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Five Things Learned: Miami RedHawks at Akron Zips

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What can we take away from Miami’s impressive road win over Akron?

Eastern Michigan v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After getting off to a horrid 1-4 start in 2018, the Miami RedHawks now find themselves at 2-1 in MAC play and in second place in the East Division after an impressive 41-17 victory on the road against the Akron Zips. What are some of the things we learned about each of these teams from Saturday’s rout? Let’s find out!

Brad Koenig May Have Single-Handedly Saved Miami’s Season

After some inconsistent play during the first five games, Miami’s defense got a big boost from linebacker Brad Koenig, who was responsible for three of the ‘Hawks fourth quarter takeaways with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. These four takeaways also happened on consecutive Akron drives as Miami blew the game wide open on what was a back-and-forth contest. The defense has been very disruptive in MAC play (23 TFLs, nine sacks, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions), so it’ll be interesting to see if it can keep up the pace with match-ups against Ohio and Buffalo looming.

You Shall Not Run

We need to give even more props to the Miami defense for holding Akron to two yards per carry for the game. Quarterback Kato Nelson led the Zips with 30 rushing yards, which certainly affected his effectiveness in the passing game. UA needs to figure out how to be more effective in the run game, while Miami finally has a defense that can keep it in games with anyone in the MAC.

Get Off My Lawn

Another key to Miami’s domination was the red zone. The RedHawks scored on all six of their red zone trips while Akron was just 1-1 on red zone scoring opportunities. It’s hard to score on a consistent basis if you can’t get to the scoring area, and Miami did a good job off making things hard for Akron.

Field Position Matters

Miami’s special teams has been pretty good for the most part in 2018, and punter Kyle Kramer certainly contributed to the cause Saturday. He registered a 47.0 yards per punt average on four punts with two pinned inside the 20-yard line and a 60-yard boot, while the Zips’ Nick Gasser only mustered 40.7 yards per punt on six punts with one pinned inside the 20-yard line. Winning the hidden yardage battle is key in most games, and the special teams helped Miami win this one.

Jordan Rigg Is America’s Greatest Athlete

The film speaks for itself:

The indomitable Rigg has now scored touchdowns in back-to-back weeks from his offensive tackle spot, bolstering his resume as a #Piesman contender. It is unfortunate that we have to wait a full week to see how Rigg is used against Kent State, but I’m sure the big Rigg will not disappoint.