RedHawk fans were gifted an October surprise Saturday afternoon when Brett Gabbert was announced as starter over the loudspeaker at Yager Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Western Michigan University spoiled it though. The Broncos beat Miami 16-10.
Gabbert scored Miami’s only touchdown early in the fourth quarter with a 9-yard rush. He had 222 passing yards and no interceptions, but he took seven sacks. Gabbert spread the ball around well; four different receivers finished with more than three catches. Junior receiver Miles Marshall had a career day with 7 catches for 94 yards.
Gabbert has been out since week one when he suffered a left shoulder injury late in Miami’s 37-13 loss to No. 19 Kentucky. Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin said Gabbert was unlikely to return this season on Sept. 5.
After the game, Martin explained Gabbert’s situation.
“He’s been practicing for a couple of weeks, and then he talked to his doctor again this week. The doctor said ‘hey, I’m good if you continue to feel good all week.’ And he felt good all week.”
Miami’s defense had a decent day on Saturday. The RedHawks held WMU to just over 300 total yards of offense, but they couldn’t force a single turnover. They only got to the Bronco quarterback two times.
Gabbert’s return came a little too late to save Miami’s season. Even if the RedHawks had won on Friday, they would’ve been two games back of Buffalo, the current Mid-American Conference (MAC) East leader. Now that they’re three games back, their MAC championship hopes are all but zero.
This week though, they continue their schedule against Akron, the worst team in the MAC and one of the worst in college football. If nothing else, RedHawk fans can expect Gabbert to put up some big numbers against the lowly Zips.
Miami and Akron hit the gridiron this Saturday at 12 p.m. in Akron. You can watch the game on ESPN+ or listen on the Miami Radio Network.