’Hawks cruise to UC for Victory Bell battle
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 22:10
The Miami University football team (3-2, 2-0 Mid-American Conference (MAC)) faces the No. 24 University of Cincinnati (UC) Bearcats (3-0, 1-0 Big East) in the Battle for the Victory Bell Saturday. The RedHawks will attempt to take back the Bell for the first time since 2005 in the second oldest rivalry in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1-A).
“Here we are out of league, playing another top 25 BCS program, which UC has obviously established,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said. “We know it will be a great challenge for us, especially when we are playing on the road.”
Treadwell also downplayed Miami’s current six game losing streak to UC.
“At the end of the day, what matters is what you’re going to do Saturday night,” Treadwell said. “Not what went on in the past or trying to think ahead to the future.”
Redshirt senior quarterback Zac Dysert will once again lead the ’Hawks offense against the Bearcats, following his record-breaking performance against the University of Akron where he became the first player to throw for 500 yards and run for 100. He was named MAC East Player of the Week for the second straight week and was also a finalist for the AT&T All-American Player of the Week.
“He was just on fire,” Treadwell said of Dysert. “He was able to play in that zone and it is becoming a way of life for him. We’re very proud of him.”
Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell is probable for Saturday’s game, according to Treadwell. Harwell has not played since the season opener against Ohio State after suffering a leg injury in the week of practice before the University of Massachusetts game.
The defense has regressed at times for the Red and White this season, and have given up more points and yards per game than last year.
The team is 113th in the nation in run defense, giving up over 236 yards per game on the ground. Last year, Miami was 75th in run defense and only gave up 168 yards per game.
This season, the ’Hawks are 117th in total defense, giving up over 517 total yards per game. Last year they were 48th in total defense and gave up only 363 yards per game.
The RedHawks are also 104th in scoring defense, giving up almost 35 points per game. Last year, they were 39th in the nation, giving up just under 23 points a game.
“I think we’ll just continue to work to do what we do best,” Treadwell said. “In the big picture, there have been plenty of times that our defense quite frankly has held us in the game and given the offense a chance to get on track.”
The RedHawks will have to improve their run defense quickly, and will face a tough task in UC junior quarterback Munchie Legaux. Legaux is a dual-threat quarterback who has thrown for seven touchdowns and 789 yards while also rushing for 169 yards.
“This young man can beat you with his feet or his arm,” Treadwell said. “Boy is he dangerous.”
Senior running back George Winn could also present some problems for the ’Hawks. Winn has 326 yards rushing and two scores this year.
“They’re a great team,” Dysert said of UC. “We’re excited to play them. We’re excited to have the privilege and opportunity to go play them and we’re going to give them our best.”
Junior linebacker Chris Wade continues to be a bright spot for the defense, leading the team with 51 tackles. He is sixth in tackles among MAC players.
Miami’s proximity to Cincinnati means many current RedHawks are looking forward to this game.
“It’s a great opportunity to play UC; they’re a great football team,” redshirt senior linebacker Luke Kelly said. “I have lots of family from UC and I’ve been living there since fourth grade. It’s a great opportunity for my family to come watch UC play Miami and enjoy the experience.”