FACTS & STATS: Site: Paul Brown Stadium (65,535) — Cincinnati, Ohio.
Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 0-2, Cincinnati 1-0. Away Record:
Miami-Ohio 0-1, Cincinnati 0-0. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Cincinnati
0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Series Record:
Miami-Ohio leads, 59-52-7.
GAME NOTES: After three straight losses to open the season, the Miami-Ohio
RedHawks will try for their first win as they go up in front of a large crowd
at Paul Brown Stadium against the Cincinnati Bearcats in a non-conference tilt
Miami played well for awhile last weekend against Michigan, staying with the
Wolverines for a better part of the first half. Michigan went into the locker
room at the end of the first half with a slim 17-10 lead, but opened up the
second half and ultimately running to a 34-10 victory. The matchup against
Cincinnati will be the second of a three-game road test for the RedHawks.
Cincinnati had an open first two weeks of the season, and finally kicked
things off last weekend with a demolition of another Mid-American Conference
squad in Toledo. The Bearcats ran to a 58-34 victory over the Rockets, and now
the American Athletic Conference program will try its luck against a team that
went winless in 2013.
This series has a rich history. The RedHawks and Bearcats have met 118 times
going back to the 1888 season. Considering they are intrastate rivals, they
play each other regularly, with Miami holding a slim 59-52-7 all-time series
Although the teams were fairly even in terms of the score Saturday, Miami
proved to eventually be the inferior team offensively against Michigan. The
RedHawks only recorded eight first downs in the entire contest, and managed
just 198 yards of total offense. Quarterback Andrew Hendrix, a Notre Dame
transfer, passed for 165 yards with a touchdown and an interception. In three
games, he has as many touchdown tosses (five) as he does interceptions.
The running game needs to step up as well. Miami is averaging a mere 64.3
rushing ypg through three contests, and has yet to score a touchdown on the
ground this season. Spencer McInnins is the team’s leader with 66 yards on 17
carries, while Hendrix leads the team with 44 carries, but just 14 net yards.
McInnis led Miami on Saturday with just 12 yards on the ground.
Dawan Scott entered the season as Hendrix’s premiere target, and he enters the
game against Cincinnati with a team-best two touchdown catches so far. David
Frazier tops the squad with 17 receptions for 267 yards, while Rokeem Williams
is the only other Miami player to record double-digit receptions (10) through
The struggles haven’t been limited to just the offensive side of the ball,
though. Defensively, Miami is allowing 31 ppg to opponents, and 390.7 combined
ypg as well. At least the RedHawks have been proficient at forcing turnovers,
having recorded four fumble recoveries and two interceptions through three
contests this season. They’ve been solid on third down too, limiting opponents
to a 29-percent conversion rate.
Jarrell Jones topped the squad against Michigan with 12 tackles, and as a unit
the RedHawks recovered two fumbles and picked off Wolverines starter Devin
Gardner once. Jones is second on the team with 22 tackles this season, behind
linebacker Kent Kern. Kern has notched 31 stops with a team-high four tackles
for loss, two sacks and has one fumble recovery. If the offense can start
producing, Miami could start winning games.
Cincinnati blasted Toledo on Friday, and won’t play a game out of the state of
Ohio until mid-October. Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel got the start for the
Bearcats in the contest, and absolutely dominated with his 37 pass attempts.
Kiel completed 25-of-37 for 418 yards and six touchdowns, with a long of 52
yards in the win. Munchie Legaux also saw time under center, but attempted
just five passes.
Rod Moore recorded the only rushing touchdown of the game for Cincinnati last
weekend, but it was Hosey Williams that led the team with 103 yards on the
Kiel’s success under center meant a big game for several of his top wideouts,
including Mekale McKay, who hauled in a team-best nine receptions for 175
yards and a touchdown. Shaq Washington, Max Morrison, Alex Chisum, Chris Moore
and Nate Cole all helped out in the win with touchdown catches. Although it
was their first game, the Bearcats looked to be in mid-season form.
Cincinnati’s defense didn’t perform as well as its offense in the win over
Toledo, and will have an opportunity this weekend to get things under control
against a sub-par RedHawks unit. The Bearcats allowed 563 yards of offense to
the Rockets, including 240 on the ground. In 2013, Cincinnati allowed more
than 31 points just twice all season (including to North Carolina in the Belk
Bowl), and has already given up 34 points in its first game.
The Bearcat defense is still full of playmakers though. Jeff Luc led the squad
in tackles against Toledo with 12, and added a pass breakup to his stat line.
Defensive end Terrell Hartsfield had 1.5 sacks in the win, and fellow lineman
Chris Burton added a sack of his own. Zach Edwards notched a double-digit
tackle total of his own with 11 in the contest. Look for the Cincinnati
defense to bounce back to form this weekend.
Something needs to change for Miami offensively, and it needs to happen fast.
Hendrix was brought in to provide a spark for the RedHawks, but so far the
group as a whole has been a dud. That won’t fly this weekend against a high-
octane attack led by Kiel, who won’t hesitate to bury the RedHawks in front of
a larger-than-normal crowd at the home of the NFL’s Bengals.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 49, Miami-Ohio 14