Last Friday, Sept. 1, Miami University and the University of Miami faced off in a football game for the first time since 1987.
Unsurprisingly, the Hurricanes blew the RedHawks out of South Florida, a dominant 38-3 beatdown that left many RedHawk fans wondering why they were so optimistic about this season in the first place.
“Yeah, [it was] obviously an awful trip from start to finish,” said Chuck Martin, head coach for the RedHawks.
On Monday, Sept. 3, Martin, senior defensive lineman Austin Ertl and junior wide receiver Gage Larvadain were all available to the media for Miami football’s second game-week press conference of the season. Here were some takeaways from the presser:
Injury bites Coldiron, otherwise RedHawks largely healthy
Jack Coldiron made a 23-yard grab about six minutes into the second half on Friday and then didn’t return to action. After the game, Chuck Martin hinted that the injury didn’t look good. On Monday, he was more clear.
“[Jack] Coldiron suffered a pretty major injury,” Martin said. “He’s probably out for the season which is not awesome … He does so many different jobs. It’s very disappointing for him, because he’s an unbelievable kid who’s poured so much into this program. To see this happen his last go around is kind of sad, just feel bad for him.”
Coldiron, a redshirt-junior from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, has played with the RedHawks since 2019. Over his Miami career, he’s played in 29 games and caught 47 balls for 672 yards and four touchdowns.
Other than that, according to Martin, the RedHawks appear largely in good shape, despite taking a beating against the opposing Miami — who physically outmatched them — on Friday.
“It’s too early to tell,” Martin said. “We’re doing yoga as we speak … Obviously it was a physical whooping we took on both sides of the ball.”
Martin fires shots
“Everything you read about, all the money [Miami (FL) is] spending buying all the best players in the country,” Martin said. “... They’ve got the NIL figured out.”
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Martin is known for being candid, especially around this time of year when the inequities of college football are especially apparent.
Last season, he lamented the fact that his team is forced to play such superior opponents in the first few weeks of every season, essentially getting paid to be punching bags for much larger schools.
The University of Miami paid Miami University $1.5 million (plus $40k in travel expenses) to travel to Miami Gardens, Florida, and play in Friday’s game.
Gabbert goes viral, Martin unconcerned
If you’re anywhere near social media, you’ve certainly seen Brett Gabbert’s quote from the last press conference that went viral throughout the college football landscape last week.
Martin said he stays away from social media, but he heard about the quote. He wasn’t bothered that his quarterback was expecting to win the team’s week one matchup.
“I did not see the quote, I heard about the quote,” Martin said. “I had no thoughts when I heard about it, I still don’t … Everybody in our locker room … is going to Miami to win a football game.”
Lights don’t phase Larvadain
Junior wide receiver Gage Larvadain transferred to Miami from Southeastern Louisiana (Division I-FCS) this offseason.
He was the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year in 2021. In both 2021 and 2022, he was a Second Team All-Conference receiver and a first teamer for kick returns. In two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana he finished with 96 catches for 1252 yards and seven touchdowns.
Larvadain was by far the best RedHawk receiver on Friday. It appeared to take almost no time for him to adjust to the higher level of play at the Division I-FBS level.
“It’s really not that different for me, to be honest.” Larvadain said. “Not to be cocky or anything, but it’s just football for me. I’ve got the fun job … God has blessed me my entire life with coaches and teammates who believe in me.”
He finished the game with eight receptions for 80 yards. No other RedHawk caught more than two passes. Larvadain was the only RedHawk all night who could find any space in the Hurricane defense. Once he got the ball in his hands, he was able to make Hurricanes miss.
Miami will run the football
Martin is well known to be a coach who believes in establishing the ground game to set up the pass. He can’t stand it when his offenses become too reliant on the air game, because that allows the defense to sit on the pass.
That much certainly happened on Friday, when the RedHawks recorded negative rushing yards in the first half and 51 rushing yards over the entire game. The Hurricanes were able to send pressure nearly whenever they wanted, and their defense almost never left man coverage.
Martin said his team will re-up its commitment to running the ball this week at UMass.
“We got to run the football,” Martin said. “That’s going to be an emphasis. We’re going to run the football this weekend. We got to run the football.”
It comes down to execution
Both Martin and senior defensive lineman Austin Ertl said they believe Miami’s game plan from Friday was good, but that the execution just wasn’t there.
“As a defense this past year, being number one for scoring in the MAC, we came in thinking we’re all good.” Ertl said. “I think it was a reality check for us as a defense.”
The RedHawks take the field next on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 3:30 p.m. against UMass in Amherst, Mass. You can catch the game on ESPN+ or the following radio stations: WMOH-AM 1450 in Hamilton, WFMG-FM 101.3 in Richmond, Ind., WDBZ-AM 1230 in Cincinnati or WONE-AM 980 in Dayton.