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Everything You Need To Know About the 2018 Miami RedHawks

Will the fifth year of Chuck Martin’s tenure in Oxford result in a MAC East title?

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Notre Dame Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chuck Martin and the Miami RedHawks head into the 2018 season at a critical juncture for the program. With all the gradual improvements made in the program recently under Martin, this season is the one where the ‘Hawks should win and win big. The task is made harder due to the departure of defensive stalwart Heath Harding as well as the lack of an established #2 receiver or pass rusher. The Red and White face a rebuilding year in 2019, so 2018 will be the best chance for a MAC East title for at least two years.


Miami Coaches

  • Head Coach: Chuck Martin
  • Co-Offensive Coordinator: George Barnett
  • Co-Offensive Coordinator: Eric Koehler
  • Co-Defensive Coordinator: John Hauser
  • Co-Defensive Coordinator: Spence Nowinsky

Schedule


2017 Record and Team Stats

5-7 overall, 4-4 in the MAC

Offensive Stats

24.4 PPG, 384.6 YPG, 237.7 Passing YPG, 146.9 Rushing YPG

Defensive Stats

24.1 PPG, 367.6 YPG, 200.8 Passing YPG, 166.8 YPG


Key Players

Gus Ragland, Sr., QB: Ragland’s efficiency will either make or break the RedHawks in 2018. In the bowl season of 2016, he went six games without throwing an interception. In last year’s letdown season, he threw seven picks in nine games.

Alonzo Smith/Kenny Young, RS Sr., RBs: The two leading RBs for Miami had a nearly identical amount of touches in 2017 as they accounted for 1,441 rushing yards and eight TDs while Young added 27 catches, 250 yards, and two scores through the air. A healthy Maurice Thomas makes the ground game for the ‘Hawks a force to be reckoned with.

James Gardner, Sr., WR: The prolific WR for the Red and White give MU a great option in the passing game. With 11 of the 24 passing touchdowns of 2017 and an average of 19.7 yards per reception, Gardner looks to a be a big play threat for the offense in 2018.

Doug Costin, Jr., DL: Costin was starting to come into his own as a pass rusher in 2017 as he led the defense in sacks (5) and QB hits (10), while also making plays in the run game with 8.5 TFLs. If he can improve his productivity in 2018, the defense will be greatly improved.

Brad Koenig, RS Sr., ILB: The former walk-on has turned himself into a playmaker in the middle of Miami’s defense as he led the team in both tackles (103) and TFLs (10.5) last season.


2018 Season Outlook

Combined with injuries and a lack of execution in key spots, the 2017 season was one Miami would like to forget. After such a humbling experience, one would expect the RedHawks to come into the 2018 season with something to prove despite a brutal non-conference schedule. Marshall is poised to be a contender in C-USA, UC will be improved in Luke Fickell’s second season at the helm as Minnesota will be with P.J. Fleck, and Army is coming off of its best season in recent memory. The MAC West crossover games with WMU and NIU will be challenging as those teams will be looking to take their division. However, BG and KSU will be rebuilding while Akron will likely face a regression this season. This leaves huge games against Buffalo and Ohio that will probably decide the division race. Miami has the talent to make a serious run in the MAC East, but the execution in games need to match that talent.