Saturday afternoon was a beautiful day for football in Oxford, Ohio, with sunny skies, perfect temperatures for football and not a drop of water in the air as the Miami RedHawks (2-2) and the Delaware State Hornets (0-4) met for a contest at Yager Stadium.
There would be no threat of a FCS upset on this Football Alumni/Hall of Fame Day, as the RedHawks easily handled the Hornets in a crowd-pleasing 62-20 victory.
Rashad Amos got the proceedings started early, with a five-yard rushing touchdown set up by Gage Larvadain’s 46-yard jet rush on the prior play to put Miami up 7-0 with 12:10 to go in the first quarter.
The Hornets would catch the Miami defense off-guard on the next possession, as Marqui Adams would connect with Wade Inge for a 50-yard touchdown through the air two plays removed from a second-and-23 forced by a tackle-for-loss fumble to even the scoreboard at 7. DSU’s defense, sparked by the score, stood tall on the next Miami series, forcing a Graham Nicholson field goal from 44 yards out to put the margin at 10-7 with 5:03 to go in the first quarter. Javon Tracy would haul in a 10-yard touchdown pass as the first frame wound down, giving the RedHawks a 17-7 lead.
The Miami offense would step on the gas in the second quarter, as Brett Gabbert connected and Reggie Virgil connected on 34-yard touchdown Kenny Tracy broke the plane on a six-yard touchdown run, and Graham Nicholson would boot a 19-yard field goal at the end of a 10-play, 63-yard drive to end the half with 17 second-quarter points.
Delaware State had a four-yard score of their own, with Marqui Adams finding EJ Core on a touchdown pass, putting the halftime score at 34-13.
The third quarter is when the RedHawks decided to Run The Ball.
Keyon Mozee started the proceedings with a 42-yard rush right up the middle on the first play of the third quarter, and Keyon Mozee finished the drive on the very next play with a 23-yard scoring strike through the heart of the Hornet defense.
Marqui Adams and Wade Inge connected once again for a score on a short 10-yard pass to cut the margin to 41-20 with 12:18 remaining in the third quarter, but the Hornets would never see the scoreboard again after that.
Keyon Mozee gained 12 yards on two carries before Aveon Smith broke out for a 48-yard rush up the middle, setting up Mozee’s six-yard touchdown run on the next possession, starting a 21-0 unanswered run which would decide the game.
Miami toted the rock 43 times to just 22 passes, grinding away 466 yards and finding the endzone six times in the contest. They were also extremely efficient on third-down conversions, finishing the day 8-of-10, while limiting DSU to 5-of-15 on their attempts.
Brett Gabbert finished 15-of-20 for 180 yards and two touchdowns through the air, with backup QB Aveon Smith going 0-of-2 in mop-up duty. It was a busy day in the backfield, with 10 different ballcarriers getting at least one carry. Jordan Brunson led the stat sheet with 109 yards on nine carries, scoring once. Keyon Mozee (seven carries, 60 yards) picked up a team-leading two rushing scores. Nate Milanowski (11 carries, 69 yards), Kenny Tracey (three carries, 53 yards) and Rashad Amos (six carries, 59 yards) all collected touchdowns in the contest.
Joe Wilkins Jr. led the Miami receiving corps with 74 yards on six receptions. Reggie Virgil and Javon Tracy caught touchdowns on their only receptions of the afternoon. Gage Larvadain had an unusually quiet afternoon outside of his 46-yard run, with one six-yard catch.
The RedHawks defensive unit had eight tackles-for-loss, but no sacks. USC transfer Jayden Williams showed out with seven tackles and three pass break-ups on the day, leading Miami in both statistics. Defensive back Eli Blakey shared the top of the board with seven tackles. Six different RedHawks collected at least one tackle-for-loss, with Joshua Lukasa leading the way with 1.5 TFLs.
Miami is set to play Kent State in their MAC opener next weekend, traveling to Dix Stadium for a Saturday afternoon kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.