The Miami Red Hawks had a rough season with just one win and were outscored by an average of almost twenty points en route to a 1-11 season. The Redhawks do return most of their skill positions which might be good or bad, hey they had only one win last year; and offensive side of the ball does return seven starters which will help. Some pundits are even giving the Red Hawks some hope this season:
The biggest mover relative to last year's standings should be Miami (Ohio), which wasn't quite as bad as the 1-11 record in coach Mike Hayward's debut suggests: The RedHawks actually out gained the other side by at least 50 yards in four of their seven MAC losses. Whatever quasi-competence they demonstrated was undermined by bad luck, bad blocking and bad defense - Miami finished dead last nationally in turnover margin, allowed more sacks than any team in the country while rushing for fewer yards than all but one, lost a three-year starter at quarterback in the fifth game and allowed at least 34 points seven times. But the 'Hawks are vastly more experienced with 19 returning starters and should have a semblance of a passing game with sophomore Zac Dysert as the entrenched starter.
Having QB Zac Dysert being the man from day one will definitely help them have one player in place instead of playing the old switch-a-roo with the most important position on the team. Dysert was not great last year as he had a 12 touchdowns to 16 interceptions, but the plus side was that he completed 61% of his passes. Kid has to start somewhere, and they do return their top two receivers last year which should help.
As for the defense it can not get any worse then last year. The Red Hawks were 108th in scoring defense giving up 34 per game, 70th in total defense mainly because teams pulled back late, they allowed 4.83 sacks per game last in the country, and they were also last in the country with a minus two turnover margin.
Just by shear logic that Miami must be better then last year especially in the turnover margin where they were .67 from the 119th team. According, to Phil Steele -- or anyone with a pulse -- the odds of that happening again are slim. They return nine starters on defense and ten on offense and that should provide some more stability and improvement. But, there is also the flip slide of how can a team be better by returning bad talent; even with that being said they will be better in those categories and should be able to notch a few more wins on the season.
Their defense was young last year and returns nearly every defensive contributor and out of the lowly 14 sacks they managed last year 13 of those sacks are back in the lineup. Sophomore LB Jerrell Wedge lead the way with 5.5 sacks and should only get better in his third year roaming the defense. Do not expect an overnight drastic change with an eight win season, but a realistic shot at six wins should be a goal
The MAC is always wide open and four of their five home games are winnable with the loan exception of the season finale against Temple.
/Wait Temple is not a punching bag anymore!