Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Buckeye Blogger Network Preview Coverage of Miami (OH) vs. Ohio State.
– The Silver Bullet takes a closer look at Brax and the passing game’s potential this Saturday.
– The Men of the Scarlet and Gray break down Zac Dysert and the prolific passing game.
– Our Honor Defend predicts what will happen with Jordan Hall out of the picture and Carlos Hyde running through people.
– the Buckeye Blog takes a look at the Miami coaches, including Don Treadwell, an Oberlin product.
– The Buckeye Battlecry fills everything out with a look at the RedHawks Special Teams Unit.
When Buckeye Empire pulled their BBN Preview selection out of the Darth Vader helmet, I instantly wondered how I was going to fill an article about Miami’s rushing game vs. Ohio State’s front seven without using the words “NOM NOM NOM” about 400 times and leaving it at that. Simply put, there are many things that Head Coach Don Treadwell’s team does well, but rushing the football is not one of them. They are completely content with good old fashioned #MACtion of throwing the ball all over the Midwest.
Yet Miami will foolishly try to run the ball to give Zac Dysert’s arm a rest, even if it’s a sacrificial ISO up the gut to meet a hungry Johnathan Hankins for three downs before they punt the ball away yet again. In all seriousness, if Miami had an inkling of a proficient running attack, I would be more than happy to write about it. As it is, they return the 120th ranked rushing offense in the country. Out of 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Yes, that’s right. They ranked dead last in rushing last year and their lead rusher has graduated, leaving a converted Fullback in Justin Semmes to take on the role of feature back. If there is such a thing in Oxford. Semmes, a Senior, played in 9 games in 2011 after playing in all 12 in 2010 and was the only RedHawk to gain 100 yards on the ground last season. He will have to step his game up if he hopes to assist his team in clawing their way out of the cellar.
Miami averaged 73.8 yards per game on the ground last year, while Ohio State only allowed an average of 141.5 yards per game. If my calculations are correct, then Ohio State could play with only two down lineman and still keep the RedHawks to their last season average. I nominate Hankins and big John Simon, although we may need Simon to occasionally get into the backfield and show Dysert the Columbus sky, rainy as it may be.
In fact, the rain may be the only thing that keeps the football on the ground with Miami. If that is truly the case and Dysert is hamstrung from using his talents to keep his team afloat, then this game is already over. Other than Semmes, the RedHawks will lean on Robert Williams, a Junior out of Cincinnati is listed as Semmes’ primary backup and from everything that I have read, really had a breakout fall camp and could take over starting duties from Semmes if things get too rough once true MAC play commences.
But before all that happens, they must come into The Horseshoe and submit to the beating that they were most assuredly compensated handsomely for. While the tailbacks likely won’t eclipse their 2011 average of 2.4 yards per carry, they likely will get significant carries unless Treadwell thinks his QB to be a Norse God. There is just not going to be much passing going on Saturday afternoon unless the weather magically clears up and Dysert is allowed to open it up.
Yet it still won’t matter. Good weather or inclement, there is nothing that would show to me that the Miami RedHawks will mount any sort of cohesive or efficient rushing offensive on Saturday. And if they make the attempt, there are 7 men who are ready to show them the error of their ways. It’s not like me to predict that a team will do poorly, because I believe that every team at this level is inherently decent, but I do not honestly think that Miami will net more than 100 yards on the ground, all rushers combined.
There are just too many things working against them. A defensive starting line that could turn out to be the best in the nation. Linebackers that have exactly zero compassion about tearing your heart from your chest and consuming it before your eyes. And backups that are just as eager to show Buckeye Nation what they can do as well. If games are won in the trenches and rain games even more so, then Don may want to stay in Oxford this Saturday and try to catch Alabama/Michigan because his team has about a 0.1% chance of walking away victorious.