College football: RedHawks look to stay in MAC East race

Miami (Ohio) running back Kenny Tracy (33) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Caption
Miami (Ohio) running back Kenny Tracy (33) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Credit: Jeff Dean

Credit: Jeff Dean

Miami hosts Buffalo on Tuesday night

OXFORD -- The Miami RedHawks got to play three football games last season while seeing three cancelled.

They might’ve wished their game at Buffalo had been one of those that fell into the cancelled category after getting blown out, 42-10, on the way to a 2-1 finish.

Miami gets a chance at payback and to stay in the Mid-American Conference East Division race Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Bulls at Yager Stadium in Oxford.

The RedHawks (4-5 overall, 3-2 MAC) are second behind Kent State (5-4, 4-1) in the MAC East. The Golden Flashes play at Central Michigan on Wednesday.Miami is coming off a 35-33 loss at Ohio in which the RedHawks stormed back from a third quarter 28-0 deficit to pull within two before running out of gas.

“Buffalo is not feeling sorry for us,” eighth-year RedHawks coach Chuck Martin said.

The Bulls are 4-5 and 2-3 in the East after their own wild loss, 56-44 to Bowling Green at Buffalo on Oct/ 30. Junior quarterback Matt Myers had to take over in the second quarter after starter Kyle Vantrease was injured. Vantrease wasn’t practicing as late as Thursday, but first-year coach Maurice “Mo” Linguist said the Bulls “fully expect” Vantrease to be ready to play against Miami.

Linguist’s inaugural coaching staff includes former RedHawks coach Shane Montgomery as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach. Montgomery was Miami’s offensive coordinator from 2001 through 2004, helping develop Ben Roethlisberger under coach Terry Hoeppner before taking over as coach when the late Hoeppner left for Indiana.

Buffalo had 36 first downs to Bowling Green’s 11 and held the ball for almost 17 minutes longer than the Falcons. Myers, who started for the Bulls in Miami’s 34-20 win at Oxford in 2019, finished 12-of-24 for 239 yards and a touchdown. Running back Dylan McDuffie set career highs with 166 yards, two touchdowns and 34 carries.

The Bulls are scoring an average of 33.7 points per game, second in the MAC. Defensively, they lead the conference with 32 sacks and 206 sack yards.

“Buffalo is a really well-coached team,” Miami third-year sophomore quarterback Brett Gabbert said on Thursday. “They’re never out of it. This is going to be a really tough game.”

“Their offense is about the same, even though they have an entirely new staff,” Martin said. “They are very persistent in running the ball. The old staff was doing the same thing.”

The RedHawks will play their home finale on Nov. 16 against Bowling Green before wrapping up the regular season at Kent State on Nov. 27. Kickoff times for both of those games have yet to be determined.

Miami leads the series with the Bulls, 15-8, including 9-3 at home. Martin was not surprised that Bowling Green went to Buffalo as a 2-6 and 0-4 team and upset the Bulls. He sounded as if he’s more surprised when favored teams actually win the conference.

“That’s what makes it so much fun,” he said. “I’m excited about having Buffalo at home.”

TODAY’S GAME

Buffalo at Miami, 7 p.m., ESPNU, 980, 1450

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