2012 Preview: Miami (OH)

BearcatInsider.com takes a look at UC's fourth opponent during the 2012 season, the Miami (OH) Redhawks.

GAME #4-SAT. OCTOBER 6th-NIPPERT STADIUM-TIME: 7PM

Head Coach: Don Treadwell-2nd Season

2011 Record: 4-8 overall, 3-5 MAC

Previous Meetings: Miami (OH) leads the all-time series 59-50-7. However, UC has won the past six meetings, including last year's 27-0 victory in Oxford.

Miami (OH)'s Key Games

Sept. 1st at Ohio State

Sept. 15th at Boise State

Oct. 6th at Cincinnati

Oct. 27th vs. Ohio

Nov. 10th vs. Kent State

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Offense: The key to every good football team is experience, and Miami (OH) returns experience at the most important position in fifth year senior quarterback Zac Dysert. Dysert sits in second place on the Redhawks all-time career passing list, trailing some guy named "Roethlisberger". Not bad company to be in. Miami looks to break in a new running back, with all signs pointing to RS junior Erik Finklea. RS junior Justin Semmes is also in the running. The receiving core returns the MAC leader in receptions (97) in Nick Harwell. Also factoring into the passing game is fifth year senior Andy Cruse.

Defense: Defense was definitely a strong point for the Redhawks last year as they finished third in the MAC in scoring defense. Returning to help keep those stats is fifth year DE Jason Semmes. DT's Mike Johns and Austin Brown return as well to help anchor the line. At linebacker, Miami returns senior Evan Harris, the only starter back from last year's team. Junior Dayonne Nunley returns at cornerback to help shut down the passing game. Lining up opposite from Nunley will be senior Pat Hinkel.

OVERALL

Coach Treadwell seems to have things on the up and up in Oxford. Although they had a disappointing 2011 season, they return a starting quarterback and most of their fantastic defense. Finding a running game will be crucial to their 2012 success. If not, the pressure falls squarely on Zac Dysert's shoulders.

The Redhawk's have a brutal schedule, including games against traditional powers Ohio State and Boise State, not to mention playing Cincinnati, to whom they've lost six straight times. The good news is the MAC seems to be wide open, and if they buckle down during conference play, a MAC championship is not out of the question..


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