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Four takeaways from Miami football's post Victory Bell presser

<p>On Saturday, the Miami University RedHawks beat the University of Cincinnati in football for the first time since 2005.</p>

On Saturday, the Miami University RedHawks beat the University of Cincinnati in football for the first time since 2005.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Miami University RedHawks went into historic Nippert Stadium at night and came out with an unlikely win over the University of Cincinnati (UC) Bearcats. 

The victory broke UC’s streak of 16 consecutive wins over the RedHawks in college football’s oldest non-conference rivalry game. It was a far cry from Miami’s 38-3 loss in Week 1 at the hands of the University of Miami Hurricanes.

“[The UC game] had 47,000 different ebbs and flows,” Miami head coach Chuck Martin said. “That game is probably one of the most amazing games I’ve ever been associated with.”

On Monday, Sept. 18, Martin, senior defensive lineman Austin Ertl and redshirt-senior wide receiver Joe Wilkins Jr. were all available to the media for Miami football’s fourth game-week press conference of the season. Here were some takeaways from the presser.

Mindset matters

Martin credited his team’s mindset as one of the main reasons Saturday’s game was different from Week 1, Miami’s only other game scheduled against a Power Five opponent this season.

“We went to Miami to win,” Martin said. “But the mindset probably wasn’t right. We went down to Miami to kick Miami’s ass, which was probably unrealistic … Our belief was insane on Saturday night. Our belief was over the top. But it was realistic belief.”

The RedHawk defense gave up more than 500 total yards and 30 first downs. The Bearcats entered the red zone eight times during the course of the game, but scored only two touchdowns. Three of the times they entered the red zone, UC left without any points. 

Martin said if Cincinnati had been able to convert more often in the red zone, his team might have lost by three touchdowns. But it didn’t.

“You want to have super confidence,” Martin said. “But our defense went in there with this mindset that ‘it’s gonna be ugly, but we’re gonna find a way.’ And what did they do? It was insane. Eight series in the red zone, two touchdowns out of eight chances.”

Martin praises his quarterback

Brett Gabbert was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week after his performance against Cincinnati. He finished 12-for-20 on passes with 237 passing yards and three touchdowns to just one interception. 

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“I’ve never been around anybody more competitive than Brett Gabbert,” Martin said. “Ever. That is his biggest strength, and he has a lot of strengths.”

Gabbert also led the RedHawks in rushing yards with 75 on nine carries. Martin said just one of those rushes was a designed run. The rest were unplanned scrambles.

Gabbert is listed at 6-foot-even on Miami’s roster. He’s not the most athletic quarterback — generally more of a pocket passer — but he makes it work. Martin said that Gabbert is faster in games than he is in practice or workouts due to his will to win.

Photo by Jessica Monahan | The Miami Student

Brett Gabbert won Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Week 3 at Cincinnati.

“It not only helps you because you make plays because of it, but your team’s watching that stuff,” Martin said. “... He’s the quarterback, he’s not supposed to be taking hits. And now he’s diving for the pylon with no regard for anything other than trying to win a football game.”

RedHawks invade Brick Street

After the Cincinnati game, the RedHawk buses drove directly to Brick Street. They unloaded, the team flooded in, and they brought the Victory Bell with them. 

“When we drove the buses back and the streets were all crowded with people … it’s not something I ever thought I would experience to be honest with you,” Ertl said.

“It wasn’t my idea obviously, because as my wife always tells me, ‘You don’t want anybody to ever have fun ever,’” Martin said. “But it was a great idea. But going through Uptown and having our kids get to experience that … it’s what college sports should be all about … I didn’t get off the bus by the way.”

Martin compares himself to Boo Radley

After the game, people associated with Miami football had text messages and phone calls coming from every direction. 

“The most texts I’ve ever had on my phone after a game,” Ertl said. “... I still was trying to keep up with it a little bit yesterday.”

Except for Martin.

“The 15 people in the world that like me actually texted me,” Martin said. “... when you go your whole life and you live under a rock and you don’t go out and you're a recluse, me and Boo Radley have a lot in common.”