Cincinnati Bearcats Football Schedule First Look: Miami University

Jamie Sabau

Last year the Bearcats won their seventh straight Battle for the Victory Bell. That is the longest winning streak for one side in the 125 year history of the rivalry. This year the Bearcats travel to Yager Stadium, AKA Nippert West, to face a Redhawks team that loses Zac Dysert, but returns enough to be theoretically dangerous.

The Basics

Name Miami University
Location Oxford, OH
Head Coach Don Treadwell
Career Record 8-16
2012 Record 4-8

2012 In Four Sentences Or Less

The Redhawks scheduled up 2012 with Ohio State in the opener, Boise State two weeks after that and the annual UC game to start October. They dropped all three of those, but picked up wins against Akron, Massachusetts and Southern Illinois to stand even going into the second half of the season. Then the bottom dropped out as the Redhawks went 1-5 in their final six to give Treadwell his second straight 4-8 (3-5) season.

Who Is Coming Back?

Not Zac Dysert. Dysert was around forever and almost surely has the records in the rivalry for attempts (164), completions (99), and yards (1,006) but he will be manning the sideline for some NFL team next year. In his stead will be Austin Boucher, he of the MAC title game heroics. Boucher is capable, but he has been biding his time behind Dysert.

At the very least Boucher will have a target as Nick Harwell has somehow managed to evade exhausting his eligibility despite being in Oxford since Hadrian built his wall. Also back are last year’s top two running backs Spencer Treadwell (Don's son) and Jamaire Westbrook. There is plenty of skill available as all but two of last year’s receivers return. The problem for Miami offensively hasn't changed though, the offensive line is not good, particularly at run blocking.

Defensively Miami will have something resembling depth up front for the first time since 2010. But that has more to do with the horror show of injuries a year ago, particularly at DT, forcing many youngsters to the front before their time. If they stay healthy they will almost certainly be better up front.

The back 7 should be pretty good with play makers returning at Linebacker (Wes Williams and Chris Wade) and in the secondary, (Dayonne Nunley and Brison Burris). But they have to be given a chance to do their jobs by the front, because they certainly weren't last year.

What Will They Run

More of the same. There will be no real change to speak of. The coaching staff is largely intact from a year ago, only the linebackers coach Matt Edwards moved on (to FAU). Offensively the Redhawks will be multiple running a handful of plays from a multitude of formations. Defensively it will be a 4-3 once again, with little blitzing and an emphasis on zone coverage.

Can You Wrap This Up? I Have Things To Do

Miami is a program that can desperately use some stability. That is something that the Red Hawks haven't had since Terry Hoeppner left for the Indiana job. At the time Miami went for stability hiring Shane Montgomery from within. Montgomery squandered the momentum of the Big Ben/Josh Betts era and bottomed out in 2008. They brought in Mike Hayward who improved the results on the field while letting chaos reign off it. Treadwell has done a lot to improve the team behind the scenes, but he has had bad luck on the field. His first team was one of the unluckiest teams in the country and last year's group was decimated by injuries.

With Austin Boucher Miami has an experienced QB, as first time starters go. And he has shown that he can perform if given the chance. He has some guys to work with on that side of the ball if he can get time from an offensive line that has to get better. The defense forced a ton of young guys to the front line before their time last year, that should pay dividends this year. I think that Miami is a team that has a pretty good chance to surprise people in the MAC, and I wouldn't be shocked if they made a bowl this season.

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