Chris Rule, Senior Staff WriterBrandon Murphy and the Miami offense have yet to hit their stride this season but face off against a Northern Illinois team ranked 103 nationally in total defense. (Michael Pickering)After five games, the Miami University RedHawks (0-5 overall, 0-1 Mid-American Conference) are still hoping to get rid of the goose egg in their win column. The newest obstacle in their way is Heisman Trophy candidate Garrett Wolfe and the Northern Illinois Huskies (3-2 overall, 2-1 overall), who come to Yager Stadium for a Sunday night showdown at 8 p.m."They've got the No. 1 rusher in the country from last season back in Garrett Wolfe, and he is even better this year," said Head Coach Shane Montgomery. "We're not going to get much sleep this week thinking about him. It's going to be a challenge not only for the defense to stop him but for the offense to keep the defense off the field and score enough points."Wolfe is currently averaging 236 yards per game, 75 yards ahead of the next closest back. The Northern Illinois offense is ranked fourth nationally in total offense and the RedHawks will be hard-pressed to stop their attack."I think the main thing we have to do is play assignment football, everyone to get in their gaps and everyone make plays," said senior free safety Joey Card. "(Wolfe's) rushing for 236 yards a game, so right now I don't think we actually stop him, but we just have to contain him and limit the big plays."The defense will be looking to the 'Hawks' offensive attack to give them some help by putting points on the board and taking time off the clock. The RedHawks' offense has struggled of late, failing to score more than 14 points in any of their last three games."That's been the theme all season; we have had trouble putting up points," said quarterback Mike Kokal. "But look at the second half of the Purdue game (when Miami scored 28 points); we are able to put up points."Kokal was not in action this past week against University of Cincinnati due to persistent headaches throughout the week but said he is feeling better and eager to play. Helping his case is the fact that the Huskies' defense is not on par with their high-powered offense."Defensively, Northern Illinois is giving up some points and yardage," Montgomery said. "They have some speed but they're not as big up front as the teams we've faced so far. Our No. 1 concern isn't the Northern Illinois defense as much as it is our offense. We've had some problems offensively, and we need to run the football."The RedHawks hope that healthy linemen and a healthy Brandon Murphy will give them that running attack that is needed.Adding to their scoring potential is the re-emergence of their potent special teams. Ryne Robinson returned a punt for a touchdown against Cincinnati and freshman kicker Trevor Cook booted a 49-yard field goal, giving the Red and White consistency they have not had yet this season.However they perform, it will all be witnessed live on ESPN, which is televising the homecoming showdown. Though it may bring more fans, Card says that it shouldn't change the game for them."Anytime you are playing a homecoming, there is that extra incentive," Card said. "But I need to focus on doing my responsibility. If you get caught up in the ESPN hype, it gets you out of your game."Because the MAC race is still open, Miami is still holding on to hope that it can contend for the title. Montgomery said he hopes this game may be the start of their fortunes changing."We have to treat our record as being 0-1 and not 0-5, because that's what matters right now," he said. "Our nonconference games were big games that we didn't win, but they don't hurt our chances in the MAC. Last year we started 0-1 in the MAC too, but we regained control of our destiny by the end of the season"