OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University coach Don Treadwell has had a couple days to mull over Saturday's 56-10 loss to Ohio State.
It certainly wasn't the start the second-year head coach was hoping for, but he was optimistic about what the team could take away from the game as it prepares to host Southern Illinois University in its home opener this weekend.
"There are some good lessons to learn from a loss that typically you take and help you move forward though the course of the season," he said during Tuesday's press conference at Yager Stadium.
One of the lessons Treadwell talked about was taking advantage of redzone opportunities.
The RedHawks missed a field goal in the early going against the Buckeyes and dropped at least a half a dozen passes throughout the game, including a couple in and around the endzone.
"You have to be able to take advantage of that and that has to be a positive you have to come away with because the momentum swing can be huge when you don't," he said. "That was a very clear one that we have to continue to work to improve upon."
Treadwell continued, "It's disappointing to come away with 10 points, but when you look at the flow of the game and how we were able to effectively move the ball, there's still a lot of good things to feel good about playing against an excellent team."
Quarterback Zac Dysert was one of the players he felt good about. The senior completed 31 of 53 passes for 303 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He stayed calm and collected even with the team's missed chances.
Junior wide receiver Nick Harwell led all receivers in yards with 120 on eight catches. He found the endzone on a 44-yard pass from Dysert in the third quarter, which was the team's lone second-half score.
The coach was also pleased with the play of the offensive line. In 2011, the RedHawks allowed the most sacks in the MAC with 47, averaging 3.91 per game. Against a stout OSU defensive line Saturday, Miami allowed only two sacks.
"You look at us last year, there were a lot of issues early in the season," Treadwell said about the offensive line. "It's like night and day."
The RedHawks' front five were solid despite losing senior center JoJo Williams to an injury the week leading up to the game. Williams, who Treadwell said was questionable for Saturday's contest vs. SIU, sustained a leg contusion in practice. Senior Brad Bednar filled in for Williams at center.
"There's more of a chance of him being ready than not," the coach said about Williams.
Left guard Brandyn Cook, the only freshman starter on the O-line who played his high school ball at St. Xavier in Cincinnati, also played well.
Finally, Treadwell emphasized how much he liked his team's depth this year. Ten of the 14 freshmen on the roster saw action against Ohio State.
"To have guys up and ready to run in your two-deep already as freshmen is a huge advantage as you try to build a program really from the ground up as we are doing here," he said.
Aside from Cook, the team's leading youngsters were running back Jamire Westbrook, who played at Kings High School in South Lebanon, and linebackers Kent Kern and Josh Dooley, also Ohio natives.
Westbrook tallied four catches for 19 yards out of the backfield and added four rushes for seven yards. Kern and Dooley combined for 10 total tackles.