Scheelhaase shows up MU in Illinois blowout
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 02:10
It was a long day for the Miami University football team (0-4) in Champaign, Ill., as the University of Illinois (3-1) cruised to a 50-14 blowout victory at home.
It took Miami’s offense some time to find success, as they got on the board with 2:09 remaining in the third quarter. Redshirt senior quarterback Austin Boucher hit freshman wide receiver Rokeem Williams with a six-yard pass for the RedHawks’ first second-half touchdown of the season. Boucher had arguably his best statistical outing of the year, completing seven of his 13 attempted passes for 95 yards and the previously mentioned score. He also ran for 13 yards. Freshman quarterback Austin Gearing dominated the RedHawk running game, accumulating 81 yards on 16 attempts. Senior tight end and captain Steve Marck said the dual-quarterback threat is something Miami hopes to employ with increasing efficiency.
“They each have their own strengths,” Marck, who hauled in one catch on Saturday for 19 yards, said. “Gearing’s probably more of the runner, [Boucher] is probably more of the thrower. They each bring something to the game.”
On the other end of the field, senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase had a record-setting of a game, throwing five touchdown passes in the first half alone en route to the 50-14 victory. Those five scores were good enough to tie the Illinois record for most touchdowns in a half, while his four second quarter strikes is the most in a single quarter in school history.
“Give Illinois a tremendous amount of credit,” Miami head coach Don Treadwell said. “We knew this was going to be a very explosive and dynamic offense. The thing we didn’t want to do was give up big plays, but they were still able to manage some big plays. They made the plays they needed to make.”
The RedHawks have played a third of their season now with no wins to show for it. Though the initial outlook has been tough for the Miami faithful, conference play is now the focus for the young squad. Treadwell has continually stressed that these early season games have been invaluable, as some of the more inexperienced RedHawks can gain much-needed real-game experience. Heading into a home matchup versus Central Michigan University, he thinks that will be a big help for his team.
“Our young guys got some good reps that were needed,” Treadwell said. “This was our fourth game where our guys were just now starting to play a little more. The fact that some of our other guys got game experience that you can’t replace or simulate, that will serve us well as we turn to conference play next week.”
The ’Hawks host the Chippewas of Central Michigan 1 p.m. Saturday, where they will hope to avoid an 0-5 start.
The last time the RedHawks started with five straight losses was the 2009-10 season when they went on to finish 1-11, winning their only game on Halloween against the University of Toledo Rockets.