’Hawks fall to UMass in Bath’s first game as coach
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 02:10
The Miami University football team is still searching for its first win of the season, after falling 17-10 in Gillette Stadium to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen.
This was the RedHawks’ (0-6) first outing under interim head coach Mike Bath, who was hired last weekend after former head coach Don Treadwell was fired. Miami went down by a score in the first quarter, but answered early in the second when redshirt senior quarterback Austin Boucher found his classmate and co-captain Steve Marck in the endzone for a 13-yard touchdown strike. Miami took a second-half lead for the first time all season after a 45-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Kaleb Patterson, but that was it for the RedHawk offense. A tip-drill touchdown and a fourth quarter field goal by Massachusetts put the proverbial nail in the coffin on what could have been a road win for the ’Hawks.
After a roller coaster of emotions all week, from the lows of seeing a friend lose his job, to the highs of running out on the field as the head coach of his alma matter, Bath said this past week was a challenge for him and his team, both physically and emotionally. That didn’t stop him from cherishing the moment.
“It was exhilarating, just to lead the team out on the field – a Miami team, a team that I care about and a team I love,” Bath said. “It was special, and it was something I won’t forget.”
Though the result was a loss, the elevated offensive and defensive play is something this RedHawk team won’t likely forget either. They finished with a season-high 290 total yards on offense and 19 first downs.
“There were a couple drives that we were able to put together and you could see the potential in it, but obviously within a week not everything is going to be crisp,” Boucher said of the offensive changes that took effect against UMass. “There were a lot of mistakes out there especially on my part that we have to clean up. I don’t want to make any excuses, but at the same time it’s a new offense and we’re going to be that much better in the following week.”
The defense allowed 17 points, the second lowest of the season behind their Sep. 21 contest against the University of Cincinnati.
Sophomore linebacker Kent Kern registered his fourth double-digit tackling effort of the year, and Miami recorded a season-best 11 tackles for loss. Freshman safety Jay Mastin also contributed 14 tackles on the afternoon to lead the RedHawks, with seven of those marked as solo tackles.
Miami has another week of practice to prepare for an afternoon game against the University of Akron. The homecoming contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start Saturday.