College Football Preview: The 2014 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks
The Miami (Ohio) RedHawks turn to Chuck Martin to revive a struggling program.
2014 College Football Preview
The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks look to new head coach Chuck Martin to right a sinking ship in 2014.
Overview: The days of national recognition for Miami (Ohio) are long gone and simply being competitive would suit the Redhawks faithful but that hasn't been the case on either side of the ball. Chuck Martin has seen great success as a head coach, DC and offensive coordinator and will look to this experience in turning around a team that couldn't score or get stops.
USA TODAY Sports
Offense: Austin Boucher is gone and took with him 1,036 passing yards and 48% completions before injuries essentially ended things for him. Awful numbers to be sure but he didn't have much of a supporting cast either. Freshman Austin Gearing stepped in and connected on just 44% of his throws and averaged a paltry 1.2 yards per attempt. I'm sure that Drew Kummer and Tom Tupa and every other quarterback on the roster will get a look before we have a starter named. Gearing did lead the team in rushing with 583 yards with Spencer Treadwell (56-171) the top option in the backfield. Whoever gets the job under center will be throwing to Dawan Scott and David Frazier who both caught 28 balls in 2013 although Scott is probably the diamond in the rough of the offense. The offensive line nearly got their QB killed on passing downs and struggled opening holes in the running game but there are eight players back with starting experience if that counts for anything.
Defense: It all starts with the defensive line for the RedHawks and two words describes this group; size matters. While most teams have linebackers the size of Miami's D-Line this group faced a tall order in stopping the run simply because of a lack of bulk to plug holes or simply get in the way. Bryson Albright and J'Terius Brown return at DE and were solid at getting behind the line of scrimmage but quickness will only go so far. The linebacking crew return four of their top five and the secondary loses 2nd leading tackler Dayonne Nunley (73 T) but the next six are back. Not a bad group if the line becomes more of a factor and helps relieve some of the workload.
Special Teams: The special teams was the highlight of this team in 2013 but with punter Zac Murphy taking a 46.6 yard average to graduation this unit will take a hit. Kaleb Patterson went 7-11 on field goals and Fred McCrae is a very capable return man so a decent punter and this unit will be a strength.
Outlook: Chuck Martin has a solid resume' but he isn't inheriting a team on the verge of winning the MAC. If and when he turns things around it could take some time. A win or two would be a step in the right direction in 2014 for a team that had a big goose egg in the win column a season ago.