Miami (Ohio) Redhawks 2017 Preview
The 2017 Miami (Ohio) Redhawks shoot for back to back postseason appearances and a MAC East crown.
Overview: The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks ended the regular season riding the momentum of a six game winning streak with the reward being a Bowl invitation. The Redhawks are shooting for a repeat performance minus the slow start and that might depend on improving their record in close contests.
Offense: The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks offense was sparked by their passing attack and was at it’s best when Gus Ragland took over under center when Billy Bahl was injured and Noah Wezensky played like the freshman he was. Assuming Ragland once again gets the job, his top two targets will be Jared Murphy and James Gardner with Chris Hudson and Ryan Smith in the mix along with several highly regarded recruits. The Redhawks were an afterthought on the ground and will likely go with a rotation of Maurice Thomas, Kenny Young and Alonzo Smith getting the majority of the snaps although Young could see plenty of playing time with his ability to catch the ball after recording 17 receptions a season ago.
Defense: The Redhawks defense could be described as very good versus the pass and not very good against the run or when trying to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Generally speaking, if Miami made a play in the backfield it was usually Austin Gearing (NFL draft), JT Jones and Zach Smierciak (kicked out of school) were getting the stop. Getting push from the inside from the defensive tackle position should help Miami but saying it and doing it are two different things. The Redhawks are set at linebacker with De’Andre Montgomery and Brian Koenig retuning with safeties Joshua Allen and Tony Reid joining corners Deondre Daniels and Heath Harding once again to form the nucleus of a strong secondary that could get even better with a pass rush.
Special Teams: The Miami (Ohio) special teams gets the majority of the unit back with Kyle Kramer and Nick Dowd handling punts and placekicking respectively. The Redhawks return game features Maurice Thomas bringing back kicks with Jared Murphy bringing back punts.
Outlook: The Redhawks might be about the same as last season and another Bowl is right there for the taking if the team can win a few more close ones. Win most of the close ones and the MAC East will be looking at Miami (Ohio) as a threat to win the division.
9-2 @ Marshall
9-9 vs. Austin Peay
9-18 vs. Cincinnati
9-23 @ Central Michigan
9-30 @ Notre Dame
10-7 vs. Bowling Green
10-14 @ Kent State
10-21 vs. Buffalo
10-31 @ Ohio
11-7 vs. Akron
11-15 vs. Eastern Michigan
11-21 @ Ball State