2009 CFN Miami Preview
2009 Miami Defense
Miami Depth Chart
2008 MU Preview
2007 MU Preview
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Head coach: Mike Haywood
Off. 19, Def. 22, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 19
Best RedHawk Players
1. LB Caleb Bostic, Sr.
2. WR Chris
3. WR Jamal Rogers, Jr.
4. WS Jordan Gafford,
5. QB Daniel Raudabaugh, Sr.
6. RB Thomas
7. SS Ben Bennett, Jr.
8. WR Dustin
9. RB Andre Bratton, Sr.
10. DT Martin
9/5 Kentucky (Cin.)
9/12 at Boise State
9/19 at Western
9/26 at Kent State
10/10 at Northwestern
10/24 Northern Illinois
11/5 at Temple
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2008 Record: 2-10
8/28 Vanderbilt L 34-13
9/6 at Michigan L 16-6
9/13 Char Southern W
9/20 at Cincinnati L 45-20
9/27 OPEN DATE 10/4 Temple L 28-10
10/11 at No Illinois L 17-13
10/18 at Bo Green W
10/25 Kent State L
11/4 at Buffalo L 37-17
11/11 Ball State L
11/15 OPEN DATE
11/21 at Toledo L 42-14
Auburn went into the tank, Tennessee came up with a losing season,
Michigan was an utter disaster, and Washington and Washington State
ended up battling it out to see who could be in the team photo for
the worst teams in Pac 10 history. It could still be argued that the
2008 Miami RedHawks were the nation's most disappointing team.
It was a stunning and bizarre season of bad for a team that
played for the 2007 MAC title and had almost everyone of note
returning. The linebacking corps was supposed to be as productive as
any outside of USC's, the receiving corps brought back speed and
skill, and all across the board there were athletes, veterans, and a
mix of players that were supposed to make MU the sure-thing coming
out of the East. Instead, it was a 2-10 season with just one win
over a FBS team (Bowling Green).
It wasn't just that Miami was bad, it's that it wasn't even close
with just one of the ten losses coming by fewer than ten points.
It's almost as if a team that good had to try to be that bad (no,
no, no ... I'm not suggesting there was a Toledo-type of situation).
The RedHawks simply couldn't get anything positive going and didn't
seem to find any answers to right the ship.
In comes Mike Haywood to try to find the right spark and the right
chemistry for a team that could quickly get back into the land of
the living if the light goes on for QB Daniel Raudabaugh and the
passing game, the defensive line, the running game, the corners, the
... you get the point.
Haywood will first and foremost try to get more of a vertical
passing game going, and he has the speedy receivers to do it. The
pro-style offense he'll employ should suit Raudabaugh's talents,
while the running game has speedy backs in Thomas Merriweather,
Andre Bratton and Danny Green to start to take advantage of more
The defense suffers three tremendous losses
with linebacker Clayton Mullins and Joey Hudson, along with safety
Robbie Wilson, taking the top three tacklers and 291 stops away from
last year's D, but the overall production should be better. It can't
be any worse.
It also helps to be in the East. Forget about
this season if MU was in the West, but it's easy to go from worst to
first in a hurry in the lesser of the two divisions. That might be
too big a jump for this year's team, but it should be far more
competitive and far more interesting.
What to watch on offense …
situation ... again. Daniel Raudabaugh has
had the pieces around him to produce, but it hasn't happened. He has
the size, he has the tools, and he has the experience as the starter
for the last two years, but he hasn't been able to crank out points
or wins. While he looked great at times this spring and he should be
better, that's been said for the last few years, too. Clay Belton
has a big arm and Zac Dysert is a good prospect, and the new
coaching staff won't be afraid to put either one in if the offense
What to watch on defense …
the secondary. There weren't
any interceptions, there were too many big plays allowed, and there
wasn't any help from the pass rush. Jordan Gafford returns at one
safety spot after missing almost all of last year, while safety Ben
Bennett and corners Brandon Stephens and Jeff Thompson are veterans
who should be better now that they have a year of starting
experience. With problems in the front seven, this year, the
defensive backfield has to shine.
The team will be far better if …
it gets something,
anything, out of the defensive line. DT Martin Channels is the only
returning starter, and that's not a bad thing. There's a ton of size
in the front four, but there isn't a sure-thing pass rusher, and
that's a problem for a defense that was 108th in the nation in sacks
and 97th in tackles for loss. For all the size that last year's line
had, and with all the experience, and with a great linebacking corps
to clean things up, MU was last in the MAC and 106th in run D.
The Schedule: There isn't a guaranteed win on the slate and
the first half of the season is a nightmare. There's only one home
game in the first seven, and it's against defending Big East
champion, Cincinnati. The non-conference schedule is extremely
interesting, but there isn't a layup to tune up. The Kentucky game
will be played in Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium and there will be
trips to Boise State and to Northwestern. The RedHawks get Toledo
and Northern Illinois from the West at home, but they have to go to
Western Michigan to kick off the MAC season. On the plus side, four
of the final five games are at home including the regular season
finale against defending MAC champion, Buffalo.
Best Offensive Player:
Junior WR Chris Givens. There are plenty of solid
veteran receivers for the offense to work with, but it's Givens who'll
be the gamebreaker. He has 6-2 and 205-pound size and great deep speed,
and he was the one big playmaker in the passing game last year catching
seven of the team's ten touchdown passes and averaging 14.7 yards per
Best Defensive Player:
Senior LB Caleb Bostic. The lone holdover from last
year's phenomenal (but hurt) linebacking corps, Bostic is coming off a
foot problem and should be back to his explosive, disruptive self. When
he's right, he's all over the field making plays in the backfield and in
the passing game. This year, he'll have to be the steady leader of the
young new group of linebackers.
Key player to a
successful season: Senior QB Daniel Raudabaugh.
There were just ten touchdown throws last year from 12 interceptions.
Raudabaugh had his moments, but he only threw for 1,960 yards with eight
scoring plays and nine picks. He's the veteran who has to make everyone
around him better, and there's hope for an improvement after looking
sharp this spring highlighted by an 11-of-14 performance in the spring
game. If he's great, the offense should be night-and-day better.
The season will be a
... MU wins six games. It's asking too much out of a perennially
disappointing team to come up with a shocker and win the MAC, but
there's enough returning experience, and a pick up in the enthusiasm
with the new coaching staff, to be four games better than last year.
It'll be a struggle, but the RedHawks should be at least as good as Kent
State, Ohio, Toledo, Temple, Bowling Green and Buffalo. If they can win
four of those games and pull off a few upsets, a .500 season is
Sept. 19 at Western Michigan. The Broncos will be
one of the favorites to win the MAC, and if MU can step up and pull off
an upset in the league opener, it'll be a huge boost for a program that
has had nothing to get excited about for the last year. If MU loses,
that will mean the game at Kent State the week after is a must-win or
else the MAC season is over.
2008 Fun Stats:
- Fourth down
conversions: Opponents 7-of-13 (54%) - Miami 7-of-25 (28%)
Offensive touchdowns: Opponents 50 - Miami 20
- Rushing yards per
game: Opponents 208.3 - Miami 107.2