Stadium: Yager Stadium (24,286)
2011 Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Don Treadwell (second year at Miami; 4-8)
Letterman Returning: (49; lost 18)
Returning Starters: Offense - 8; Defense - 6; Specialists - 2)
Base Defense: 4-3
Base Offense: Ace (3 receivers)
Returning Stars: QB Zac Dysert & WR Nick Harwell
Paul Brown - Legendary coach of Buckeyes, Browns and Bengals
Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President of the United States
Ben Roethlisberger - NFL quarterback
Paul Ryan - US Senator and current VP candidate
Ara Parseghian - Former head coach at Notre Dame
Walter Alston - Former manager of Los Angeles Dodgers
Cheerleader Scouting Report:
The Miami RedHawks fly into Columbus with high expectations, featuring an experienced team that is confident it will be improved from a year ago. Job number one for the Miami offense is to develop enough of a running game to balance the prolific passing game led by fifth-year senior Zac Dysert, who Urban Meyer says could play anywhere in the country. A year ago Dysert hit nearly 66% of his passes, throwing for 3,513 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has a big-time receiver to toss it to in Nick Harwell, who hauled in 97 passes in 2011, good for 1,425 yards and 9 tds. Without doubt the Buckeye secondary will have its hands full with the junior receiver. The good news for OSU is that there isn't any other wideout to strike much fear in the defense, although Andy Cruse is a decent possession receiver.
Whether the RedHawks can find a running threat is a big question mark. Last year they finished dead last in I-A at just 74 yards per game. The starter at running back is listed as Justin Semmes, a 230-pounder who is more of a fullback than a tailback. His backup is untested Robert Williams. Considering the stout Ohio State line, led by John Simon and Johnathan Hankins, I look for the Buckeyes to make Miami one dimensional, and if that is the case, look for the Silver Bullets to pin back their ears and mount a wicked pass rush.
On the offensive line, Miami is experienced but not overly big. For The RedHawks to score more than the 21.3 points per game that they averaged last year, the line needs to open holes in addition to protecting Dysert. While they may find some success against MAC teams, I look for them to struggle Saturday against what should be a very good OSU D.
On defense Miami returns six starters from a team that surrendered 364 yards and 22.9 pointer per game in 2011. They feature a quick, physical and experienced line and a decent secondary, but are very inexperienced at linebacker. Iowa transfer Jason Semmes is the best of the lot on the line, and can bring pressure from his end position. Young tackle Austin Brown is also worth noting.
The situation at linebacker is dire, so much so that strong safety Pat Hinkel, a three year starter in the secondary, has been moved to outside backer, even though he tips the scales at only 200 lbs. Middle linebacker Jaytee Swanson only weighs in at 218, so you can see the problem for Miami. A big, physical Ohio State team should be able to run the ball, and Carlos Hyde will be a load for the young RedHawk linebacking corps to bring down.
The secondary was supposed to be in much better shape than the 'backers, but having to move Hinkel combined with some injury issues, leaves it vulnerable. Of particular concern is the size of the corners who go 5'8" and 5'9". Look for OSU's big receivers to win some battles because of this. Despite his lack of height, corner Dayonne Nunley is a good one, though, and had 13 pbu's and 3 interceptions a year ago.
The RedHawks special teams were anything but special a year ago, and OSU has a decided advantage in that area, as well.
On paper this contest should not be close. Ohio State has too much size and speed for the RedHawks, to say nothing of being amped up for the beginning of the Urban legacy. If the Buckeyes do enter the game "angry" as the head coach desires, and play focused football, they should triumph handily. However, Miami has a history of playing well against bigger schools, and has enough talent on offense to bother OSU's defense. If the Silver Bullets tackle (or fail to tackle) like last year, the RedHawks could score some points.
The biggest question entering this game is in regard to what we will see on offense from Ohio State. Will they run out of a power formation against a much smaller opponent, or will they spread it out and let Braxton use his arm and legs? My guess is we will see a little of both. However, against a team that surrendered 169 yards a game (4.2 ypc) on the ground in 2011, I think we will see a steady diet of Carlos Hyde, Bri'onte Dunn, and possibly even Rod Smith. Although you know Miller will use his legs a little, I think the coaching staff will try and get him to limit his running and focus his energy on showing off his passing skills.
The OSU defense is supposed to be improved, and should be, led by a line that has talent, experience and depth. Winning the battle in the trenches makes the job of the back seven much easier, and although Miami will complete plenty of short passes, I don't think they have enough firepower to do major damage. In the end, the Bucks just have too many horses for this in-state foe from down south.
Father vs. Son Prediction Battle:
Dave: OSU 37, Miami 10
Drew: OSU 42, Miami 13