BCI Fearless Predictions Miami Ohio

Week three brings a game the Bearcats should, will and expect to win. It's Miami Week and nothing else matters as BCI gives your this fearless prediction.

Game 3: September 15 vs. Miami - Yeager Stadium

 

"The Battle for the Victory Bell"

 

 

The title says it all. Miami versus Cincinnati is the oldest rivalry west of the Allegany Mountains. An annual rematch that is everything about bragging rights is Southwestern Ohio. This is the type of game that defines college football.

 

How important is this game, on Miami's official website the 2006 Statistics page has a picture of the bell. They lost the game last year along with the bell; I think they want it back.

 

My lasting memory from the 2006 game was the excitement shown by UC Freshmen Offensive lineman C.J. Cobb ringing the bell at mid field. He looked like a youngster on Christmas morning with a smile that wasn't going to end.

 

There are also a few stats from last year that jump out. UC won 24 – 10, but lets dig in a bit before we look at this years match up. UC fumbled on their first 2 drives, the second fumble was at the UC 22. The next three Miami offensive plays resulted in -10 yards and the Redhawks settled for a field goal. Those were the only offensive points generated by Miami for the game. Their touchdown was a 3rd quarter punt return by Ryne Robinson.

 

In last years game UC rushed for 254 yards averaging 6.0 yards per carry. UC only completed 5 passes for the game, and didn't attempt a pass until 11 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. The UC defense and rushing game completely controlled Miami all night.

 

Miami's season as a whole wasn't much better finishing 2-10 for the year. Their best player a year ago was WR Ryne Robinson, he will be playing on Sunday's this year.

 

Miami does have some things to look forward to this season; Mike Kokal is a pretty good quarterback and should improve in his second year as a starter. Also RB Brandon Murphy is healthy again; he battled an ankle injury most of the season a year ago.

 

Whoever put Miami's schedule together must really have it in for Coach Shane Montgomery. The UC game is the middle game of a 3 week stretch that has the Redhawks on the road at Minnesota, home with UC, and at Colorado. Not a good stretch for a team that needs to rebound from a 2 win season.

 

Why UC will win this game?

 

Doug Goodwin: These two programs right now are moving in different directions, Miami will rebound but not in time for this game. Everything that UC dominated the game with last year is back; with a little imagination added to the offense it won't be close.

 

Dave Berk: I have to disagree as to the direction Miami is headed in as last season saw major rebuilding needed done along with key injuries when it mattered most.  But it doesn't change why the Bearcats will keep the Victory Bell in Clifton.  Miami enters this game having already played a tough MAC game (Ball State) in their season opener then traveling to Minnesota before hosting the Bearcats.  The following week will see them head off to Colorado for what is a tough couple of weeks.  Last years game saw Miami quarterback Mike Kokal miss it with an injury.  While I don't feel Kokal would have changed the outcome on his own, his presence would have made a difference as the Bearcats struggled in the early going. 

 

The Bearcats will win using their offense that should be in full gear by now.  Don't be surprised if a running back has a big game as the passing game will keep Miami on their toes and off balanced.  The Bearcats defense will be tested but supply at least one turnover in route to a victory.

 

What does Miami have to do to win?

 

Doug Goodwin: Hope that UC is looking past them or that the Bearcat defense gets caught in traffic on Rt. 27. Looking at what Miami has coming back this is really a lopsided match. The Redhawks are going to need some breaks, quite a few actually.

 

Dave Berk:  The Redhawks must get a strong effort from their defense if they plan on beating the Bearcats.  Being at home helps but this is not the same Bearcats team Miami defeated at home two seasons ago.  If Miami can't get pressure on the quarterback it'll be a long day for the Redhawks linebackers and defensive backs.  Look for Miami to take their chances getting the ball to freshman wide receiver Chris Givens.  Givens, while a true freshman, has the ability to take over a game.

 

Doug's Prediction: UC wins big, 42 – 13. The Victory Bell stays in Clifton for another year.

 

Dave's Prediction: Bearcats win a hard fought battle and keep the Victory Bell in Cincinnati 42 – 20.

 

Bonus for Game 1:

 

Doug Goodwin: Really no reason to give UC fans more fodder to dislike Miami, but what the heck. How about any school that refers to themselves as "J. Crew U".

 

If that's not enough how about "they aspire to be like us" Shane Montgomery's quote leading up to the game 3 years ago when Miami had a veteran lineup favored to win the MAC against the 2nd youngest team in D1.

 

Dave Berk: Don't be surprised if Shane Montgomery turns things around this fall and has the Redhawks winning the MAC East.  Montgomery has done a good job recruiting using Miami's positives to sneak in a few top-notched talents.  Getting a player like Chris Givens in your program is huge and will pay big dividends.  But while I expect the Redhawks to win the East, I feel it will be hard to get more than six wins this season unless they can secure a win from their out of conference schedule against the likes of Minnesota, Colorado, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati. 

 

Out of the seven MAC East teams only two head coaches have winning records (above 500).  Bowling Green's Gregg Brandon enters the season at 30-19, while Ohio University head coach Frank Solich enters at 13-12.


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