Miami (Ohio) at Ohio Preview: Things Could Get Scary For the RedHawks On This Halloween Edition of the Battle of the Bricks

Jamie Sabau

Ohio comes in after an offensive slugfest in Ypsilanti seeking revenge on a weak Miami squad in this historic rivalry.

"Muck Fiami" t-shirts are sold in uptown Athens 12-months out of the year, a play on words for Ohio University students feelings about their arch rivals from Oxford, Ohio. The feeling is mutual. The two schools founded on the bricks, well...genuinely don't like one another.

This weekend the sentiments will be ramped up a bit, as Ohio University welcomes Miami into town on Halloween of all weekends. Which means plenty of candy corn, a variety of wacky (and let's face it, cliche and tacky costumes) and a special installment of the Battle of the Bricks. It marks the 90th year these two teams have met on the gridiron, in a rivalry dating back to 1905. Ohio has even went and made some special rivalry themed uniforms just for this weekend.

When the two teams take the field Saturday, much of the luster won't be there. Sure, Ohio will be as fired up as ever to exact revenge on a team that ended its hopes of an undefeated season a year ago. But, the Bobcats are facing a Miami team far from its prime. The RedHawks defense is struggling, allowing 31.3 points-per-game; the offense is 125th in the nation in points-per-game, and the team is barely averaging over 230 yards-per-game. On top of all of the on the field struggles for the RedHawks this season, their on to their second coach of the year as Mike Bath was assigned the difficult task of trying to stop the flood gates after head coach Don Treadwell and offensive coordinator John Klacik were axed a few weeks back.

In the quest to replace Miami legend Zac Dysert at quarterback, senior  Austin Boucher has struggled. It's not exactly his fault. There aren't many weapons around him. The team's leading rusher is freshman backup quarterback Austin Gearing with 260 yards for the season; the next closest player has more than 100-yards less.

And lest we not forget that Miami has not won a game yet this season. Not against Akron. Not against UMass. I REPEAT not against UMASS.

Meanwhile Ohio is coming off a huge 52-28 win over EMU this past Saturday in which senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton showed why he's the greatest quarterback to ever wear the green and white. He threw for 375 yards, and four touchdowns, both career highs, receiving several honors for him performance. He was named MAC East Player of the Week and received a shoutout from the ABC crew as a "Primetime Player" (as did Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch who is a studeven when he his loses shoes).

And if there is one thing Ohio fans know about their program now, at least for the rest of this season, it is that they have plenty of options. Several reserve players have played key roles this season, and with injuries once again ravaging the team, plenty of underclassmen have had to step in and are performing above expectations. Then of course there's all the weapons Tettleton has on offense.

Wide receiver Donte Foster could very well eclipse his receiving totals from a year ago and now has 42 catches for 596 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Chase Cochran has developed into a deep threat extraordinaire  and has 25 catches for 577 yards and three TDs, while senior Matt Waters has collected 20 receptions totaling 264 yards (and also three TDs).

While Miami always plays Ohio its hardest, the 'Cats should come away with this one easily. They're currently listed as 25-point favorites for Saturday's game. Ohio will be without senior defensive end Ty Branz who is likely done for the year after suffering a knee injury vs. EMU, but unless something flips overnight with the 'Hawks offense, they won't run all over Ohio the way the Eagles did in Branz's absence.

The game is set for Saturday at 2 p.m., and can be streamed on ESPN3.

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