The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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184 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW 3 MIAMI (OHIO) • SEPT. 13 BY RYAN TICE Miami recorded consecutive 4-8 sea- sons before going winless in the first five games of 2013 and firing head coach Don Treadwell. After the team finished 0-12, the keys have been handed over to Brian Kelly disciple Chuck Martin, who has spent the last four years at Notre Dame. Martin, who has coached and coordinated on both sides of the ball, succeeded Kelly at Grand Valley State, and led the school to a 74-7 record and a pair of Division II national titles before joining the Irish. Martin is not the only one headed from South Bend, Ind., to Oxford, Ohio. Quar- terback Andrew Hendrix transferred to Mi- ami for his final season of eligibility, as did tight end Alex Welch and defensive back Lo Wood. The two offensive players were four-star recruits coming out of high school, while Wood was regarded as a high three- star prospect, but none ever made a big im- pact during their first four years. Hendrix — due to his familiarity with Martin, who has been his offensive coordi- nator for the last three springs — probably has the inside track for the starting job under center. However, he'll be pushed by 6-5, 226-pound redshirt sophomore Austin Gear- ing, who started four games last year and is the team's top returning rusher with 478 yards on the ground. Redshirt junior running back Spencer Treadwell started nine games in 2013, but totaled just 171 yards and a score. That provides some insight into how anemic the RedHawks' offense was last fall — they ranked last in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in all four major categories (rushing, passing, total and scoring offense) and aver- aged just 9.8 points per game. The good news is that four of last year's five starting linemen are back, and the squad also boasts a deep group of pass catchers. The leader out wide is senior Dawan Scott, who paced the squad with 28 catches for 425 yards and two scores last year. Scott also ranked second on the team in rushing with 37 carries for 231 yards. Classmate David Frazier was limited to eight games, but he hauled in 28 passes for 302 yards and two scores. Redshirt junior Al- vonta Jenkins made seven starts and eclipsed 100 yards receiving on his 12 catches, as did redshirt sophomore Rokeem Williams, who made seven catches in his six starts and also scored a touchdown. The defense was just barely better than the offense last season — it didn't rank last in the league in any of the major categories, but it also didn't rank better than 103rd nation- ally (passing defense, 260.9 yards per game) in any of the four. Seven starters return to that unit, led by junior middle linebacker Kent Kern, who paced the team with 98 tackles en route to second-team all-conference laurels last year. Heading into 2014, Lindy's listed him seventh on their breakdown of the MAC's top 10 NFL prospects. Classmate Josh Dooley returns to one outside spot after he ranked third with 87 tackles a year ago. In addition to Wood, the secondary is loaded with returning contributors — three starters and a total of eight letter winners return to the back line. Cornerback Heath Harding started 10 games as a true freshman last year and paced the squad with three in- terceptions. Safeties Brison Burris, a senior, and Jay Mastin, a sophomore who played in eight games, also return after they combined for 137 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up in 2013. The line needs an overhaul, but junior defensive end Bryson Albright is a good one. He notched a team-best 11.5 tackles for loss and five sacks last fall. Martin certainly has his work cut out for him, but it won't be hard for the RedHawks to improve on last year. A major rebuild is needed — they lost by an average of 23.9 points per contest — but some Notre Dame castoffs should help the coach stabilize his new team immediately. Notes A pair of RedHawks were honored as pre- season superlative winners by Sporting News — Austin Gearing was named the MAC's best running quarterback, while Bryson Albright was given the award for the league's best instincts … Junior Kaleb Patterson returns for his third year as the starting kicker, and he could add punting duties in the fall. ❑ RedHawks Begin New Era Looking To Rebound From Winless Year 2014 SCHEDULE Date Opponent 2013 Result Aug. 30 Marshall L, 52-14 Sept. 6 Eastern Kentucky — Sept. 13 at Michigan — Sept. 20 at Cincinnati L, 14-0 Sept. 27 at Buffalo L, 44-7 Oct. 4 Massachusetts L, 17-10 Oct. 11 at Akron L, 24-17 Oct. 18 at Northern Illinois — Oct. 25 Kent State — Nov. 1 Western Michigan — Nov. 15 at Central Michigan L, 21-9 Nov. 25 Ohio L, 41-16 QUICK FACTS All-Time Series: U-M leads 5-0 First Meeting: U-M 55, Miami 0 (Oct. 4, 1924, at Ann Arbor) Last Meeting: U-M 16, Miami 6 (Sept. 6, 2008, at Ann Arbor) Head Coach: Chuck Martin, first year at Miami and 74-7 overall (7th year) Off./Def. Systems: Multiple spread/4-3 2013 in Review: 0-12 overall, 0-8 MAC (7th East Division) Final 2013 Ranking: Unranked Returning Starters: 16 (8 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist) Last Bowl Appearance: 2010 (, vs. Middle Tennessee, W 35-21) Mid-American Conference Championships (last): 15 (2010) RETURNING LEADERS Passing: Austin Gearing (188 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT) Rushing: Austin Gearing (478 yards, 1 TD) Receiving: Dawan Scott (425 yards, 2 TD) Tackles: Kent Kern (98) Sacks: Bryson Albright (5) Interceptions: Heath Harding (3) PLAYERS TO WATCH O f fe n s e : An d rew H e n d r i x , 5th-Sr., QB — The fifth-year senior is a former highly touted recruit who spent his first four seasons at Notre Dame … Threw for 360 yards and a score against two intercep- tions while rushing for 229 yards and two touchdowns with the Irish … Coming out of high school, he was ranked as a four- star recruit and the No. 235 overall player by Defense: Bryson Albright, Jr., DE — The 6-5, 224-pounder was the team's only defender to register double-digit tackles for loss (11.5) and more than three sacks (5.0) last year … Started all 12 games and to- taled 55 stops, which ranked eighth on the squad. Junior middle linebacker Kent Kern led the RedHawks with 98 tackles and earned sec- ond-team All-MAC honors last year. PHOTO COURTESY MIAMI (OHIO) 182-193.Opponents.indd 184 6/19/14 1:11 PM

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