Scouting Miami (OH) Offense

First we all need to understand that it is Miami University in Ohio, not Miami of Ohio as most like to say. I was admonished by an alumnus to properly identify the team that is coming to Gainesville Saturday so there you have it.

Miami University in Ohio is one of the worst teams in the country. They were 1-11 last year scoring 16 points a game while giving up 34. Almost all those guys are back, but I'm not convinced that's a good thing. Last year they opened with Kentucky and Boise State and lost by a combined 90-0.

Second year head coach Mike Haywood doesn't have much experience as a head man, but he sure has experienced coordinators and I do mean experienced. Offensive mastermind Morris Watts is 74 and defensive guru Carl Reese is 67. Both had been out of coaching for five-plus years when Haywood asked them to join his staff. You may remember Reese calling Steve Spurrier ‘shiny pants' after beating Florida at LSU in 1997.


The RedHawks are probably better on this side of the ball thanks to QB Zac Dysert who passed for more than 2,600 yards last year. He threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (12), but he's pretty good. He is also their leading ground gainer, running for almost 600 yards before you take away the sack yardage (329). Florida's mission with him is simple; keep him in the pocket and apply pressure.

The best unit on the team is probably the receiving corps led by Armand Robinson (67-788, 4 TD) and Jamal Rogers (54-505, 3 TD). Junior Chris Givens is a third threat with excellent career totals (71-1,041, 9 TD) but missed almost all of last season. This is the best matchup of the game with Florida's secondary facing a pretty capable group. Miami also has high hopes for TE Kendrick Bruton, No. 82 who is a big dude (6-4, 255).

The top runner is Thomas Merriweather, but he gained less than 300 a year ago and averaged less than three yards a carry behind a dreadful offensive line. The best player on that line is LT Brandon Brooks, but this unit really struggles. Here's an amazing stat that indicates to some extent how they performed a year ago. The RedHawks scored nine rushing TD and allowed 58 QB sacks. Those just might be the most awful stats I've ever seen for one team.

Miami will run the spread a lot of the time with a single back and they will also go five wide. Dysert will run counter plays, he'll run QB sweeps and he'll run for his life. With virtually no running game to speak of, this is an ideal opportunity for the Gators to build some confidence in their ability to rush the passer this fall.

Next, we'll look at the RedHawks defense and special teams.

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