’Hawks head to blue turf
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 21:09
The Miami University football team (1-1) travels to Boise, Idaho Saturday to take on the Boise State University Broncos (0-1) on Boise’s famous blue turf.
Boise has the most wins of any college program over the past six years, going 63-7 in that stretch. The Broncos have also played in 10 straight bowl games. However, this year they return only seven starters and are without two first round NFL draft picks as well as their starting quarterback from the past four seasons.
“Boise is still a dominant team,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said. “They are a traditional powerhouse and quite frankly we respect and appreciate what they’ve done and how they’ve done it. What [Head] Coach [Chris] Petersen has done at Boise is what we aspire to do here. He has presented a road map on how to do that.”
Senior wide receiver Andy Cruse has 20 catches this year and is tied for fourth in the nation and first in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in receptions.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” Cruse said. “I’m lucky enough to be the guy catching the ball.”
The RedHawks ran for 110 yards against Southern Illinois University, marking only the fourth time in the past 14 games they have managed to gain 100 yards on the ground. True freshman running back Jamire Westbrook and sophomore running back Spencer Treadwell got the majority of the work, gaining 18 and 73 yards respectively. They also each rushed for a score.
“Right now, I’m assuming [Jamire] Westbrook would start and Spencer [Treadwell] would roll in there some with [redshirt junior running back Justin] Semmes,” Coach Treadwell said. “It’ll probably be those three sitting here today.”
The only other time the two teams met was in 2009, when the Broncos crushed the Red and White 48-0. It was the last time the ’Hawks have been held scoreless in a game. The game also marked the first time redshirt senior quarterback Zac Dysert made a college appearance. Dysert came on in relief and completed two passes.
“The last time we played them they thumped us,” Cruse said. “It is going to be a pretty big challenge and we are excited about the opportunity to play there.”
The new Broncos quarterback is junior Joe Southwick, who completed 15 of 31 passes for 169 yards and a pick against Michigan State University in the team’s only game this year.
Boise will likely rely on redshirt senior running back D.J. Harper, who has 24 career touchdowns, nine of which came last season. He struggled against Michigan State, mustering only eight yards on 15 carries.
“[Michigan State] presents more challenges than most teams not only because of their multiplicity but because they do it so well,” Treadwell said. “They can be in any formation at any time and do a variety of things.”
The Broncos are known for their trick plays, which is something the RedHawks hope to contain.
“It is just playing fundamental football,” senior linebacker Pat Hinkel said. “Staying gap-sound and staying home and not worrying about someone else’s job.”
On the injury front for the ’Hawks, senior offensive lineman JoJo Williams should be ready to go and has been practicing. However, true freshman guard Brandyn Cook, who started the season opener, is out indefinitely with a finger injury, according to Coach Treadwell. Senior offensive lineman Matt Kennedy will likely be a game-time decision.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. EST and will be shown on the NBC Sports Network. The RedHawks return home Sept. 22 to take on the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in Miami’s MAC opener.