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Winless ’Hawks host winless UMass

Miami football head coach Chuck Martin has a one-sided discussion with an official during a recent 'Hawk home game.

Photo by Lauren Olson, Photography Editor

Miami University and the University of Massachusetts share more than Mid-American Conference membership. Both are banking on new coaches to turn struggling programs, lean heavily on transfer quarterbacks and are winless this season.

"I think they feel they are the best 0-5 team in the country and we kinda feel like we're the best 0-5 team in the country," head coach Chuck Martin said. "I guess Saturday, we'll find out. They've played some good football and had three really close ones that they could've, should've, would've and we've probably had four of the five that we had a chance in the fourth quarter. Both of us are trying to find a way to get over the hump."

Miami hasn't won a game in its last 21 tries. UMass has won only one game in its last 19 tries. That lone win came against the RedHawks. The 'Hawks are banking on Chuck Martin turning things around in Oxford, while the Minutemen are hoping for success via a blast from the past.

UMass coach Mark Whipple returned to the program following a near 10-year run as an NFL assistant coach. He won 49 games from 1998-2003 at UMass, leaving him one win short of 50.

The Minutemen lean on their passing game, led by junior quarterback Blake Frohnapfel, who transferred from Marshall University as a graduate transfer. Frohnapfel has completed just 52.7 percent of his passes, but has thrown for 1,471 yards, 11 touchdowns and three picks.

Frohnapfel's stats are similar to Miami fifth-year senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix, who transferred from Notre Dame. Hendrix has completed just 45 percent of passes, but has thrown for 1,342 yards, 10 touchdowns and six picks. Frohnapfel has thrown three more passes this season than Hendrix.

"They throw the ball tremendously," Martin said. "They throw the ball on everybody they've played. Crazy schedule when you look at who they've played … They've been able to score on everybody."

Both squads are ineffective at running the football. UMass has averaged just 60 yards per game, while Miami has put up 85.6 yards.

Martin thinks Miami will have a tough time running the ball against UMass.

"No one has run the ball on them on any consistent basis," Martin said. "I watched BC play UMass and I watched BC play USC. Boston College ran all over USC and they had a very, very, very difficult time running the ball on UMass. So that wasn't too exciting for me since we're not the most potent running team in America."

Both teams have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory this season. Miami has lost one score games to Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Cincinnati and the University at Buffalo and UMass has lost one score games to the University of Colorado, Vanderbilt University and Bowling Green State University.

"Still searching for [that first win]," senior wide receiver David Frazier said. "It feels like every game has gone the same way: it's come down to the fourth quarter. We just gottta learn how to finish."

Come Saturday evening, either UMass or Miami will finally have its first win of the season. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Fans can listen live at redhawkradio.com.

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