Miami Redhawks Football News: Host Ball State Cardinals With Possible Bowl Berth on the Line Tonight


The Miami University football team kept its 2022 bowl hopes alive with a 29-23 win over Northern Illinois. Next up, a Tuesday (Nov. 22) night tilt with the Ball State Cardinals. Opening kick is slated for 7 p.m.

The matchup with Ball State will be carried live on ESPN+. Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play duties, while Jerod Cherry will serve as the color analyst. 

In its fourth year of its partnership with Van Wagner, the Miami Sports Network continues its coverage of Miami Football with a group of affiliates blanketing most of Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana. “The Voice of the RedHawks” Steve Baker will deliver the play-by-play coverage, while Terry Bridge will provide color commentary. Tune-in to one of Miami’s gameday affiliates:

WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, Ohio)
WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, Ind.)
WDBZ-AM 1230 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
WONE-AM 980 (Dayton, Ohio)

First And Ten
• Miami football ranks first all-time in the Mid-American Conference in wins (712), conference wins (309), MAC Championships (16) and bowl wins (8). The RedHawks also captured the 2019 MAC Championship with a 26-21 win over Central Michigan.

• Although Miami was 4-18 in Coach Martin’s first 22 Mid-American Conference games, the RedHawks are 33-16 in the last 49 games versus schools from the MAC, the best record in the conference during that span.

• The RedHawks clinched the MAC East Division Championship with a 6-2 record in 2019, went 2-1 in 2020 and 5-3 in 2021. Miami has now had a .500 or better conference record in five of the last six seasons.

• Martin, in his ninth year leading the RedHawks, has a new-look coaching staff in 2021. Offensive Coordinator Eric Koehler returns for his ninth year calling plays, while Bill Brechin begins year one as the Defensive Coordinator (ninth year at Miami). Special Teams Coordinator Jacob Bronowski is in his first year with the Red and White. 

• Miami is 12-7 in one-score games, dating back to the 2018 campaign. The RedHawks were 5-0 in one-score games in 2019, including a 26-21 victory over Central Michigan in the MAC Championship Game. Miami is 3-3 this season in single-score games.

• In its last 49 contests, Miami has had a lead at some point in 43 of those games. The only six setbacks were a 42-10 loss at Buffalo in 2020 and four different losses in 2021. The RedHawks have had a lead at some point in all but one game in 2022.

• Miami competed in the 2021 Frisco Football Classic (W, 27-14) and the RedHawks have now been bowl eligible five of the last six seasons. From 2006-15, Miami was bowl eligible just twice.

About Chuck Martin
• Head coach Chuck Martin, who earned that title on Dec. 3, 2013, brings an impressive resume to Oxford, Ohio.
• Not only was he 74-7 in six years at Grand Valley State (2004-09), he has coached in seven national championship games in the past 20 seasons.  Martin has an all-time head coaching record of 118-65.
• He has twice been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year and has been a coordinator on both sides of the ball.
• Martin was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Grand Valley State University on Oct. 23, 2015.

About Ball State
Ball State is 5-6 overall and 3-4 in conference play. Quarterback John Paddock has started all 11 games in 2022 and has thrown for 2,594 yards and 18 touchdowns. Jayshon Jackson is tops on the team with 72 receptions, while Tanner Koziol leads the Cards with seven receiving touchdowns. Defensively, Clayton Coll has 99 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on the year.

Series Vs. The Cardinals
Miami leads the all-time series against Ball State 21-13-1 and has won five of the last six meetings. The RedHawks are 12-6-1 against the Cardinals in Oxford, with three consecutive home victories in the series.

Last Meeting
Sterling Weatherford’s interception in the end zone with a minute to play gave Miami a dramatic 24-17 win at Ball State last October in the Redbird Rivalry game. The RedHawks trailed going into the fourth quarter, but Brett Gabbert’s touchdown pass to Nate Muersch (and ensuing two-point conversion pass to Andrew Homer) capped a 91-yard drive and gave the visitors the lead for good. Jack Sorenson led the Miami offense with eight catches for 138 yards.

Memorable Meeting
The RedHawks opened the 2007 season with a dramatic 14-13 win at Ball State. Trailing 13-7 with two minutes to play, Eugene Harris returned a 50-yard punt 56 yards to set Miami up at the BSU 23-yard line. Brandon Murphy’s six-yard scoring run with 17 seconds left tied the game, and Trevor Cook booted the extra point to give Miami a one-point victory. Murphy racked up a game-high 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

Redbird Rivalry
The RedBird Rivalry trophy game between Ball State and Miami, two Mid-American Conference universities separated by a little more than 70 miles, is in its fourth year. The rivalry between the schools dates back to a 1931 meeting in Oxford, Ohio, but didn’t blossom until Ball State joined the MAC in the mid-1970s. The two teams played each other in football every year from 1985 through 1998. MAC expansion in the late 1990s changed league scheduling as the conference had too many teams to play every team on an annual basis. Because Miami is in the MAC East and Ball State is in the MAC West, they have only faced off 10 times since 2000.

NIU Recap
Aveon Smith threw for 185 yards and one touchdown and added 105 yards on the ground and two scores as the RedHawks downed the Northern Illinois Huskies 29-23 on Wednesday evening at Huskie Stadium. With the win, Miami improves to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in Mid-American Conference. NIU is now 3-8 (2-5 MAC). Miami finished the contest with 171 yards rushing, maintained the ball for 34:32 and were 7-of-17 on third downs (NIU was 0-for-9). Mac Hippenhammer added 105 receiving yards and a touchdown and Matthew SalopekMichael Dowell and Ryan McWood each had eight tackles to lead the defensive unit.

Bounce Back
Since early in the 2016 season Miami has lost back-to-back MAC games just twice in that span. In fact, Miami is now 13-2 following a MAC loss under Martin, dating back to Oct. 15, 2016. 

Monsters of the MAC
With so many new faces on defense in 2022, a drop in defensive production could have been expected, instead, Miami is once again one of the best defenses in the conference. Miami ranks first in scoring defense (23.0), fourth in total defense (368.5), and first in rush defense (124.0).

Take It Away Defense, Take it Away
Through 11 games in 2022, the RedHawks defense has already forced 17 turnovers and is on pace for 19 takeaways in 2022. Prior to this season, Miami had averaged 16 turnovers forced per season since Chuck Martin‘s arrival, with a high of 20 in 2019. Miami’s 17 forced turnovers is third in the MAC and 23rd in the nation.

New Kids on the Block
The RedHawks graduated two defensive ends and lost two others to the transfer portal prior to the start of the 2022 season, creating a major hole at defensive end … or so we thought. Transfers Corey Suttle (6.0) and Brian Ugwu (5.0) are tops on the team in sacks. Sophomore Caiden Woullard, who saw no action a year ago is third on the team with 4.0 sacks.

Notable Defense
• In seven conference games the RedHawks are allowing 21.4 points per contest and have allowed just 17 touchdowns all MAC season.
• In conference play, opponents have reached the redzone 24 times, but have come away with touchdowns just 50% of the time. 

Smith Becoming a Duel Threat
Quarterback Aveon Smith has now made seven starts in 2022 and had arguably his best game of the season at Northern Illinois, combining for 290 yards and three touchdowns in the win. This season:
• Miami is 4-3 on the year with Smith under center, including a 17-14 win over Northwestern.
• He is second on the team with 419 yards rushing and has rushed for over 100 yards two different times in 2022.
• In the win over NIU, three of his 11 completions went for over 20 yards, a season best for the red-shirt freshman.

Five Things to Know About No. 5 Brett Gabbert
• Younger brother of NFL quarterback, Blaine Gabbert.
• Gabbert was named the 2019 MAC Freshman of the Year, joining Ben Roethlisberger (2001) and Deland McCullough (1992) as the only other RedHawks to capture this award.
• When Miami opened the 2019 season at Iowa, Gabbert became the first true freshman quarterback to open the season as the starter in Miami football history. 
• Is responsible for 50 touchdowns (45 passing, 5 rushing) in his Miami career.
• Ranks sixth in program history with 6,239 passing yards, seventh in completion percentage (.580) and sixth in passing touchdowns (45).

Will The Real Rushing Attack Please Stand Up
Miami is averaging 144.0 yards rushing per contest in 2022, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Miami has rushed for over 200 yards four different times this season, including 240 yards at Buffalo and another 236 in a win over Kent State. For whatever reason, from Oct. 15-Nov. 8 the RedHawks averaged just 83.5 yards per game on the ground. Last week at NIU, Miami rushed for 171 yards.

Trench Warfare
Miami’s offensive line is by far the most experienced unit for the RedHawks in 2022, returning four starters from last season’s squad. In all, Miami’s offensive line has started 127 combined games. Caleb Shaffer leads the way with 35 career starts and is followed by Rusty Feth (32), Reid Holskey (24), Sam Vaughan (14, but out for the year in 2022), Will Jados (9), Kolby Borders (6), John Brekke (5), and Ben Jackson (1) Brekke was also a three-year starter from Holy Cross before transferring to Miami.