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2017

Miami Ohio

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule

After five wins total in Chuck Martin’s first two seasons as head coach, Miami broke through and reached a bowl game last year, almost upsetting Mississippi State as huge underdogs in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Now with 17 returning starters, the RedHawks have expectations to live up to, which may make things harder than a year ago.

The interesting thing about last year’s team is that it scored just 22.6 points per game, yet still managed six wins. Of course, the offense was much different in the second half of the season with Gus Ragland at quarterback, but it’s still something to keep in mind about this group. Ragland made a huge difference completing 64.2% of his passes for 17 TDs and only one pick so if he gets hurt, there will be a problem. He returned from a torn ACL that he suffered the year prior. While the Hawks lose their stud right tackle, everyone else returns on the line. All of the relevant skill players are back as well with Alonzo Smith (709 yards, 3 TDs) at tailback, as well as Kenny Young and Maurice Thomas. At wide out, James Gardner (750 yards, 6 TDs) should again lead the team with seniors Jared Murphy and Sam Martin helping out. Needless to say, but this offense could be up at 30 points per game if all goes well.

It’s the same case on the defensive side with eight starters returning, which includes valuable pieces at every level. From a group that gave up 23.8 points per game, it can be just as good. Outside of defensive end, every spot has experience. Ikeem Allen and Nate Trawick provide that at tackle with linebacker loaded to fill out the front seven. De’Andre Montgomery may be the best of the linebacking trio, but all three starters return that combined for 228 tackles. The secondary should be just as good with Heath Harding and Deondre Daniels making up one of the better cornerback duos in the league, while leading tackler Tony Reid mans safety with Joshua Allen.

With Ragland at quarterback and all of the talent returning, it’s no wonder why the RedHawks have the same odds as Ohio (+550 at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the conference. After struggling out of the gates last season, they could start with a couple non-conference wins, with the Marshall and Cincy games being toss-ups. But with all four of their home MAC games in favorable spots, this team could once again reach six wins in conference play with trips to Ball State and Kent State also possible wins on the schedule. Eight wins isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Miami (that is their over/under at 5Dimes) and even an East division title is in the cards, pending on the game at Ohio. As long as the RedHawks don’t fall apart, they’ll be slated for another bowl game and a likely winning record.

 

2017 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Football Schedule

Sept. 2 at Marshall
Sept. 9 vs. Austin Peay
Sept. 16 vs. Cincinnati
Sept. 23 at Central Michigan

Sept. 30 at Notre Dame
Oct. 7 vs. Bowling Green
Oct. 14 at Kent State

Oct. 21 vs. Buffalo
Oct. 31 at Ohio
Nov. 7 vs. Akron
Nov. 15 vs. Eastern Michigan
Nov. 21 at Ball State

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