Miami RedHawks (0-6, 0-2 MAC)
vs. Akron Zips (1-6, 0-3 MAC)
Game 7: Saturday, Oct. 19 • 1 p.m.
Yager Stadium (24,286)
Series vs. Akron: Miami leads 16-5-1
Series Streak: Miami - 4
Last Meeting: Sept. 29, 2012
Television: ESPN3 • Jim Barber (PxP) and Rocky Boiman (Analyst)
Radio: Miami Sports Network • Steve Baker (PxP), Tim Bray (Analyst), Terry Bridge (sideline)
Live Stats: www.muredhawks.com
Miami Quick Hits
• The Miami University football team is in its 125th season of football and has an all-time record of 668-416-44 (.612).
• Miami is coming off a 17-10 loss at Massachusetts last Saturday in Gillette Stadium.
• Mike Bath was named interim head football coach on Sunday, Oct. 6 and will serve in that role the remainder of the season.
• Bath replaced Don Treadwell, who was 8-21 in 29 career games at Miami.
• Miami has four captains in 2013, voted on by their teammates. QB Austin Boucher, TE Steve Marck, DT Austin Brown and DE Wes Williams serve as captains in 2013.
• Miami returns 47 letterwinners (20 offense, 23 defense and 4 special teams) and 16 starters (6 offense, 6 defense and 4 special teams) from the 2012 season.
• Miami leads the all-time series with Akron 16-5-1 and is 10-1-1 all-time inside Yager Stadium versus the Zips. The last time Akron won in Oxford, Ohio was back in 1939.
• Miami features a roster loaded with youth. The RedHawks entered the season opener with 12 seniors, 14 juniors, 23 sophomores and 51 freshmen.
Need To Know
• The RedHawks enter Saturday’s contest with a record of 0-6 overall and 0-2 in Mid-American Conference play, including a 17-10 loss last Saturday at UMass.
• It has been a crazy few weeks for Mike Bath. On Saturday, Oct. 5 he and the RedHawks lost to Central Michigan (21-9). The following day (Oct. 6) Bath was named interim head football coach and on Oct. 12 he and the RedHawks lost at Massachusetts (17-10). This Saturday’s contest with Akron will be Bath’s first home game leading the program.
• Bath has been an assistant coach for the RedHawks for six years (two different stints), was a graduate assistant (2004-05) and a player (1997-00). Bath was the offensive coordinator for two years at Ashland (2009-10) and will call plays for Miami for the rest of the season.
• Bath spent the past three seasons coaching tight ends, wide receivers and quarterbacks at various points. In 2012, he helped coach Zac Dysert to nearly every Miami passing record known to man. Dysert was drafted by the Denver Broncos last April.
• Bath was also a decorated quarterback during his time as a player. From 1998-00, he posted a record of 23-10, while throwing for 6,524 yards and 49 touchdowns.
•Miami has two players ranked among national leaders. Senior punter Zac Murphy leads the nation in punting (47.7 yards per punt), while sophomore linebacker Kent Kern ties for 19th nationally in tackles per game (10.0) and is 14th in solo tackles (6.2). Kern’s solo tackles per game lead the Mid-American Conference.
• The RedHawks have lost 10 straight contests dating back to 2012. Miami’s last win was Oct. 27, 2012 at home versus Ohio (23-20).
• In the UMass contest Miami got a 45-yard field goal from Kaleb Patterson midway through the third quarter to take a 10-7 lead. The Minutemen recorded a late third quarter touchdown and tacked on a 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for the 17-10 final score.
• Miami had a season-high 290 yards of offense and 19 first downs against Massachusetts. Dawan Scott lead the team in both rushing (55) and receiving (58) yards. Freshman wide receiver Jared Murphy, making his first career start, had four catches for 38 yards.
• The Red and White had two interceptions versus UMass, which is the third time this season they have intercepted multiple passes in a contest. Miami also picked off Cincinnati and Illinois twice.
• Kent Kern had his fourth double-digit tackle performance of the season, finishing the game with 10 stops. The first-year starter ranks third in the MAC with 10.0 stops per game.
• Despite the 0-6 record, Miami is actually plus-4 in the turnover department this season. The RedHawks have thrown just six interceptions and fumbled once, while forcing three fumbles and intercepting eight passes this season. Miami ranks fourth in the MAC in turnover margin.
Run Gearing Run
• Backup quarterback Austin Gearing leads the team in rushing in 2013 with 253 yards on the season. The redshirt freshman has posted back-to-back career-bests on the ground. Three weeks ago at Illinois, Gearing had 81 yards rushing on 16 carries. Two weeks ago, he ran the ball 15 times for 108 yards, which included a 48-yard run, Miami’s longest play from scrimmage this season. Last week at UMass, he had just three carries for five yards.
Miami Player of the Week Honors
Miami has recorded three player of the week honors this season. Punter Zac Murphy has earned two of the awards, averaging over 50 yards per punt versus Kentucky and Cincinnati. Senior Dayonne Nunley was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week following the Cincinnati game, finishing the contest with 10 tackles, three pass breakups and an interception.
While watching the game Saturday and you think you see Boucher playing offense and defense ... you would be correct ... sort of. Austin Boucher is expected to start at quarterback, while his twin brother Collin is a linebacker. More importantly ... Collin is 23 minutes older than Austin.
On The Mar(c)k
Tight end Steve Marck entered 2013 with one career touchdown reception in 32 games. In 2013 alone, the senior has two touchdown catches in just six contests. Marck opened the year with a touchdown catch versus Marshall and added another this past week at UMass.
He’s Got Legs
Hard to imagine Zac Murphy’s individual stats could be much better than they are this season. The senior ranks first in the nation with a punting average of 47.7 per kick. He has 14 punts of over 50 yards and has added another 10 punts that were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
Redshirt freshman Fred McRae made an instant impact in the RedHawks’ punt return game. In his first career return he went 14 yards, which may not seem like much, but Miami’s longest punt return in all of 2012 was 11 yards by Andy Cruse. McRae continued his hot start a week later, recording a 32-yard return at Kentucky. McRae is averaging 15.0 yards per punt return in 2013, which ranks first in the MAC. He would rank 11th nationally, but does not have enough returns to qualify.
The point has been made that this Miami team is very young, but looking at the defensive side of the ball, five of Miami’s top-10 tacklers are first year starters (Kent Kern, Josh Dooley, Jay Mastin Heath Harding and Bryson Albright). Kern is first on the team with 60 tackles, Mastin is second (45), Dooley is third (42) and Bryson Alright is seventh (24). Backup freshman linebacker Nate Gerbus is eighth (23).
Quarterback Austin Boucher, tight end Steve Marck, defensive tackle Austin Brown and defensive end Wes Williams will serve as captains for the 2013 season. The four captains were selected by a vote of their teammates.
The 2013 Miami coaching staff has a ton of history to share with its players, considering four full-time staff members are graduates of Miami University. Interim head coach Mike Bath (2001), Jay Peterson (1985), Andrew Marlatt (1988) and Ron Carpenter have all played for Miami.