Redhawks Flutter into the Glass Bowl

Miami University invades the Glass Bowl Friday night for a Mid-American Conference clash between the Redhawks and the Rockets. The Redhawks and the Rockets resemble each other with identical 2-8 records replete with underachievement and disappointments. Back-to-back-to-back losing seasons for both teams shows the trauma these schools have been experiencing.

Two teams tip-toeing trepid tightropes towards the twilight of their turbulent timetables. Tragically terrible.

The Redhawks and the Rockets resemble each other with identical 2-8 records replete with underachievement and disappointments. Back-to-back-to-back losing seasons for both teams shows the trauma these schools have been experiencing. Coach Amstutz has announced that he is stepping down at the end of the season. Is RedHawks head coach Shane Montgomery (17-29) far behind?

Friday's evening contest is the precursor to both team's season ending finale against arch MAC rivals - Ohio U and BeeGee.


On Offense

Miami's offense is pretty balanced between the run and pass. When the RedHawks run well, they win. The biggest fault is the offensive line's 18 sacks allowed to date this season even though it's an improvement from last year. And that is with discounting injuries.

Fourth year junior QB Daniel Raudabaugh, who started the first five games of the season before losing the job to redshirt freshman Clay Belton, has been inconsistent playing in place of the injured Belton.

Both QBs have been inconsistent and prone to the INT bug. Raudabaugh connected on his first 10 passes against Ball State. He ended the game completing 15 of the next 32 attempts. In all he threw for 254 yards, one of his season's best efforts. The Miami faithful, however, began exiting the stadium when WR Armand Robinson (13 catches, 2TDs, 15.8 ypc) dropped Raudabaugh's fourth-down pass in the end zone midway through the final quarter.

Leading the receiving corps is WR Jamal Rogers with 37 catches (8.9 ypc). His speed necessitates that Rocket defenders wrap him after the catch. Likewise, speedy WR Dustin Woods, has 34 catches (10.7 ypc) merits similar attention. WR Chris Givens has 21 catches (17.0 ypc) including four of the team's seven TD grabs.

RB Thomas Merriweather (3.9 ypr) handles the bulk of the running chores with 140 carries. A back up tandem has combined for 120 rushes. Standout freshman RB J.R. Taylor (5.7 ypr), however, is questionable. He had back-to-back 100+ yards rushing games before leaving the Buffalo game with a concussion. That leaves Andre Bratton (4.3 ypr). He has caught 30 passes (third most on team) coming out of the backfield.


On Defense

As inconsistent as the offense has been, the defense has been even more plagued by ups and downs. They are weaker against the run than the pass but rank at the bottom of the MAC in both categories in the same neighborhood as Toledo.

Miami's pass defense has been weaken by injuries. FS Jordan Gafford fractured his shin against Michigan and CB Jeff Thompson sustained a knee injury against Buffalo and is doubtful for Friday. Thompson and Gafford were two of the RedHawks top tacklers in 2007.

LB Joey Hudson is the leader of the defense in terms of intensity and statistics. Hudson has 92 tackles, with 53 solos and 7.5 TFL. He also is active in pass defense. Fellow LB Clayton Mullins has 49 solo tackles of his 87 total tackles including 7.5 TFL. The best D-lineman is DE Joe Coniglio. Of his 24 tackles, 17 are solo, 5.5 TFL and four sacks.


On Special Teams

Top RedHawk is P Jake Richardson, currently ranked second in the nation with a 46.43 yards per punt average (0.76 yards behind the leader.) PK Nate Parseghian has missed only two FGs connecting on 16 of 18 attempts.

Kick-offs are typically inside the 10 yard line and are returned 20 yards by the opposition. Returning kick-offs falls to WRs Jamal Rogers (20.8 ypr) and Dustin Woods (25.7 ypr).


What to Look For:

Rockets to pass for more than 300 yards, the most given up by the RedHawks this year

At least one Miami kick-off return to approach mid-field

Rockets will rush for more than 130 yards, Miami will not

Miami will run at the outset of the game

Flanker reverses and end-arounds by the RedHawks

At least one INT by the Rocket defense

At least one fumble by Miami

Too many penalties by both teams – six or more per side

A handful of field goals from two of the MACs best

RedHawks will need more than the 3 point line to beat the Rockets

Less than 15K in seats at the Glass Bowl – depression coupled with recession hurts


This game is so winnable for the Rockets. They are the better team and, as of Friday, the healthier.

GO ROCKETS!!



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