2008 CFN Miami Preview
2008 Miami Offense
2008 Miami Defense
2008 Miami Depth Chart
2007 CFN Miami Preview
2006 CFN Miami
Miami got some of its groove back after an ugly 2-10 2006 by winning
a share of the MAC East and representing the division in the MAC
Championship game. Even so, for one of the league's premier
programs, it was an empty season.
Not only did the RedHawks lose to Central Michigan 35-10, but by
losing four of the final six games they finished 6-7 and missed out
on a bowl game while Ball State and Bowling Green went off to have
another game. This year the goals are different. Anything less than
a MAC title and the first bowl trip in four years will be a major
Head coach: Shane Montgomery
4th year: 15-21
Off. 16, Def. 25, ST 5
Lettermen Lost: 15
Best RedHawk Players
1. LB Clayton Mullins, Sr.
2. SS Robbie Wilson, Sr.
3. LB Caleb Bostic, Jr.
4. LB Joey Hudson, Sr.
5. P Jake Richardson, Jr.
6. OG Dave DiFranco, Sr.
7. DE Joe Coniglio, Sr.
8. WR Eugene Harris, Soph.
9. WR Dustin Woods, Jr.
10. RB Thomas Merriweather, Soph.
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2008 Record: 0-0
Aug. 28 Vanderbilt
Sept. 6 at Michigan
Sept. 13 Charleston Southern
Sept. 20 at Cincinnati
Sept. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 4 Temple
Oct. 11 at Northern Illinois
Oct. 18 at Bowling Green
Oct. 25 Kent State
Nov. 4 at Buffalo
Nov. 11 Ball State
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Toledo
Nov. 28 Ohio
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2007 Record: 6-7
at Ball State
at Minn. L 41-35 3OT
at Kent State
Dec. 1 Central Michigan L 35-10
However, for a
team with so much returning experience and so much talent and MAC
star power, especially on defense, there has to be a concern over a
weak offense that didn't appear to be appreciably better this
off-season. After averaging a mere 19 points per game, more red
flags shot up in spring ball when QB Daniel Raudabaugh didn't take
the job by the horns and the big plays were few and far between. Of
course, the problems could have come from having to face a defense
that should be a brick wall.
The linebacking corps is good enough to play with anyone in the
country. The trio of Clayton Mullins, Caleb Bostic and Joey Hudson
are big, talented veterans who combined to make 345 tackles last
year alone and should be the league's best linebacking unit by far.
Throw in playmaking strong safety Robbie Wilson and a decent line
that should get into the backfield on a regular basis and MU should
be able to win any defensive battle. Now the offense has to do its
This is the program of Ben Roethlisberger,
but the passing game hasn't kept up the tradition and was among the
least efficient in the nation last season. The offensive line was
better than 2006, but it still struggled in pass protection and
didn't do enough for the running game. In other words, there are
holes to be filled, but none worse than other MAC teams have to deal
Even with all the issues, the upper-level talent is better than the
top talent everywhere else in the league. Will that be enough to
lead the team to the MAC title for the first time since the
Roethlisberger-led 2003 team? Yeah. Central Michigan might be the
defending two-time champion, but MU will likely be the team to beat.
What to watch on offense …
the quarterback situation. Raudabaugh is a veteran who was supposed
to have the total command of the attack. With an improved line, a
good receiving corps, and a nice back in Thomas Merriweather around
him, Raudabaugh needed to have a big spring, and didn't.
The door is now open for redshirt freshman
Clay Belton to step up and take the gig away. Can the coaching staff
live through the young mistakes from Belton to get to the future
upside? If Raudabaugh remains inconsistent, then yeah.
What to watch on defense … the health of the
linebacking corps. The Mullins-Hudson-Bostic triumvirate might be
special, but the defense could fall flat if they're not 100%. Bostic
has a foot issue, Hudson's knee is a problem, and Mullins is banged
up. The backups aren't bad, but there's a huge drop-off from the
ones to the twos.
The team will be far better if … it can win every close
game. Two years ago MU lost five games by seven points or fewer.
Last season it was in seven games decided by a touchdown or less and
won four of them. It'll have to win all the tight battles and will
have to come up with all the key plays down the stretch to get
through a MAC that's far better than last year.
The Schedule: MU gets six home games for the first time in its history starting off
with Vanderbilt and finishing with Ohio in what could be the game for
the East title. A non-conference snoozer against Charleston Southern is
forgivable considering the other three non-MAC dates are against BCS
teams including road trips to Michigan and Cincinnati. Missing Akron
from the East is odd while getting a strong Ball State team in Oxford is
a good break. Unfortunately, going to Northern Illinois and Toledo from
the West will make a sixth East title in seven years tough. The key will
surviving a mid-season stretch of three road trips in four weeks.
Best Offensive Player:
Senior OG Dave DiFranco. While not the splashiest player on the MU
offense, the veteran left guard is the most solid. The 6-3, 303-pound
All-MAC performer has been a rock on the line for the last three years
moving around from tackle to guard before settling in at his current
spot. He's the anchor and the veteran the offense will work around.
Best Defensive Player:
Senior LB Clayton Mullins. Hudson is the quarterback of the
linebacking corps, and the defense, from his spot in the middle. Robbie
Wilson will earn all-star honors in the secondary, and strongside star
Caleb Bostic is
one of the MAC's best all-around defenders. While they're good, Mullins
is special. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year is a tackling
machine who can get into the backfield, cover the pass and hold up
against power running teams equally well.
Key player to a
Junior QB Daniel
Raudabaugh. Belton is a great prospect who'll eventually be a great
bomber, but the 2008 RedHawks are ready to win a MAC title right now. It
can't happen unless there's more efficiency in the passing game.
The interceptions have to be kept to a minimum, even though the defense
will be good enough to clean up most of the messes, and there has to be
The season will be a
... MU wins the
MAC title. There's too much talent on defense, too much unleashed
firepower on offense, and too much potential across the board to not be
the class of the league, must less the East. Only injuries and continued
inefficiency on offense can keep the RedHawks out of a second straight
Sept. 6 at Michigan. What blows up the spread attack? Great defensive
line play, but having excellent linebackers also helps immensely.
Assuming all the MU linebackers are healthy, there's no reason the
RedHawk defense can't stop the Wolverine offense. If MU can be decent on
offense and win the special teams battle, the chance will be there for
an epic win that'll only boost the national profile. Even a good
performance should do wonders for the team's confidence.
2007 Fun Stats:
- Red zone scores: Opponents 38 of 49 (78%) – Miami 34 of 50 (68%)
- Fumbles: Miami 23 (lost 9) – Opponents 21 (lost 14)
- Penalties: Opponents 86 for 194 yards – Miami 73 for 204 yards