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RedHawks take on UC in Battle for Victory Bell

By Joe Gieringer
On September 20, 2013

Hoping to avoid an 0-3 start, the Miami University football team is ready to take flight against rival the University of Cincinnati (UC) (2-1) Saturday.

The RedHawks, who had a bye last week, are coming off consecutive road losses in which they allowed a combined 93 points. Head coach Don Treadwell said with the extra week of practice under their belts, his team is primed and ready to take a crack at the Victory Bell winners of the past seven years.

"We're excited, nothing can replace game day atmosphere," Treadwell said. "We accomplished things in the bye week, fundamentals. This week we did more schematics, that type of thing. And then you've got the adrenaline back, add in the fact that it's at home and it just happens to be UC."

Senior quarterback and co-captain Austin Boucher said he valued his time off, reviewing game film with teammates and coaches to find out what his team could improve upon from the past few weeks.

"It was nice to have that break," Boucher said. "We got a chance to look at our mistakes from the previous weeks and clean up on it. It's a good to have that week off especially before you're against your rival."

Miami has now started 0-2 for the sixth time in nine seasons, and the pressure to perform in its home opener is palpable, but that does not rattle this RedHawk squad. They have been here before, from the coaching staff down to the backups. There is no matchup like a rivalry game, and it seems the perfect time for the 'Hawks to find their footing in a so-far rocky season. Because the Bearcats have retained the coveted trophy since 2006, Boucher speaks for his squad when he acknowledges the gravity of this game.

"Ah man, that would be a great victory for us," Boucher said. "Since I've been here we haven't had the opportunity to have [the Bell] in our locker room yet, but that's what a rivalry's for. When you play against each other, there's always that chance. As long as we execute and do our job we're expecting good things."

The Battle for the Victory Bell is the second oldest FBS rivalry, dating back to 1888 when the Dec. 8 matchup was the first college football game played in the state of Ohio. It ranks fifth on the list of most played rivalries in college football and Miami leads the all-time record 59-51-7 - but UC has won seven straight games, which is the longest streak in this storied series.

This rivalry is arguably the most heated in the long list of Miami opponents; something Treadwell claims is really pushing his squad to perform in their home opener.

"You know what, with this game, they have the Bell - sure, we're aware of that," Treadwell said. "Even if there wasn't a Bell, the fact that it's Cincinnati our guys are excited for that opportunity to play."

The game is slated for a 4 p.m. Saturday, and Miami will also be implementing its new electronic ticket scanning system to ease the flow of spectators into the stadium. Parking lots will open at 8 a.m.

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