Mid-American Conference fans had hoped that today would be the day for some major upsets throughout the land. You had multiple B1G opponents, some more vulnerable than others, but as the Miami RedHawks made their way Iowa City, most fans of MACtion gave them a not so great opportunity to take down 17th-ranked Iowa. The fans of MACtion were correct, but Miami has reason to be optimistic going forward.
Perspective is most certainly the word of the day for RedHawks fans. Yes, the final spread was 23 points, but anyone that watched this game wondered what had happened to Miami since we last saw them. The RedHawks showed fire, energy, and an ability that I haven’t seen in Oxford in years. Dare I say it, and it’s hard to after a three touchdown loss, but I think Miami could compete this year for the MAC East, especially given the struggles that the rest of their division has had this weekend.
Without question, the biggest takeaway was that Miami’s offense may very well be on the right track behind sophomore QB Billy Bahl who put up 266 and 2 scores on the road against a B1G defense. A B1G defense that had its issues, to be sure, but it was a B1G defense all the same and a great start to 2016 for Bahl and the RedHawks. When you outgain a ranked opponent on their home field, you’re doing something right. Without three turnovers from the RedHawks, who knows what could have happened?!
Defensively, there were issues for the RedHawks, between huge gashes, breaks in coverage, and consistent overpursuit, but any significant football watcher will tell you that the improvement from week 1 to week 2 is most noticeable on the defensive side of the ball. As a RedHawks fan, I wouldn’t feel great about this defensive performance, but I would feel hopeful. I cannot stress enough that the difference between recent Miami teams and this one is gigantic.
So yes, it was a loss. Yes, it sucks. But name me any other time that Miami fans have had reason to hope in recent years and that’s worth its weight in gold.