Miami Redhawk Football is officially underway as the Redhawks faced the Robert Morris Colonials at 6 p.m. Saturday night in Yager Stadium. The game featured many positives and a few areas in need of improvement for the Redhawks.
It was the first career start for Aveon Smith, redshirt first-year quarterback. Smith had a solid first start, completing 14 of 22 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns in the Redhawks 31-14 win over the Colonials. Smith said that he wants to be more composed and decisive in future games.
“It was a pretty surreal moment,” Smith said.
Smith would throw one interception, however it wasn’t a bad one. He made the correct read by throwing to tight end Nate Muersch, but Robert Morris defensive back Sydney Audiger made an even better play on the ball to intercept Smith.
Smith also overthrew his receivers a few times and missed a few opportunities to put points on the board, but he showed he has potential as a QB. He looked like he could hold down the fort until star quarterback Brett Gabbert returns from his injury.
Sophomore tight end Nate Muersch and redshirt senior Mac Hippenhammer were responsible for some key plays for the Redhawks in the receiving department. Hippenhammer would catch four of his six targets for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Muersch grabbed four of his seven targets for 55 yards which included a 30-yard reception.
Sophomore running back Kevin Davis flashed the potential to be one of the best players in the Mid American Conference (MAC) with five carries for 63 yards (12.6 yards per carry), plus two receptions for 24 yards. Davis possesses cheetah-like speed, and when he’s given space he’s going to be very dangerous to opposing teams. Davis is the type of player that should excite Redhawk fans.
Miami’s defense had a good showing outside of the opening drive for Robert Morris that featured a well-executed play action pass from quarterback Anthony Chiccitt that went for 79 yards to the Colonials’ tight end Dylan Smith.
They didn’t score on that play thanks to the hustle of redshirt junior defensive-back Michael Dowell who stopped Smith on the one yard-line, but the Colonials would score three plays later on a two-yard touchdown run by running back Anthony Purge. Over the course of the game the defense would force two interceptions and allow one meaningless touchdown in the closing seconds.
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With a win this past Saturday at Yager Stadium, the Redhawks are in sole possession of college football’s fourth longest home winning streak at 15 wins in a row. They are now ahead of football powerhouse the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin stressed the importance of accountability in his post game press conference.
“If you don’t do your job they’ll make you pay,” Martin said. “It doesn’t matter who you play…we all gotta do our job.”
This team possesses playmakers on both sides of the ball that can help the Redhawks fly over their 7-6 record from a year ago and win a MAC Championship. Everyone just has to control what they can control and do their job.
Miami hits the field again Saturday, Sept. 17 against Cincinnati at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.