Game Preview: Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky

Well, here we are at the first football game of the season, and it's time to do a bit of a preview of the Miami vs. Kentucky game.  Since we have no real meaningful stats to pull out, we'll just look at the Redhawks' season last year:

2008 Record: (2-10, 1-7)

2008 Bowl: none

Coach: Michael Haywood (First year at Miami, 0-0 overall)

Offensive Coordinator: Peter Vaas

Defensive Coordinator: Carl Reese

Returning Leaders

Offense:

Senior quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh returns to Miami, as does junior running back Thomas Merriweather.  Raudabaugh did not have a great year last year, throwing only 8 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  Four receivers return from last year, though, and the Miami offense should be somewhat improved, assuming that the line, which returns only two starters from last year, can open holes for Merriweather or protect Raudabagh long enough for him to get off some good throws. Sophomores Jay Taylor and Wisconsin transfer Quincy Landingham could make an impact from the running back spot, as well.

 

Defense:

The defense loses its top four tacklers from last year and returns only five starters.  Both starters at defensive end graduated, as well as all three linebackers.  Three starters do return to the secondary, and this group held Vanderbilt to 91  yards and Michigan to 103 yards through the air the first two games of last year, though both were in losing efforts.

 

Analysis:

Kentucky will have an opportunity to exploit a young offensive line, and they must do so in order to have an effective game on defense.  The Redhawks have some fairly decent skill players, and allowing them to get loose in the secondary would not be something Steve Brown wants to see.  UK must find ways to get pressure on Raudabaugh to keep him from finding his targets.  Miami was most effective through the air last year, although they managed 300+ yards only once.  But with the additional years for the QB and receivers, you can expect the Redhawks to throw it early and often.

The Redhawk running game was not exactly a strength last year, with Miami managing only one game in which it gained over 200 yards on the ground.  But the infusion of the two sophomores, Taylor and Landingham, could make them a bit more potent if the line can hold their own against Kentucky.

Kentucky has one of the most mature offensive lines in the SEC, and they must exploit the young d-line and linebacking corps of Miami.  Look for Smith, Allen, and Locke to have big days, and don't be surprised if you see quite a bit of CoShick Williams.  An effective ground game will open up the passing game, and Miami doesn't have the size in the secondary to handle Chris Matthews.  If Matthews is as good as advertised, he could run wild, eventually forcing double-teams that leave the dangerous Randall Cobb in single coverage all day.

Bottom line -- the Redhawks will be significantly better this year than last, but as bad as they were last year, that isn't saying too much.  Kentucky should have their way with Miami in almost all phases of the game.  The biggest thing UK has to watch out for are the small, speedy running backs -- they could give our young defensive ends some trouble at the edges, and with Micah Johnson questionable, I do worry a bit about our young d-line.  UK should be vastly superior on the lines, but the defensive line has too many question marks for me to dismiss an issue there.  The secondary should be fine as long as UK can get some semblance of a pass rush.

I see Kentucky winning this game, 28-7.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join A Sea Of Blue

You must be a member of A Sea Of Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at A Sea Of Blue. You should read them.

Join A Sea Of Blue

You must be a member of A Sea Of Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at A Sea Of Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker