Miami vs. Cincinnati "Side by Side"

The game is about 24 hours away and the publishers of and look at their teams "Side by Side" to give you the most info on the game.

The Miami Ohio report was done by publisher Alex Dombroff

The Cincinnati report was done by founder/publisher Dave Berk and publisher Tim Adams

LAST WEEK: Miami took Big 10 opponent Minnesota into 3 overtimes last week, before finally succumbing 41-35. The RedHawks were down 16, with fewer than 10 minutes to play, when sophomore quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh entered the game. Raudabugh threw for two touchdowns, and setup the RedHawks for game tying field goal over the final 6:30 of regulation.

LAST WEEK: The Bearcats stat sheet doesn't give the real story as they were only credited with a few yards.  A couple of bad snaps and a few sacks reduced the true rushing totals that were over 100 yards for the game.  But don't tell that to Oregon State as they found out the hard way the Bearcats have a solid defense and an offense that can place the ball into the end zone.  While the defense got several turnovers it was the play of special teams that made the biggest difference as kicker Jake Rogers hit from 55 yards and the Bearcats blocked a punt while also getting a fumble on an OSU punt return.


LB  Joey Hudson (knee) - probable


RB Brandon Murphy (knee) - questionable


At this time it looks as if the Bearcats will enter the contest in really good shape.

WHEN MIAMI IS ON OFFENSE:  There is an apparent QB controversy going into this week's game. Mike Kokal started every game for the RedHawks last year with the exception of one game he sat out with severe headaches, and has started Miami's first two games this season. However, Kokal was pulled in the 4th quarter last week, and backup Daniel Raudabaugh brought Miami from 16 points back.

Before being pulled, Kokal was 17 for 30, with 1 touchdown and 1 pick against Minnesota, while accumulating 196 yards. Raudabaugh was more effective: 13 for 24 with 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, amassing 222 yards.

Raudabaugh should be familiar to Cincinnati fans. The one game Kokal sat out last year was against the Bearcats. However, Raudabaugh underwhelmed, going 21 for 47, with 2 interceptions. Raudabaugh threw no TDs, and was sacked four times.

The backfield is also questionable for the RedHawks. Senior starter Brandon Murphy left last Saturday with a banged up knee, and when he reappeared on the sidelines, it was on crutches. If Murphy can't go, sophomore Andre Bratton will see the majority of the snaps. Bratton was effective spotting Murphy against Minnesota, carrying the ball 12 times, and gaining 50 yards. Bratton also gave the RedHawks a temporary lead in the first extra session, scoring a touchdown on a 4 yard run.

Whether it's Kokal or Raudabaugh throwing the football, they will be firing at a fairly young receiving corps. This year's starters: Jared Elliott, Armand Robinson, and Dustin Woods combined for just 2 catches, both by Woods, last year against Cincinnati. Woods has been the most active of the starters this year, catching 11 passes for 121 yards. He scored his lone touchdown of the season in the second quarter against Minnesota. Robinson, a redshirt freshman, has 8 catches, and was on the receiving end of Raudabaugh's first collegiate touchdown toss last week.

Other youngsters expecting to see playing time are true freshman Chris Givens, who caught his first career touchdown against Minnesota, true freshman Jamal Rogers who caught his first two collegiate passes last week, and redshirt freshman Eugene Harris, who against Minnesota caught three passes for 76 yards.

Another target in the Miami passing attack is junior tight end Tom Crabtree. Crabtree has caught six passes so far this year, including five against Minnesota, which tied a career best.

The RedHawk's offensive line has been surprisingly effective this year, after being one of the most porous in the country in 2006. Mike Kokal was sacked three times in week one against Ball St., but last week against Minnesota neither Kokal nor Raudabaugh was sacked once. The last time the Miami O-Line did not surrender a sack was 2005 vs. Ohio.

WHEN CINCINNATI IS ON OFFENSE: Wake Forest transfer Ben Mauk will be the Bearcat quarterback. Mauk had 10 starts in 18 appearances in his four years at Wake running a somewhat pedestrian offense.

This will be his third start as a Bearcat as he continues to make a medical comeback many felt was bleak.

In his first two starts Mauk has shown he knows how to run Brian Kelly's no huddle-spread offense and for the most part keep the Bearcats out of trouble.

While he seems to be fine, you never know and Mauk could be pulled for back-up Tony Pike at any time if needed.

Pike didn't play in the Oregon State game but went 6 of 9 for 57 yards and also had 3 carries for 67 yards in the teams opener.

Primary targets early are Marty Gilyard and Marcus Barnett with the always dependable Dominick Goodman ready to get his share.

Gilyard is the talk of the fans as he enjoyed a breakout game in the opener and still hasn't reached his full potential after missing last season.

Senior Antwuan Giddens was expected to make a huge impact but has been left behind by the play of the youngsters on the team.

Giddens who had only one catch last year after recording 20 as a sophomore along with freshmen Armon Binns and senior Mike Daniels should also see action. .

The offensive line returns three year starter Digger Bujnoch at left tackle. The senior's father, Glenn, played on the offensive line for the Bengals for eight years. Trevor Canfield earned 2-nd team All-Big East honors last season also returns.

The third returnee is sophomore right tackle Jeff Linkenbach who missed the Oregon State game with a slight injury.  He was replaced by junior Khalil El-Amin.

Newcomers to the starting line-up are sophomore center Chris Jurek and senior Ken Rodriguez.  Jurek has been in a battle all preseason for the center position and won out over Jason Kelce

The Bearcats have three senior running backs all with defined roles.  Butler Benton and Greg Moore will get the bulk of the carries as Bradley Glatthaar is used for short yardage.  All three are being pushed by sophomore Jacob Ramsey.

The Bearcats also have a deep and talented group of tight-ends headed by senior Earnest Jackson and Connor BarwinDoug Jones has great size and hands and could also line up in the backfield as a fullback.

WHEN CINCINNATI HAS THE BALL: Much of Miami's success will lie in whether or not junior linebacker Joey Hudson is able to go. Hudson had not seen a lot of tackles before being hurt vs. Minnesota, but his presence was certainly making life easier on OLB's Caleb Bostic and Clayton Mullins, who have combined for 51 tackles in two games this year. Bostic currently leads the MAC with 13.5 tackles per game.

If Hudson is unavailable, his replacement will likely be Chris Shula, son of Dave and grandson of Don. Shula was very effective filling in after Hudson's injury last week, with 11 solo tackles and one assisted tackle.

If Hudson is unable to play, look out for junior walkon Mickey Mann to see plenty of reps spotting Shula.

Several other players had career days against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Free safety Jordan led all Miami defenders with 13 tackles at Minnesota. Last year, as a freshman, Gafford had nine tackles all season. Strong safety Robbie Wilson also tallied a career high in tackles with 12 against the Gophers.

On the corners will be Jeff Thompson and Jarrid Gaines. Thompson has the lone Miami interception this season, picking it up at Minnesota. Wendell Brunson will also see significant action, as he was fighting Thompson for the starting role all throughout the preseason.

One name to watch out for is Brandon Stephens. Stephens, a redshirt freshman, has potential that screams for him to see more and more of the field. Through two games, Stephens has amassed only two tackles but it is expected he will see more and more plays as the season progresses.

There could possibly be a change on the defensive line this week. The two deeps released by Miami's athletic department indicate that Martin Channels, the 6'0, 300+ big boy from Xexia, Ohio will be the starting nose tackle, replacing Mark Paun, who started the first two weeks. Channels, despite his size, is awfully quick off the line, and has four tackles this year, to just one for Paun. However, because of Channel's size, he is prone to stamina problems, so expect Paun to still get in for his fair share of snaps.

The rest of the line should look the same with Joe Coniglio and Travis Craven at the ends, and Ben Huddle at the right tackle position.

WHEN MIAMI HAS THE BALL: Terrill Byrd is a force to be reckoned with and is joined by Adam Hopple.  Both players have great strength and explosion off the line that causes offensive linemen problems.

The starting defensive ends are seniors Anthony Hoke and Angelo Craig.  Both do a nice job getting penetration.

The Bearcats could play eight or nine players across the front. Others expected to see action are senior Jon Newton, sophomore Ricardo Mathews, junior Lamonte Nelms, and junior Torry Cornett.

The linebacker corps will utilize a number of players.  Andre Revels and Ryan Manalac have been battling since the spring for the starting nod and Revels looks to have a very slight advantage at this time..

Corey Smith is the leader of the linebackers and has been a steady player since his freshman season. Smith was named 3rd team Freshman All-American by Football News two years ago before battling an injury last season. Backing up Smith will be senior Jon Carpenter, whose brother Bobby plays linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. 

The "sam" linebacker will depend upon Leo Morgan's health. If Morgan can't go, Delbert Ferguson will get the call.

Junior Mike Mickens  anchors one cornerback spot. Mickens is a two- time 2nd team All-BIG EAST choice and is off to a great start in 2007. DeAngelo Smith  returns as the other cornerback. Smith broke open the Rutgers game last year when he returned a Mike Tell pass for an 84 yard Bearcat touchdown,

Haruki Nakamura is back and having a great start to his senior season.  As a three year starter the Lakewood St. Edward product has proven he can play at the college level and excel.  He is joined by Cedric Tolbert and Anthony Williams. Aaron Webster is still working his way back from a knee injury he suffered during bowl prep and Evan Sparks provide depth.  Webster is a star in the making and once he's back fully from his injury will fight for the starting spot.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The term Jekyll and Hyde barely scratches the surface in describing Miami's special teams through three weeks. Dr. Jekyll has come in the form of punter Jake Richardson. Richardson is averaging 46 yards per punt. His long came against Ball St. where he boomed a 62 yard kick to pin the Cardinals inside their own 5 yard line.

Mr. Hyde has appeared in the body of sophomore kicker Trevor Cook. Cook is 3 for 7 on the year. He also missed an extra point against Minnesota, which theoretically could have won the game in regulation for the RedHawks. Cook also missed a 33 yard attempt in the second overtime which would have clinched the game for Miami.


The Bearcats have enjoyed some great play from their special teams.  The problem is most of it came during the Oregon State game.  Jake Rogers hit for a 55 yard field goal attempt after almost losing his job from his performance the week before.  The coaching staff feels he's there guy but we'll see if he can keep his spot for the entire season.

One area of major improvement came on the punt team as the Bearcats did a great job of covering Kevin Huber's punt and recovered a fumble in last week's game.  Huber has a super strong leg with NFL possibilities in the future.

The Bearcats also blocked a punt attempted in last week's game and fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown.

If things are on the Bearcats have a strong group and can use their special teams as a major advantage.

MIAMI CAN WIN IF: Daniel Raudabaugh gets the nod at QB, and Andre Bratton can find a way to effectively replace Brandon Murphy. Raudabaugh proved against Minnesota he can do some things with the football through the air that Kokal simply cannot. However, it will not matter who is throwing the ball for Miami if Bratton cannot open up that passing game with a good ground attack.

On the defensive end, Miami must be prepared for a much more balanced attack than they saw last year from the Bearcats. Last year, UC ran on almost every down, only throwing the ball 11 times. This year, with Ben Mauk under center, and Brian Kelly coaching, the Bearcat attack will be much more balanced.

CINCINNATI CAN WIN IF: The Bearcats need to continue to stay within themselves.  The defense was expected to be the main reason for the teams success and has used their speed and abilities to shut down their first two foes.  This is the same group for the most part that was on the field at Miami two years ago that left with their tail between their legs.  They have not forgotten that game and will look to take it to the RedHawks again.

The Bearcats also need to keep from turning the ball over on offense.  Miami has talent but if the Bearcats start turning the ball over Miami will feed off of these mistakes.  The offense enjoyed some great success in week one, but saw some issues in week two.  Somewhere in between will give the Bearcats great balance and a win.

MIAMI WILL LOSE IF: They cannot find a way to stop Ben Mauk. Mauk must face the same constant pressure that plagued Ball St. quarterback Nate Davis in week one. Otherwise, with time to throw, Miami will be susceptible to giving up big plays to the Bearcats' spread offense.

CINCINNATI WILL LOSE IF: If they go into this game feeling Miami can't stay on the field with them.  Miami is still young but the talent level is there.  Also being the team's home opener will allow the RedHawks to have a little extra boost.

MIAMI 2-Deeps: Click Here

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