‘Hawks to challenge Buckeyes in opener
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 02:08
For the first time since 2005, the Miami University football team will take on the No. 18 Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes in the first game of the Urban Meyer Era. The RedHawks will attempt to become the first Ohio team to defeat the Buckeyes in any game since 1921.
“It’s a cool thing [to play in the Horseshoe] and a cool opportunity and experience,” senior wide receiver and co-captain Andy Cruse said. “We’re all looking forward to it.”
The offense will rely on the combination of redshirt senior quarterback and co-captain Zac Dysert and junior wide receiver Nick Harwell, given the undetermined state of the running game and due to the strength of Ohio State’s defensive line.
“They have everything you want: size up front, speed at the linebacker [position], coverage guys at the corners and safeties that come up and hit,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said.
Miami will likely go with a running back by-committee approach this year, with senior halfback Justin Semmes the likely starter against OSU. Semmes had the team’s only 100-yard game last year. Redshirt sophomore running back Robert Williams III and freshman running back Jamire Westbrook are all but assured to see some time and as many as three other tailbacks could see playing time as well.
“Their team, including their defense, is very talented.” Cruse said. “A couple guys stand out, but they are all talented and we’re just going into the game with game plan and are going to try to execute it.”
As with most Ohio State teams, this year’s squad is very talented and will be a challenge.
“The easy way to break OSU down is that there is no weakness,” Treadwell said. “They have the ability to be in the top 10 every year. As you look at them, they’re going to be big up front. They’re strong and they are so athletic.”
Dual-threat sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, a perfect fit for Meyer’s spread offense, leads Ohio State.
“They have a tremendous quarterback who is just truly gifted in Miller,” Treadwell said. “He is just so dynamic, in my opinion it doesn’t matter what they ask him to do. He is just so talented he can create on offense, if they ask him to throw the ball; it doesn’t have to be wide open because he is a weapon in himself. He certainly knows how to run the football. He is as good, if not better, than a lot of tailbacks that many teams have.”
Redshirt senior linebacker and co-captain Jaytee Swanson said the team has a plan to stop Miller and the Buckeyes.
“We’re just going do our job,” Swanson said. “That’s defense. The way they attack is to get one-on-one. Wait for someone not to do their job. And that’s what we’ve been perfecting this week. Every man is going to do their job, have their gap [and] do their responsibility. If that works out, you can’t beat us.”
The last time the Red and White faced the Scarlet and Grey in 2005, then-No. 6 OSU defeated the RedHawks 34-14. The ’Hawks have never beaten the Buckeyes in five matchups.
Kickoff is set for noon in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network and fans can listen to the game on WMSR at www.redhawkradio.com.