northern Illinois and Central Michigan on the road.
Best offensive player:
Senior WR Dawan Scott.
It's actually going to be new starting quarterback Andrew Hendrix, at least
that's the goal, but Scott could turn out to be a star if the quarterback situation is better.
If Hendrix gets time to operate, the receivers are there to start making more big things happen with David Frazier combining with Scott. No one had to worry about the running game, the safeties hung back, and there wasn’t anything happening down the field. Give Scott a shot, and he could be terrific with good size and excellent speed. Able to run as well as catch, he was the leading receiver and the second-leading rusher.
Best defensive player:
Junior LB Kent Kern. He rose up and did everything he could to make up for a line that didn’t do much of anything to keep running games in check. While he’s not that big, he’s a good hitter and was one of the team’s better players behind the line. Combining with Tyler Tucker and Josh Dooley, Kern should help make the linebacking corps the team’s biggest strength early on. If the group can start hitting the quarterback, all the better.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Andrew Hendrix. All of a sudden, the RedHawks have a quarterback who could be the difference-maker they’ve been looking for. The former Notre Dame quarterback wasn’t able to move up the charts enough to take the starting gig in South Bend, but now he’s the right guy at the right time, transferring over to be Chuck Martin’s new starter. The offense needs something that works, and it needs a catalyst. Hendrix alone can’t take the team on his back and make it a MAC champion, but he’ll get the offense moving.
The season will be a success if …
the RedHawks win four games. After not doing anything right last year, and after blowout after blowout, the combination of a new coaching staff, all the returning experience, and a quarterback like Hendrix should be enough to get by Eastern Kentucky, UMass, and win at least two other games against teams like Western Michigan, Akron and Kent State.
Oct. 4 vs. UMass. You don’t schedule an FCS opponent at home if you don’t believe you’re going to buy a free win, so assuming a loss to Marshall, the potential 17-game losing streak should end against Eastern Kentucky. No matter what happens in that game, assuming a loss to a solid Buffalo team in the MAC opener, the RedHawks have to beat UMass at home. Last year the Minutemen came up with their only win of the season in a 17-10 midseason date in Amherst. Miami can’t blow this layup at home.
2013 Fun Stats:
- Points: Opponents 428 – Miami University 117
- Sacks: Opponents 49 for 310 yards – Miami University 14 for 72 yards
- Time of Possession: Opponents 32:20 – Miami 27:40
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