Marshall opponents: Miami (Ohio)
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a series of previews on West Virginia and Marshall football opponents.
Checking them out
This isn't the Redhawk team that traded haymakers with the Herd in Mid-American Conference play; it has suffered three losing seasons out of the last four. Worse yet, Miami lost both ends of its celebrated pass-catch combination - QB Zac Dysert to graduation and WR Nick Harwell via transfer to Kansas. Harwell needed just 30 catches to become Miami's all-time receptions leader.
But Treadwell has confidence in new QB Austin Boucher, who does have experience - he went 4-0 in relief of Dysert to finish the 2010 season, including the MAC championship game and the subsequent bowl game in Mobile, Ala. He has a speedster at receiver in Dawan Scott and a veteran tight end corps led by seniors Steve Marck and Dustin White.
Other good news: Four starters on the offensive line are back. On the other hand, the Redhawks were last in the MAC in rushing yards last year.
The defense was about as bad on the ground - 119th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game. As one can imagine, that led to opponents running up 35 points per game, including four games with 49 or more.
One big variable is the return of defensive tackle Austin Brown, sidelined in 2012 because of a back injury. Chris Wade, who led the team with 128 tackles, anchors the linebacker corps, and CB Dayonne Nunley leads a pass defense that was more toward the middle of the MAC pack.
PK Kaleb Patterson was superb as a sophomore, making 15 of 18 field goals and 23 of his 25 PATs. Kick returns - runbacks and coverage - were dismal.
Treadwell joins a dignified list of Miami graduates who ultimately became the head coach at their alma mater, including Ara Parseghian, John Pont, Bo Schembechler, Bill Mallory, Tom Reed and Randy Walker. ... The school is entering its 125th season of football, dating to 1888. ... Quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Mike Bath returns to Edwards Stadium, where he was unmercifully hazed by fans and defenders in the Herd's not-that-close 51-31 win in 2000, when Bath was the starting quarterback. He was knocked out in the fourth quarter. ... Miami is playing its 125th season and has been better than average, 668-410-44 with 22 conference titles.
Date Opponent 2012
Aug. 31 at Marshall DNP
Sept. 7 at Kentucky DNP
Sept. 21 Cincinnati L, 14-52
Sept. 28 at Illinois DNP
Oct. 5 Central Michigan* L, 16-30
Oct. 12 at Massachusetts W, 27-16
Oct. 19 Akron W, 56-49
Oct. 26 at Ohio W, 23-20
Nov. 5 (Tue.) Bowling Green L, 12-37
Nov. 13 (Wed.) at Kent State L, 32-48
Nov. 19 (Tue.) Buffalo L, 24-27
Nov. 29 (Fri.) at Ball State L, 24-31
* Mid-American Conference games