The Battle of the Bricks is here.
Ohio is traveling to Miami Tuesday for its penultimate road game of the season. Last year, Ohio upset Miami 35-33 at home.
Here is everything to know about the RedHawks:
Chuck Martin has been the head coach at Miami since 2014. However, he has over two decades worth of coaching experience. Before Miami, Martin held various coaching positions at Notre Dame from 2010-2013.
Since joining the RedHawks, Martin is 43-57. Last season, his team went 7-6 and ended the season with a win in the Frisco Football Classic. Miami has barely finished above .500 in three of the past five seasons, despite having some of the best recruiting classes in the Mid-American Conference.
Miami has been missing its QB1 for the majority of the season, but he’s back. Junior Brett Gabbert started in the first game against Kentucky, throwing for 166 yards. He missed weeks two through six, but threw for 222 yards against Western Michigan and 184 at Akron.
While Gabbert was gone, redshirt freshman Aveon Smith stepped up. He doesn’t have the greatest passing stats, as he is last in the MAC in passing yards, passing touchdowns and yards per game, but he did lead Miami to big wins over Kent State and Northwestern.
Although Smith has played for the majority of the season, it is likely that Gabbert will start against Ohio Tuesday.
The RedHawks only have six receivers who have played in all nine games this season. One of them is Mac Hippenhammer, who leads the team in receptions by a margin of almost 20. He also leads the team with 444 receiving yards, 195 more than the second leading receiver, Miles Marshall.
Marshall has 16 receptions for 249 yards, giving him an average of more than 15 yards per reception. Marshall also has Miami’s longest catch this season for 76 yards.
Smith may not have been the best passer, but he has the second most rushing yards for Miami this season with 314. He also is tied for the most rushing touchdowns on the team with three. Keyon Mozee leads Miami in rushing yards with 428.
Miami’s run game may be tricky for Ohio to stop Tuesday. It averages 150.1 rushing yards per game, which is the fourth most in the MAC. However, Ohio’s rush defense has gotten a lot better as the season has gone on. It held Buffalo to just 22 rushing yards in its last game.
The key of this Miami team is its defense. It has only allowed 193 points, the fewest in the conference. Part of this is due to its efficient rush defense. Miami has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the MAC this season at 970, which is 176 yards fewer than the defense in second. Miami also has the third most efficient passing defense in the conference and seven interceptions, the same number as Ohio.
Ohio is facing immense pressure in this game. Not only is it fighting to keep first place in the MAC, Ohio is also playing its biggest rival.
If the Bobcats want to keep their hopes of advancing to the MAC Championship alive, they need a win Tuesday.