For those of you out of the loop thechuck_2112 is the resident Miami expert over at The Hustle Belt, SB Nations go to source for MACtion. Earlier this week I sent along a couple questions about this years Redhawks team trying to get a pulse for the group.
1: On the year Zac Dysert has thrown for a ton of yardage, but has made his fair share of crucial mistakes throwing at least one INT in each of the games this year. Is Dysert the best bet at QB for Miami or is Austin Boucher perhaps a better option?
I am firmly of the belief that Zac Dysert puts us in a better position to win. People crow about how Boucher finished the season last year, but they forget that he was working with a limited playbook, an extremely solid running game (that didn't really come into its own until right around when he took over) and a veteran, injury-free o-line. (It also helps his win total that, with the exception of NIU, Boucher didn't really face great competition, while three of Dysert's four losses last year came against Florida, Mizzou, and UC.) Dysert has found himself in some awful situations this year thanks to our sudden complete lack of a run game, and has made the best of it, especially with his legs. And the numbers confirm that Dysert is the better guy in this situation: a poster at Miami Hawk Talk did some serious statistical analysis [ed: link here] and it shows why, if you're not going to have a ground attack, Dysert is the guy you want behind center.
2: After hanging though with Missouri and Minnesota in the first two games Miami appeared to take a step backwards against BGSU. Is there one particular factor of the game where the Redhawks took a step back
I think the team became demoralized in a way they never were at Missouri or Minnesota. There was something spirit-breaking about that 97-yard touchdown, and you could see it in the way the team looked on the sideline -- for the rest of the fourth quarter, even though the RedHawks were within reach, they just didn't seem to have the fire inside.
3: So special teams, that doesn't appear to be going well this year. Care to take a stab as to why?
The kicking game (both XP/FG and kickoffs, as well as kick returns) have been awful for years. I'm not sure there's any new ground there. What has changed, and what I don't understand, is why punting is all of a sudden terrible. Zac Murphy was an all-MAC punter last season; this year, his release time has slowed considerably, and it's why he seems to be good for a block a game. The offensive line being banged up certainly doesn't help matters, but I just don't have any idea why Murphy is slower, unless special teams coach Zak Willis has changed his mechanics.
4: After three games it appears that the fans are turning, not on Don Treadwell himself, but on his staff. Where do you stand?
Until I see proof otherwise -- and goodness knows I'd be glad to be proven wrong -- I am firmly of the conviction that offensive coordinator John Klacik is in way over his head. He has the longest losing streak of any coach in the country: 0-3 this season, plus 0-35 in from 2008 to 2010 as the head coach at D-II Lock Haven in Pennsylvania. He hasn't won a game since George W. Bush was President, and we're already in campaign season for 2012. I have no idea what made him qualified for a I-A offensive coordinator position, and I think it's shown this year in highly questionable play calling, poor time management, and the like. But like I said, I'd love to have him prove me wrong.
5: In your opinion what exactly has to happen for Miami to end UC's winning streak in the series at 5?
If we get the right play calling, and if the offensive line can keep it together (both big ifs), the RedHawks have enough passing game talent to rack up yards, and likely a decent number of points, through the air. But there can't be any turnovers. Defensively, the team has to play with an intensity they haven't shown since Mizzou, and absolutely needs to get over that backbreaking TD by Bowling Green last week. If they come out flat or show any kind of weakness early on, the UC offense will chew them up. Finally, there can't be any special teams screwups on the day -- no missed kicks, no blown coverage on returns, and, for the love of God, NO PUNT BLOCKS. (Come to think of it, I'd just send out the offense every fourth down, but have Dysert pooch punt it. It's worked for us in the past.) Anyway, all of these things have to go right for Miami to win the game. Unfortunately, I don't think some of them will.
So there you have it. Thanks once again to thechuck_2112 for taking the time and effort to do this. And don't forget to check out The Hustle Belt.