Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor
The Miami University football team kept it close for much of the game, but the University of Michigan came away with a 34-10 victory.
The RedHawks (0-3) have now lost 19 straight games, one short of matching the longest winless mark in school history.
"This is the best football game we've played this year," head coach Chuck Martin said. "Marshall, obviously second-best and last week, we set football back about 50 years."
The Wolverines outgained the 'Hawks 460-198, but the RedHawks were down just 24-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Wolverines did most of their damage on the ground, racking up 276 yards on the ground. The majority of the Wolverine rushing attack came in the fourth quarter, when they picked up 128 yards.
"I feel like as a defense we played aggressively and we came out with a lot of energy and played our assignments well," junior linebacker Kent Kern said. "In the second half, I think we got worn down a little bit and got away from what we were supposed to do. It's all correctable things, we just need to do them right next week."
Sophomore Derrick Green was the Wolverines' workhorse, picking up 137 yards and two scores on 22 carries.
Fifth-year senior Quinten Rollins continued his strong play, recording six tackles and an interception. Rollins was involved in a forced fumble, but wasn't credited. He was credited, however, with the Mid-American Conference East Defensive Player of the Week.
Michigan took an early lead after notching a field goal on its first drive. As was the case in the first two games, mistakes hurt the RedHawks' early. On its first drive, Miami had a false start, a delay of game and an interception on consecutive plays. Michigan took advantage of the opportunity and took a 10-0 lead on a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Devin Gardner to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Amara Darboh.
The RedHawks didn't quit though, and bounced back thanks to a pair of turnovers. Rollins intercepted Gardner, leading to a Miami field goal.
The RedHawks then forced another turnover on a pooch kick that Michigan fumbled. Fifth-year senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix found senior wide receiver Dawan Scott for a three-yard touchdown.
Green punched it in for Michigan on its next drive and the Wolverines took a 17-10 lead into halftime.
The Wolverines made it 24-10 early in the fourth quarter on a blown coverage by Miami. Sophomore tight end Jake Butt was wide open on a wheel route for a 29-yard touchdown.
"They ran fake a screen, we're in man coverage," Martin said. "Our guy doesn't look at his guy, which was rampant all day. There was 40 times that we cut guys loose in man coverage, which is unconscionable, but that's where we're at."
Miami was unable to get any closer, despite chances.
"[Down] 24-10, we got the ball, we got the call we wanted," Martin said. "We got seven guys blocking four. [Redshirt sophomore WR] Rokeem [Williams], who is a very inconsistent route runner runs a great stinking route, sticks the corner outside, the corner bites, he breaks the post, he's wide open, it should be 24-17 and we can't block them seven-on-four. Credit to Michigan obviously, but it is sad when you're blocking seven on four and you've got a guy running open for a touchdown and you don't even have a chance to throw."
Despite the 0-3 start and 19-game losing streak, Martin thinks the RedHawks will get things turned around.
"We're gonna get it turned around," Martin said. "I think we're gonna win next week. I thought we were gonna win this week. I'm stupid, so I don't know. It takes a lot of hits to the head for me to stop trying to push the dang door open. There are areas that we've identified that we know we have to change or we're not going to win. And we're trying hard to change them."
Miami's next chance to turn it around comes 7 p.m. Saturday against the University of Cincinnati in the Battle for the Bell.