2008 Miami Redhawks Football Preview
Miami Redhawks - Mid-Amercian Conference
Miami 2007 Record: (6-7, 5-3)
2007 Bowl: none
Miami Head Coach: Shane Montgomery (15-21 at Miami, 15-21 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Matt Hohman and Brian Von Bergen
Defensive Coordinator: Jay Hood
Returning Leaders for the Miami Redhawks:
Other Key Returnees: LB Caleb Bostic, TE Tom Crabtree, DE Travis Craven, G Dave DiFranco, S Jordan Gafford, WR Eugene Harris, LB Joey Hudson, P Jake Richardson, C Josh Satterthwait, OT Steve Sutter, S Robbie Wilson
Key Losses: CB Jerrid Gaines, RB Cory Jones, C Steve Meister, DE Craig Mester, OT Charlie Norden, RB Austin Sykes
Miami was really, really close to securing a bowl game in 2007. Instead, they ended the season with a loss to Ohio and a defeat at the hands of Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Championship game. There is enough talent returning to improve this time around, but the offense has to start pulling its weight.
Miami's 2008 Strengths:
In the meantime, the defense will once again carry the RedHawks. All three linebackers return led by Clayton Mullins and Joey Hudson, both of whom should garner all-conference accolades. Defensive end Joe Coniglio tallied 6.5 sacks as a junior and will once again be a menace to the opposing offensive lines. Travis Craven has potential to add another pass rushing threat to the line and sophomore Morris Council had a great spring and will at least be a quality third option behind Coniglio and Craven. The team led the conference in sacks last year and should again this year. That will make it a little easier to replace corner Jerrid Gaines. Jeff Thomson is now an upperclassman and will be a solid defensive back and Brandon Stephens and Wendell Brunson should be able to handle the other corner. With safeties Jordan Gafford and Robbie Wilson, the secondary will be tough to throw on for any team.
Miami's 2008 Weaknesses:
Yet, as good as the defense is, the offense will be the key to a successful season in Oxford, Ohio. Miami lost a trio of running backs who struggled to get the ground game moving and now will have to depend on sophomores Thomas Merriweather and Jamel Miller. If the offensive line, which returns three starters, does not open more holes, the running backs might struggle even more this year than they did last year. Quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh could use a little more time from his line too. Raudabaugh was sacked 17 times and threw 12 interceptions during his sophomore campaign and those numbers will have to get better. The defense was decent creating turnovers, but the team still had a negative turnover margin and the offense, mostly Raudabaugh, will have to turn the tide into the RedHawks favor.
The Bottom Line for the RedHawks:
Part of the problem with the passing game was the lack of a big play receiver. Sophomores Chris Givens, Eugene Harris, Donovan Potter, Armand Robinson and Jamal Rogers now all have a year of experience under their belts and are expected to be more consistent. Add last year’s leading receiver Dustin Woods and true freshman Dan Green to the mix and this a team that suddenly has a lot of potential at wide receiver.
2007 Team Stats for the Miami RedHawks:
Rushing Offense: 130.69 (85 th in nation, 8 th in conference)
Passing Offense: 236.15 (52, 6)
Total Offense: 366.85 (81, 6)
Scoring Offense: 19.23 (108, 11)
Rushing Defense: 168.54 (76, 4)
Pass Defense: 206.85 (25, 2)
Total Defense: 375.38 (54, 2)
Scoring Defense: 25.62 (48, 1)
Turnover Margin: -.23 (76, 10)
Sacks: 2.46 (33, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.23 (74, 8)
By Joel Welser
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