Buckeyes spoil RedHawks’ season opener
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 01:09
Despite taking an early 3-0 lead against The Ohio State University (OSU), the Miami University football team could not maintain any momentum, falling to the Scarlet and Gray 56-10 Saturday.
The Buckeyes’ 56 points were the most given up by the Red and White since 1942.
“We played a great ball club today and we knew that we had our hands full,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said. “Obviously there is much respect for Ohio State football. So we needed to play certainly a game in our minds that was our best. I think we had some opportunities to do that, especially early on, but this game is a game of momentum and you could see the momentum moving a little bit.”
Redshirt senior quarterback Zac Dysert had an impressive day throwing the ball against the Scarlet and Gray, completing 31 of 53 passes with one touchdown. He also threw for 303 yards, making him the first player to throw for over 300 yards against the Buckeyes since the University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 414 yards in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.
“[Dysert] is one of those quarterbacks that doesn’t get rattled and he is calm,” Treadwell said. “Now that he’s been in the system for a year, he is much more comfortable.”
Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell also had an impressive game, racking up 120 yards and one touchdown on eight catches.
“There aren’t too many defensive backs that can stick with Nick Harwell,” Dysert said. “No matter who it is, no matter what team it is, he is going to open up a lot of things for other receivers.”
Sophomore wide receiver Dawan Scott and redshirt senior wide out Andy Cruse were the beneficiaries of the Buckeyes’ focus on Harwell. Scott caught five passes for 87 yards and Cruse caught eight balls for 48 yards.
“Early on, we did pretty well moving the ball,” Cruse said. “All day long, I think our offensive line protected well; got to give credit to them. We just got to learn from it and get better for next week and the rest of the season.”
Despite the passing success, the RedHawks were unable to run the ball, finishing the game with a net total of negative one yard. They attempted only 20 rushes, nearly a third of their passing attempts. Redshirt junior tailback Justin Semmes was the team’s leading rusher with 13 yards on five carries.
The ’Hawks early hopes were done in by missed opportunities and dropped passes. The Red and White dropped several passes, including a few that likely could have gone for touchdowns. The team had the chance to go up 14-0 early, getting inside the Buckeyes’ five-yard line twice in the first quarter, only to come away with one field goal.
“To me, all of them sting when you don’t get in the end zone.” Treadwell said. “When you get down in the red zone, you have to come away with points.”
The Red and White struggled to stop OSU’s dynamic sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller threw for 207 yards and ran for another 161 despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter and parts of the third. He had more total yards than the entire RedHawk offense and scored three different times.
“He is an exceptional athlete,” Treadwell said of Miller. “And most of the time, if you can get a guy like that in space one on one, you’re going to take those chances.”
The Red and White host Southern Illinois University 1 p.m. Saturday in Miami’s home opener.