Miami to face Eastern following blowout loss to Iowa

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks started their season no different than the Panthers. The Redhawks opened their season against a Big Ten opponent Iowa and were blown out, 45-21.

Considering the caliber of the No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes, a 24-point loss by the Football Bowl Subdivision is not the end of the world.

The Hawkeyes came out of the gates hot and scored 21 points on Miami, giving them a comfortable lead after just one quarter. But with the help of a big passing game turned in by Redhawks’ quarterback Billy Bahl kept them in the game. Miami’s defense allowed points in all four quarters though.

Sophomore Bahl was 19-29 with 266 passing yards in the game against Iowa with two touchdown passes. Bahl found receiver James Gardner for both scores.

The Redhawks’ offense actually had more yards on offense than the Hawkeyes. Miami put up 424 yards of total offense, and Iowa put up 404 yards.

The problem for the Redhawks in the game was not their inability to move the ball, but it was their defense in stopping the run-game Iowa brought to the table. Iowa’s quarterback C.J. Beathard threw just one touchdown pass in the 45 points the offense put up.

Iowa utilized three running backs in the game, each scoring at least one touchdown. Akrum Wadley was the team’s main back in the game, scoring two touchdowns on 12 attempts and rushing for 121 yards. His longest run of the game was 38 yards.

The Hawkeyes’ Leshun Daniels had 12 attempts and also scored two touchdowns in the game rushing for 83 yards, with his longest rush being 43 yards.

Miami’s run game also used three running backs, but the Redhawks were not able to put the ball into the end zone the way the Hawkeyes did.
Alonzo Smith handled most of the rushes, getting 13 attempts and rushing for 58 yards and one touchdown. Maurice Thomas and Kenny Young also got some rushes in the game, giving the Redhawks 158 yards on the ground.

That run game also struggled to hang on to the ball, fumbling three times and allowing the Hawkeyes to take complete advantage of those turnovers. Twenty-one of the 45 points came off of Miami turnovers.

Miami’s offense overall stuck around with Iowa, and playing against other teams in the FBS may be enough to get them a win, but against a Big Ten opponent like Iowa, it clearly was not enough.

When it came to defending the pass, Miami stepped up for the most part limiting Beathard to 192 yards passing.

Eastern’s run game was not used as much in its opening game against Western Thursday, getting just seven attempts and rushing for 102 yards.

The big portion of the Panthers’ offense came by way of the arm of red-shirt junior quarterback Mitch Kimble. Kimble threw for 323 yards in the game, completing 18 of 29 passes and throwing two touchdowns.

The Panthers also utilized red-shirt junior quarterback Austin Green on one drive. Green moved the Panthers up the field, completing four of his five passes and throwing for 43 yards on the drive that ended in a missed field goal.

It may be a different look for Miami with Eastern if they remain pass-heavy in their game this Saturday. Miami was unable to stop Iowa’s run game, so red-shirt senior Devin Church and red-shirt junior Korliss Marshall could get a few more carries.

Both teams will be in search of their first win of the season as the Panthers will have just one more game after Miami before conference play starts.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]