The Miami RedHawks came away with an impressive 40-26 win Saturday over the defending MAC champion Bowling Green Falcons. Have the RedHawks finally turned the corner? Is there any positive that the Falcons can take away from this game and build on? Let’s find out together.
1. The addition of Gus Ragland make Miami one of the best teams in the MAC East. The redshirt sophomore had a career day in a hostile environment as he went 22 of 35 for 215 yards and three touchdowns with 32 yards on the ground, despite struggling with ball location at times. While Bowling Green’s defense isn’t anything to be celebrated (19 TDs allowed in four MAC games this season), finally seeing some efficiency out of the quarterback position has to be really exciting for Miami fans. and gives a lot of hope for this team going forward.
2. James Morgan makes the Falcons a very dangerous team in 2017. Morgan had some success moving the ball on the RedHawks as he passed for 389 yards and three scores, but three interceptions late ended any chance of a comeback. You’ll have turnovers playing a young quarterback, but he has the upside to be the next great quarterback at Bowling Green as long as the coaching staff is patient with him.
3. Miami’s defense made plays when it had to. The first-ranked pass defense in the MAC lived up to its billing as it held BGSU to 4-of-12 on third down and three interceptions in the fourth quarter sealed the game for the ‘Hawks. It gave up 389 yards at a 7.9 yards per attempt clip and three TDs, but it held the Falcons to 57 yards rushing at 2.5 yards per rush. It’s the kind of defensive performance you’d like to see in the middle of conference play.
4. Bowling Green couldn’t get timely stops. Miami got five red zone touchdowns in six trips, and you can’t win football games when you bend AND break as a defense. Add into the mix the fact that the defense created zero turnovers and you lose that battle as a team, and the offense has to play out of its mind every week just to have a chance to win.
5. Miami is peaking when it should. As disappointing as the start of the season was for the Red and White, the team is peaking at the right time in a MAC East division where literally anything can happen. The ‘Hawks have a real tough test this coming Saturday when they go to Ypsilanti to take on a tough Eastern Michigan team (that sentence should tell you how weird this season has been) and it should be one of the better games around the MAC this week.