OXFORD — If the Miami University football team is to clinch its first winning season in five years, or win the Mid-American Conference East Division title, or earn a bowl berth, it’ll have to do it without quarterback Zac Dysert.
RedHawks coach Michael Haywood, whose team can wrap up the first of those objectives with a victory tonight at Akron, has announced that Dysert will miss the next four to six weeks with a lacerated spleen.
Dysert suffered the injury last Wednesday in Miami’s 24-21 victory at Bowling Green State University when he stretched his body, and the ball, toward the goal line while scoring on a touchdown run late in the first half.
He missed one series during the second half, but played the rest of the game with what was thought to be only a minor injury.
The extent of the injury was not discovered until later. Dysert was examined and treated at a hospital, Haywood said, and he returned home to Ada for a few days.
The Miami coach added that Dysert’s spleen is repairing itself and that he would make the trip to Akron, but only to watch the game.
“Austin Boucher will be our starting quarterback,” said Haywood, who added that senior Mike Scherpenberg and true freshman Rob Partridge also will be available.
Boucher replaced Dysert for the one series at Bowling Green when Miami trainers took Dysert to the locker room to treat his sore ribs.
Boucher, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound redshirt freshman from Kettering Alter High School, picked Miami over Ohio State after being named as Ohio’s 2008 Division IV Player of the Year.
He has played in three games this year and completed 11 of 14 passes for 130 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.
Dysert ranks third in the MAC in passing yardage and total offense.
He has completed 222 of 343 passes (64.7 percent) for 2,406 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
His completion percentage of 64.7 percent stands second only to Ben Roethlisberger’s 69.1 in 2003 on Miami’s single-season list.
Boucher will face a winless Akron team that ranks 12th in the MAC in total defense and 13th (last) in pass defense.
Haywood noted, however, that the Zips will have had 10 days between games, and the RedHawks should be prepared for a battle.
“They’ll be ready,” he cautioned. “Rob Ianello is a good football coach, and he’ll do a good job getting them prepared.”
Akron has lost two games in overtime this season, including a 37-30 defeat in double overtime at Ball State in its most recent game Nov. 6.
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