Optimism abounds for Miami University’s football team as the RedHawks open camp Friday.
Their 2018 opener is about a month away, but fifth-year head coach Chuck Martin is excited about the experienced crew he’s assembled.
“We’ve been building this thing for a long time,” Martin said last week during Mid-American Conference Media Day at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. “It’s nice to finally have a large senior class that’s experienced and talented with a lot of character.”
Asked about his biggest concern heading into camp, Martin didn’t have an immediate answer. He was then asked if the answer was, “Nothing.”
“I wouldn’t say nothing, but we’ve got a great opportunity this year,” said Martin, who is 16-33 at MU. “There’s nothing keeping me up about this football team right now. We’ve had a great offseason. We’ve got a couple new coaches this year, and all they talk about is how great our kids are. Not just talented, but just who they are.”
The RedHawks are coming off a 5-7 campaign and haven’t had a winning season since 2010.
Here’s a quick look at their 2018 schedule with some information on each game:
» Saturday, Sept. 1, Marshall, 3:30 p.m., Yager Stadium, Oxford — Miami leads the series 30-13-1, but lost to the Thundering Herd 31-26 last year.
» Saturday, Sept. 8, Cincinnati, 8 p.m., Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati — Miami has a 59-56-7 edge in the series, yet hasn’t beaten the Bearcats since 2005. Last year’s final was 21-17.
» Saturday, Sept. 15, Minnesota, 3:30 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn. — The Golden Gophers have won all three meetings in the series, including the last one in 2011 (29-23).
» Saturday, Sept. 22, Bowling Green, time TBA, Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green — Miami has a 43-24-5 advantage in the series, but lost the 2017 matchup 37-29.
» Saturday, Sept. 29, Western Michigan, 3:30 p.m., Yager Stadium, Oxford — Miami owns a 37-21-1 edge in the series, with the Broncos winning the last meeting 35-13 in 2015.
» Saturday, Oct. 6, Akron, 3:30 p.m., InfoCision Stadium/Summa Field, Akron — Miami has a 17-9-1 series lead and beat the Zips 24-14 last year.
» Saturday, Oct. 13, Kent State, time TBA, Yager Stadium, Oxford — Miami holds a 48-17 lead in the series, but dropped a 17-14 decision to the Golden Flashes in 2017.
» Saturday, Oct. 20, Army, noon, Michie Stadium, West Point, N.Y. — Miami has a 3-2 series advantage and won the last meeting 35-28 in 2011.
» Tuesday, Oct. 30, Buffalo, 8 p.m., UB Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y. — Miami leads the series 14-6 and defeated the Bulls 24-14 last year.
» Wednesday, Nov. 7, Ohio, 7 or 8 p.m., Yager Stadium, Oxford — Miami has a 52-40-2 edge in the series, but lost 45-28 to the Bobcats in 2017.
» Wednesday, Nov. 14, Northern Illinois, 7 or 8 p.m., Huskie Stadium/Brigham Field, DeKalb, Ill. — NIU has earned a 9-8 series lead and posted a 45-12 victory in the last meeting in 2015.
» Tuesday, Nov. 20, Ball State, 7 p.m, Yager Stadium, Oxford — Miami holds an 18-12-1 advantage in the series and beat the Cardinals 28-7 last year.