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Three takeaways from Miami football’s Western Michigan week presser

<p>The Miami RedHawks travel to Western Michigan this week following a thumping of the Bowling Green State University Falcons last Saturday.</p>

The Miami RedHawks travel to Western Michigan this week following a thumping of the Bowling Green State University Falcons last Saturday.

On Saturday, Miami University football crushed Bowling Green State University 27-0, the RedHawks’ first shutout since 2007.

Parents weekend, picturesque football weather and a resounding RedHawk victory made for a great day in Oxford Saturday. 

Sadly, as it always does, Monday eventually reared its ugly head. At least there was a Miami football midweek presser to look forward to. This week, Miami football head coach Chuck Martin and junior offensive lineman Kolby Borders were available to the media for the Western Michigan week press conference. Here are three takeaways.

RedHawks stay healthy

After Saturday’s game, Martin gave a long-awaited update on star junior receiver Gage Larvadain, who was suited up for Saturday’s game but didn’t play a snap. At halftime, Larvadain changed into sweatpants. 

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​​"We think we'll get him back next week,” Martin said. “We'll see ... we've got a lot of good football players, but he's head-and-shoulders the best football player we've got.”

Outside of Larvadain, who after week three led all of Division I in receiving yards, the RedHawks came out of Saturday’s game largely uninjured. They’re still without their starting tight end, redshirt-junior Jack Coldiron, who sustained a likely season-ending injury Week 1 against Miami (FL).

“We came out of it good,” Martin said. “Maybe because it was such a short game with so few plays, but we came out of it good.”

Keep an eye on the offensive line

The Miami offensive linemen are a fun, almost eccentric group. Junior starting center Kolby Borders and redshirt-first-year Gavin Rohrs pump each other up before each game by banging their heads together a few times while dancing to the music.

“You have to have a mean mindset to go and try to kill somebody,” Borders said. “... You go from sitting in the locker room with your music in your ears, and 30 minutes later you’re hitting somebody as hard as you can. You gotta get into that mental capacity to go do that.”

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Each player along the RedHawks’ starting o-line is at least 6-foot-6 and more than 300 pounds. They bullied Bowling Green on Saturday, especially on the first drive, which lasted 15 plays and went 73 yards for a touchdown. The RedHawks pounded the ball on the ground, and the drive ate more than 11 minutes of the football game. 

“That’s a long time for a drive,” Borders said. “You think, ‘Oh, the fat guys are gonna be gassed.’ But truthfully we’re just sitting there talking … Just a great feeling, knowing that we could take over like that off the jump.”

Oxford is abuzz about Miami football

Miami football is off to its first 2-0 start in conference play since 2010. The RedHawks are 5-1 for the first time since 2003. No student at Miami today has seen a start like this with her own eyes.

“Winning in general is fun,” Borders said. “Not losing is the best part.”

Borders said that a group of RedHawk offensive linemen goes to Wendy’s in Oxford every week. He said people they see there, churchgoers, people stopping on their way to or from youth sports games, even the store manager, are giving them love for their hot start.

“They’re always so excited to see us, and it’s never been like that,” Borders said. “We’ve gone to Wendy’s — I’ve been here for three years and we’ve gone every single Sunday. We don’t miss it. And this is the first year that people are like, ‘Hey, great job!’ That feels really good.”

The RedHawks take the field next against Western Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 14. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. from Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You can catch it on ESPN+ or on one of Miami’s game-day radio affiliates.