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This Week’s Matchup
Miami University and Eastern Michigan will square-off on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio. This contest will be Senior Day and Fan Appreciation Night as the RedHawks conclude their home schedule.
The matchup with the Eagles will be carried live on CBS Sports Network. Ben Holden will handle play-by-play duties and Jay Feely will serve as color analyst. John Schriffen will handle sideline duties.
In its 11th year of its partnership with IMG College, the Miami Sports Network continues its coverage of Miami Football with a group of affiliates blanketing most of Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana. “The Voice of the RedHawks” Steve Baker will deliver the play-by-play coverage, while Terry Bridge will provide color commentary. Randy Hollowell will be the network’s sideline reporter. Tune-in to one of Miami’s gameday affiliates:
WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, Ohio)
WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, Ind.)
WDBZ-AM 1230 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
WONE-AM 980 (Dayton, Ohio)
WKBV-AM 1490 and 100.9 FM (Richmond, Ind.)
Need To Know
• Miami football ranks first all-time in the Mid-American Conference in wins (683), MAC Championships (15) and bowl wins (7).
About Chuck Martin
• Head coach Chuck Martin, who earned that title on Dec. 3, 2013, brings an impressive resume to Oxford, Ohio.
• Not only was he 74-7 in six years at Grand Valley State (2004-09), he has coached in seven national championship games in the past 16 seasons. Martin has an all-time head coaching record of 89-39.
• He has twice been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year and has been a coordinator on both sides of the ball.
• Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Grand Valley State University on Oct. 23, 2015.
About Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan opened the season with a pair of wins, including a 16-13 victory over Rutgers, but has since dropped seven of its last eight games and sits at 3-7 overall, 1-5 in the MAC. Quarterback Brogan Roback has thrown for 2,546 yards and 16 touchdowns this season as the Eagles average 25.2 points and 379.9 yards per game. Defensively the Eagles allow 22.5 points and 351.6 yards per game and are led by Maxx Crosby, who has 45 tackles and 8.0 sacks this season.
Series vs. Eastern Michigan
Miami is 18-4 all-time versus the Eagles, including 9-2 in Oxford, Ohio. The RedHawks have won nine straight over the Eagles, including last season’s 28-15 victory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. During the nine-game win streak the RedHawks have outscored EMU 272-168 and have not lost to the Eagles since 1993 (15-9).
Lights. Camera. Maction.
Wednesday’s tilt with the Eagles is the third of four-straight mid-week games for the RedHawks. After Eastern Michigan (Wed., Nov. 15) the RedHawks Ball State (Tues., Nov. 21).
Yager Stadium has been very friendly to the RedHawks since it opened in 1983. Overall, Miami is 96-76-4 all-time inside Yager Stadium.
Kenny Young’s versatile display helped lift the Miami football team to a crucial 24-14 victory over Akron at Yager Stadium last Tuesday night.
Young rushed for 100 yards and gained 98 more along with a touchdown through the air as MU (4-6, 3-3 Mid-American) moved to .500 in conference play and kept its bowl hopes alive.
Helping the RedHawks to last Tuesday’s win was the play of both the offensive line and defensive line. Offensively Miami rushed for 176 yards, while allowing zero sacks and zero tackles for loss. The Zips managed to pressure Gus Ragland just twice on 32 pass attempts. Defensively, Miami had a season-high six sacks (came into the game with just 11 on the year), while recording 7.0 tackles for loss and another five quarterback hurries.
Over the past four years, Miami had not received much attention in preseason honors. That has changed in a big way this year. Heath Harding was named to three different watch lists (Bronco Nagurski, Jim Thorpe and Bednarik), Danny Godlevske was honored by the Rimington Trophy, James Gardner earned two awards (Wuerffel and Biletnikoff) and Ryan Smith was named to the John Mackey Watch List.
While Miami’s roster is finally starting to trend toward upper-classmen, the youth of this roster is still shocking. Coming into the 2017 season Miami has 124 players on its roster and just 12 seniors. Roster breakdown includes: Sixth-year seniors (1), fifth-year seniors (5), seniors (6), red-shirt juniors (19), juniors (13), red-shirt sophomores (16), sophomores (9), red-shirt freshmen (22) and freshmen (33).
Close to 8-2?
You are what your record says you are, but the RedHawks could easily be 8-2 this season, including 5-1 in MAC play with a few breaks.
Vs. Marshall: Miami fell 31-26 to open the season to Marshall. In the loss the RedHawks allowed two kick returns for touchdowns and a pick-6. Even with those breakdowns, Miami had a 41-yard Hail Mary to end the game that just fell incomplete.
Vs. Cincinnati: The RedHawks led 17-6 with just under four minutes to play. In that contest, Miami threw a pick-6 with under two minutes to go to give the Bearcats the victory.
Vs. Bowling Green: Trailing 30-29, Miami fumbled the ball on the BGSU 1-yard line with 1:59 to play. The Falcons would return the fumble for a touchdown to secure the 37-29 victory.
Vs. Kent State: Miami led 14-3 at the half versus the Flashes, but missed a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and then had its final drive of the game come up short at the KSU 41-yard line in a 17-14 defeat.
Miami will honor 15 players prior to the start of Wednesday’s game, as Miami celebrates Senior Day: Ikeem Allen, Jordan Diamond, Alec Greene, Heath Harding, Randy Heideman, Zach Hovey, Sam Martin, Jared Murphy, Grant Niemiec, Tony Reid, Kyle Row, Liam Sallquist, Ryan Sandles, Ryan Smith and Zach Swarts.
Currently at 4-6 overall, Miami will have to reclaim some of its magic from last season if it wants to keep its bowl game opportunities alive. Last year, Miami began the season 0-6 and won its final six games to advance to the St. Petersburg Bowl. The RedHawks were the first team in NCAA history to begin a season 0-6 and finish 6-6. Prior to last week’s Akron win, Miami was 3-6 overall, looking to win its final three games to somewhat repeat history.
Novembers to Remember
Since his arrival, the RedHawks have been a very good team in the month of November. Coach Martin is 7-4 in the final month of the season since 2014. Miami was 0-3 in 2014, 2-1 in 2015, 4-0 in 2016 and 1-0 this year.
Taking Its Time
Through 10 games this season Miami ranks 13th in the country in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 32:20 per game. Five times this season Miami has surpassed 33 minutes of time of possession and four different times it has held onto the ball for over 35 minutes of play.
Land of No Return
Miami’s punt coverage team has allowed just 12 return yards all season. Of Kyle Kramer’s 53 punts, just eight have resulted in returns, the longest being 10 yards versus Buffalo. Overall, Miami is allowing 1.2 yards per punt return this season, which ranks sixth in the country.
James Gardner has still only played 29 games in his Miami career, but the junior is making his mark on the program. In 2016 he finished as a third-team All-MAC player, with 45 catches for 750 yards and six touchdowns. This season he has 44 catches for 886 yards and 10 scores, while averaging 20.1 yards per catch. He currently ranks ninth in the nation in receiving yards, third in receiving touchdowns and 12th in yards per catch. In his career he has 93 grabs, for 1,722 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Meet Luke Mayock
Filling in for an injured James Gardner versus UC was redshirt sophomore Luke Mayock. Mayock had not seen much time the first two games, but that may now change. Versus the Bearcats, Mayock had career highs in catches (4), yards (74) and his first career touchdown. Against BGSU he added another four catches for 54 yards.
Nothing But The Best
Seeing his first extended action of his career, freshman Jaylon Bester showed he belonged versus Notre Dame. Bester recorded 189 total yards, including 163 yards on seven kick returns. He added 26 rushing yards on five carries versus the No. 22 team in the country.
In Gus We Trust
After beginning last season 0-6, head coach Chuck Martin turned to quarterback Gus Ragland. Ragland led Miami to six straight wins over Kent State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Buffalo and Ball State. The now junior quarterback finished last season, throwing for 1,537 yards, 17 touchdowns and just one interception.
Nice Way to Start a Career
Ragland began his career by throwing 203 consecutive passes before throwing an interception late in the contest versus Mississippi State in the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl. In all, the Cincinnati, Ohio native has thrown just seven interceptions in 420 career pass attempts (1 INT every 60.0 pass attempts). In fact, Miami is 8-0 in games in which Ragland does not throw and interception and 1-5 when he throws it to the other team.
→ Verbally commits to Miami on Dec. 13, 2013
→ Redshirted the 2014 season and played 86 snaps in 2015.
→ Suffered an ACL injury in April of 2016 during a spring football practice.
→ Came back to start versus Kent State on Oct. 15, 2016 and won six straight games and helped Miami reach a bowl game.
Ragland Versus The MAC
Junior quarterback Gus Ragland is 8-1 in his career as a starter versus teams from the Mid-American Conference. In those nine games Ragland has completed 139-226 passes (61.5%) for 1,990 yards, 22 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bahl Steps in and Delivers
Filling in for an injured Gus Ragland, junior quarterback Billy Bahl nearly led Miami to a come-from-behind victory over BGSU. Bahl completed 8-of-17 passes for 119 yards and drove the Red and White down to the BGSU 1-yard line before Miami put the ball on the ground for the key turnover. He threw for 177 yards in the win over Buffalo, Miami’s first win without Gus Ragland as its starting quarterback since the season finale at UMass in 2015. At Ohio the junior recorded a career-high 350 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
Small But Carries a Big Stick
Kenny Young may be listed at just 5-foot-7, but he has been a load to bring down to begin the MAC season. In Young’s last six MAC games he has averaged 88.8 yards per game on the ground. He had 100-yard games versus BGSU, Buffalo and Akron, including a career-high 125 yards and two scores in the win over Bulls.
Eleven Yards Away From History
In the win over Akron, Kenny Young had 109 yards rushing on 16 attempts and added another seven receptions for 89 yards versus the Zips. The 198 total yards was a career best for the junior. Young was just 11 receiving yards away from becoming the first RedHawk in school history to have both 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.
→ Alonzo Smith is closing in on 2,000 career rushing yards, currently sitting at 1,900 yards on the ground. Just 13 Miami players have surpassed 2,000 yards rushing in their career.
→ Miami has two 3,000 yard passers. Billy Bahl’s 3,633 yards passing and Gus Ragland’s 3,366 yards passing rank 10th and 11th in the Miami record books.
→ Miami has four receivers with over 1,000 yards receiving on its roster. Jared Murphy (1,984), James Gardner (1,722), Sam Martin (1,322) and Ryan Smith (1,122).
→ Heath Harding is 22 tackles shy of 300 for his career.
→ Tony Reid has 198 career tackles.
→ James Gardner is 114 yards away for 1,000 receiving yards for the season. The last time Miami had 1,000-yard receiver was Nick Harwell (1,425) back in 2011. Gardner also has 10 receiving touchdowns this season. The last RedHawk to record double figure receiving touchdowns was Martin Nance (14) back in 2005. The last time a RedHawk had over 1,000 yards receiving and double figure touchdowns in the same season was Nance in 2003 (1,498-11).