’Hawks aim to snap 6 game series skid
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 21:10
The Miami University football team (3-4) will host No. 23 Ohio University (OU) (7-0) in the annual “Battle of the Bricks” Saturday. The RedHawks enter 2-1 in the MAC, while OU is 3-0 in conference.
The Red and White have dropped its last six games to the Bobcats, and OU will be the fourth ranked team the ’Hawks have faced this season.
“This would be a great win,” junior cornerback Dayonne Nunley said. “It would keep us on track and would turn our season around for us. We’ve had some downfalls but we can bounce back. We know how to do it, we’ve been here before and we will do so.”
The RedHawks enter the game having lost their last two games to the University of Cincinnati and to Bowing Green State University.
“Bowling Green was another one of those types of games that we’ve just got to be able to put two halves together, collectively,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said. “That’s offensively, defensively and on special teams.”
One of Ohio’s greatest strengths is its impressive turnover margin. The Bobcats are ranked second in the nation with a 2.14 ratio. By comparison, the ’Hawks are tied for 80th in the country.
“There is not a game that we have played in that it hasn’t been significant,” Treadwell said of the team’s turnovers. “That makes a big difference. That’s not just turning it over, but also gaining turnovers; causing them to fumble or an interception.”
OU also has a very strong running game, ranked 21st in the nation with over 217 yards per game. Redshirt junior running back Beau Blankenship leads the Bobcats with 951 yards and six rushing scores. He averages 135.86 yards per game, third in the nation.
The ’Hawks are 116th in the nation in run defense, surrendering 234.86 yards per game, and are 115th in total defense, giving up over 500 yards each game.
Ohio redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton may not be the biggest player (listed at 6 feet tall), but he is a dual threat quarterback who rarely makes mistakes. Tettleton has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,343 yards and 12 touchdowns with only one interception. He has also run for 161 yards and two scores, all while battling injuries.
“We’re looking at an offense that is probably one of the most dangerous ones in our conference, because of the talent at quarterback,” Treadwell said. “We’re facing another QB … who can beat you both with his feet running ball and with his arm. The thing that makes Tettleton so dangerous is that he is so accurate. He’s a nightmare for the defense.”
Redshirt senior quarterback Zac Dysert continues to do it all for Red and White, throwing for 1,914 yards on the season with 14 touchdowns and rushing for 175 yards and another touchdown. Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell returned from injury against Cincinnati and picked up right where he left off. The past two games, Harwell has caught 12 balls for 157 yards.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Harwell said of his health. “No complaints right now.”
Sophomore wide out Dawan Scott and freshman running back Jamire Westbrook are both expected to return to the lineup after missing the Bowling Green game. Scott leads the team in receiving with 501 yards and five touchdowns. Westbrook is the team’s leading rusher with 198 yards on the season.
Treadwell has declared senior safety Justin Bowers out for the season after undergoing knee surgery.
Senior defensive tackle Austin Brown is once again “doubtful” with a back injury.
Junior linebacker Chris Wade continues to play well, and has recorded at least 11 tackles for six straight games. He has 75 tackles on the year, good for fourth in the MAC.
“It’s one of our rivalry games.” Harwell said. “They’ve beaten us the last six years and we just want to send out the seniors out with a bang.”
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium. Fans can listen to the game at www.redhawkradio.com.