Red and White prepare for road game against Kentucky Wildcats
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 00:09
Following a 52-14 route at the hands of Marshall University, the Miami RedHawks football team looks to bounce back Saturday versus the University of Kentucky.
The RedHawks (0-1) didn’t start the season the way they imagined, but that doesn’t matter much to head coach Don Treadwell. The third-year coach said the gap from the first to second week of play is often big.
“What you typically see is an improvement from Week 1 to Week 2,” Treadwell said. “For our guys it’s the little things, and we feel good about the progress we’ve made … that’s the focus of it. Our intensity has improved.”
Like the RedHawks, the Wildcats suffered a Week 1 loss as well, though they the favorite over the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. The 35-26 loss is still fresh in the minds of the Kentucky football program, and it can be expected that the Wildcats will take the field with a vengeance.
“I think they’re probably just as hungry as we are,” Treadwell said. “Anytime you have a loss under your belt you kind of have a little more of a resolve to want to move that in the other direction.”
Miami, too, hopes to move in the other direction following last week’s contest. The RedHawks allowed 591 total yards on defense, with 297 of those coming on the ground. Senior defensive lineman and co-captain Austin Brown will be the first to tell you that those results aren’t acceptable, and the Red and White defense has picked it up this week.
“Intensity in practice has improved tremendously,” Brown said, who had two tackles and a quarterback hurry in his first game since September of last year. “We’re going a little live, and going to get after it. When you get the ball rolling and momentum going your way, you’ll be alright.”
Offensively, Austin Boucher looks to improve upon his prior performance as well. The senior quarterback and co-captain did not, by any means, play poorly – his 10-for-22, 165 yard outing showed that he can be an it-factor for this team in the face of adversity. But like most RedHawks, Boucher will tell you that it’s a team effort, and he knows the Miami offense needs to up the ante this weekend in Lexington.
“We have another opportunity this week to clean up our mistakes and clean up on what we need to do to become a better offense,” Boucher said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing. The intensity is definitely high, especially after a showing like that.”
Like always, Treadwell insists on the need to take the season one week at a time. That means that even though Kentucky will be starting a sophomore at quarterback and a freshman at halfback, it won’t change the way Miami is preparing. The Wildcats have Southeastern Conference (SEC) speed on the outside on both sides of the ball, and the RedHawks are ready to respond and make their way back to .500 through two games.
“It’s going to be a challenge, no doubt,” Boucher said of his team’s upcoming road game. “Being an SEC opponent, we need to bring our A-game. We’re both 0-1, so I know they’re just as hungry to get their ship sailing in the right direction, as are we. It’s going to be fun, and it’ll be a dog fight.”
The RedHawks take the field Noon, Saturday Sept. 7 at Commonwealth Stadium. Fans can listen to the game at redhawkradio.com.