RedHawks migrate to Oxford for home opener
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 01:09
The Miami University football team (0-1) will look to win its home opener as it hosts the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Salukis (0-1) Saturday. The game marks only the eighth time the ’Hawks have played a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school.
“Having coached in the FCS, I know that they are a tremendous team,” Head Coach Don Treadwell said. “Much like us, they have a tremendous tradition. They have a national championship under their belt.”
The Red and White will once again rely on the passing game, led by redshirt senior quarterback and co-captain Zac Dysert. Dysert is coming off an impressive performance against the Ohio State University when he threw for over 300 yards.
The RedHawks should have a huge advantage against the Salukis in the passing game. The Salukis gave up a school record seven touchdown passes in their season opener against Eastern Illinois University.
“It makes us feel kind of good,” Dysert said. “You can’t overlook them though. You only play one game a week, so every game is important.”
Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell should continue his strong play after catching eight balls for 120 yards and a score against Ohio State. Harwell and the rest of the receiving corps are expected to bounce back after dropping over a half dozen balls last weekend.
The running back position is still unsettled, although it appears true freshman tailback Jamire Westbrook will see an increase in playing time after his performance against the Buckeyes.
The defense will also look to bounce back after giving up 56 points to Ohio State. It was the most points given up by the Red and White since 1942.
“We have to play our best game,” redshirt senior defensive end Jason Semmes said. “I thought last week we left some things on the field. We can’t do that anymore. Any team can beat us so we have to be on our game this week.”
Senior center JoJo Williams missed the season opener with a leg injury he suffered in practice the week before the game. His status for the home opener is still in doubt.
“I think there is more of a chance of him playing than not or at least being ready [to play],” Treadwell said.
The team is hoping Yager Stadium will be filled for the home opener.
“We’re just excited to be back home and give the fans something to see,” Semmes said. “We love support, but we’ll play whether there are five people in stands or 500. We would love the support of our college though.”
Treadwell has been encouraging an “All-In” mentality this year and hopes to see it come to fruition this weekend.
“It does provide a tremendous spark for your team to come out on the field and know they are appreciated by the fans and the alumni,” Treadwell said. “We’re going to be excited and hope that we will see a full house.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium. The game will be a “white-out” and fans unable to attend the game can listen live on WMSR at www.redhawkradio.com.