Several months ago this game was supposed to kick off the 'Easy' part of UB's schedule. So far UB has lost every game that many expected them to lose. Maybe UB fans did not expect the losses to be quite as ugly as they have been but many saw the Bulls coming into this game at 2-5.
What few saw was that the Miami Redhawks being in a position to go bowling. The RedHawks poor second half against Ohio, and a season ending game against Temple make the odds of winning the Eastern Division thin but games against Akron, Bowling Green, and Buffalo sigh make seven wins well within firing range of Coach Haywood's squad.
The Hawks' win column is full of pretty bad teams (Colorado State, EMU, Kent, and CMU) and, as usual, their losses have come at the hands of teams like Florida, Missouri, and Cincinnati.
Right now Miami is riding the arm of Zac Dysert who currently sits at fourth in the conference in terms of passing efficiency.Dysert has a pocket full of highlight reel plays where the pocket breaks down, he rolls out, and throws a perfect pass to a receiver deep down field.
What Miami can't do is run the ball, they are ranked 119th in the nation on the ground. Despite running a pretty balanced offense (299 Passes:232 Runs) the best showing by a Miami halfback this season is Thomas Merriweather's 105 yards against Eastern Michigan. The Eagles the #117 ranked running defense.
Defensively they have a very quick front seven who balance out their pass and run responsibilities. They don't find their way to the Quarterback too often but they are third in the conference in tackles for loss.
MIami's special team will have to work without Trevor Cook who has missed just one field goal this year. His replacement, Seth Phillip, reapply struggled against Ohio but has shown some premise in the RedHawks win against the Chips.
|2||19||108.79||Pass Efficiency Defense||125.82||60||5|
|2||24||7||Tackles For Loss||6.38||43||3|
Keys to the game Offense:
- Run the ball: The likely starters are going to be Zordich and Oliver. Zordich is plying in just his second game so taking some pressure off of him could be key to 'slowing down the game' for him. Why Oliver is getting the nod when the only two UB Backs who have shown any punch this year are Nduka and Gill is a bit puzzling.
- Diversify but simplify the passing game: Make use of slants and middle screens to help Zordich get some nice quick looks. UB;s passing game has been basically short outs and fades. Most of the Pick Sixes this season have been on the short outs.
- Don't go three and out: A couple of early sustained drives that get us to mid field is worth more than one fluke score. UB has been losing the field position game for weeks in part because the offense does nothing with the ball.
Keys to the game Defense:
- Don't give Dysert time: He will kill you if you let him sit back there and pick apart the secondary. The RedHawks have no kind of running game so Blitz, Blitz, Blitz!
- Double up on Armand Robinson: He has two times the receptions of the nearest RedHawk and is averaging more than ten yards per reception.