’Hawks host Chippewas in conference opener
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 19:10
By Joe Gieringer Senior Staff Writer
The Miami University football team hopes to avoid an 0-5 start to the year as it opens Mid-American Conference (MAC) play against Central Michigan University.
CMU (1-4) boasts just one win this year, and it came against the University of New Hampshire, an FCS school. The opening of conference play should be a welcome change for the RedHawks, who haven’t had much luck out of conference.
“These first four games haven’t gone the way we wanted,” redshirt senior quarterback and co-captain Austin Boucher said. “It is a little bit of a morale boost knowing that it’s league play now. We start out from ground zero. It’s the MAC race now and it’s anybody’s game right now as far as our league is concerned.”
After a disastrous second quarter in last week’s loss to the University of Illinois, Miami responded in the latter frames of the contest and found the end zone twice.
Miami’s passing and rushing offenses are ranked 121 and 116 in the nation respectively, the RedHawks are in need of a breakout game.
“Every game is exciting for us, especially when we get into conference play,” senior defensive lineman and co-captain Austin Brown said. “We want to come out and get a win for ourselves, this university, and the students to give them something to rally around and get on board with us.”
Head coach Don Treadwell ran a two-quarterback offense last week, with Boucher as the passing QB and redshirt freshman Austin Gearing as the running QB. Gearing led the team in rushing with a career high 81 yards on the ground last week.
A win Saturday would provide an opportunity for the RedHawks to reestablish themselves and right the ship.
That starts with defense, Brown said. After a great showing against the University of Cincinnati in which Miami allowed a season low in points and yardage, they gave up 50 points and 601 total yards last week on the road.
“We’ve got to bring it again,” Brown said, referencing the UC game. “We didn’t bring it versus Illinois. We’ve got to get back to where we were and come back with more intensity and get back to where we were.”
Brown said his team needs a spark. Every day, Brown presents a new word, a simple collection of letters to help his RedHawks focus on what needs to get done. Fittingly, the word of the day Tuesday was “fight.”
“Not in the sense of a brawl or anything,” Brown said. “Just internally. Always fight, keep going no matter what’s going on. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst but at the same time, just getting after it.”
Kickoff for Miami’s second home game is 1 p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium.