The Miami RedHawks (0-4) welcome the Central Michigan Chippewas (1-4, 0-1 MAC) to town Saturday for a game that reeks of desperation.
Don Treadwell is 8-20 in his tenure as the head football coach at Miami University. In the first four games of this season, his RedHawks have managed to score just 35 points, that's less than the Fighting Illini of Illinois put up on them last week, in the first half. Miami enters this game statistically at the bottom, or right above it, in almost every major statistical category.
Dan Enos' Central Michigan Chippewas haven't beaten and FBS team this year, with their only win coming in a come-from-behind victory over FCS member New Hampshire. CMU has suffered embarrassing blow out losses to Michigan and North Carolina State. Enos' Chippewas have shown some life at times, but have surrendered too many points off big plays and turnovers.
Saturday's upcoming game in Oxford appears to be a clash between a movable object in the form of the CMU defense and a stationary object in the form of the Miami offense. One possible spark for the RedHawks is backup quarterback Austin Gearing, who rushed for 81 yards against Illinois. CMU's poor defense against the run could provide Gearing and the 'Hawks read-option offense with plenty of opportunities to score points and rack up rushing yards. But, Miami is averaging 175 yards of offense, and just 8.8 points a game, and has looked inept on the gridiron.
CMU's offense had high expectations when the football season began. Those expectations were dashed when star running back Zurlon Tipton and starting quarterback Cody Kater both were injured in Week 1. Since then, CMU's goal has been lowered to achieving respectability. A come from ahead loss to UNLV and lopsided defeats against rival Toledo and North Carolina State have left the Chippewas stumbling.
Cooper Rush has accounted for nine turnovers in the past three games and has cost CMU's offense several opportunities. The once formidable Chippewas offensive attack, is now averaging just 330 yards per game, 108th in the country, and has struggled to run the ball all year.
Both defense's have struggled to get stops. CMU's is allowing 434 yards-per-game, and nearly 40 points a contest. Conversely, Miami's defense, plagued by an offense that consistently has them running back out on the field, is giving up 467 yards-per-game, and is actually allowing fewer points-per-game, by just a fraction.
Normally this would be the perfect recipe for a high-scoring MACtion affair, but unless both team's can fix their offensive woes, this will be an ugly game, with turnovers, lots of punts, and bad football.
The game kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m., and can be streamed live on ESPN3.