Next up on the Cincy on the Prowl brief opponent preview for the Cincinnati Bearcats heading into the 2014 football season are the Redhawks of Miami (OH).
Obviously these two teams are very familiar with each other. They have been playing every year for the last 118 years after all. The last meeting might have been as forgetful for either team as any in the past decade. Amidst an offensive system that was completely unfamiliar to several UC players, the Bearcats managed just 14 points despite a solid 369 yards of total offense. The reason for the disparity was two costly interceptions in the redzone by quarterback Brendon Kay. Thankfully the Redhawks head coach was a former Michigan State offensive coordinator and Cincinnati’s defense was as stout as ever, as Miami (OH) mustered just 87 yards of offense.
As painful as it was for UC fans to watch their team, at least they walked away with a win. That game could be pinned as the low point in a storied Redhawk football program.
The Skinny On Miami (OH)
- 2013 Record: 0-12
- All-Time Record: 661-399-44
- Conference: Mid-American Conference
- Head Coach: Chuck Martin (1st yr)
- Head-To-Head: Miami (OH) leads 59-52-7
- Last Meeting: Cincinnati 14, Miami (OH) 0 on September 21st, 2013
- Kickoff Date, Time, Location: September 20th, time TBD, Paul Brown Stadium
Areas Of Strength – Linebacker & Defensive End
The Redhawks were a team in flux last season with several new players thrown in the mix and the coaches opting to try a variety of personnel combinations in the hopes of finding one that worked consistently. But one position group that was rock steady in 2013 was Miami’s linebacking corps. Kent Kern and Josh Dooley return as juniors next season after piling up 185 combined tackles last year.
Additionally Miami’s edge rushers appear to be top notch. Junior Bryson Albright paced the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks last season. He’s likely added weight to his 6’5″ frame which only makes him a more dangerous end. Opposite Albright, J’Terius Brown logged 6 tackles for loss and 3 sacks as a freshman in 2013. Like his line mate, the coaches throwing him in the fire last season only makes him better as the Redhawks head into their 2014 campaign.
Areas Of Weakness – Offensive Line & Quarterback
Miami was the third worst team in all of college football at protecting their quarterback last season, allowing a whopping 50 sacks in 2013. Lord have mercy. An offensive line unit that returns just about every player will benefit from another year of growing as a cohesive unit. However, Chuck Martin will be installing a new system (Brian Kelly’s, perhaps?) at Miami which could throw a wrench in their ability to climb the learning curve.
The same goes for the quarterback position. Austin Boucher wasn’t exactly spectacular in 2013, nor were his backups Drew Kummer or Austin Gearing. But at least Boucher had a year of experience under his belt. The saving grace is that former Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix followed Martin to Miami and will be ready to go this fall. The former Moeller signal caller will play his final season with the Redhawks and has a familiarity with his coach’s system, which just might elevate the offense from awful to decent. But that side of the football still has a long way to go after the way Don Treadwell imploded it.
Way Too Early Prediction
We won’t see a repeat of the snoozer from last season in that Cincinnati’s going to curb stomp Miami. The Redhawks are overhauling a horrible offense from last season but a severe talent disparity means they are more than a single head coaching change away from competing on an equal footing with the Bearcats. Had UC operated with the spread schemes in this game like they did after South Florida, Cincinnati would have put up 40 or 50 on Miami. With several strong components back next season and that pass-happy system here to stay, I see the Bearcats doing just that against the Redhawks this season.