Miami coach Chuck Martin pointed out on Monday the RedHawks’ defense was mostly effective against the Army offense. The Black Knights averaged 3.25 yards per carry on 60 of their 63 running plays. They gained a total of 189 yards – almost half of their total – on three plays, including touchdown runs of 72 and 75 yards by quarterback Christian Anderson.
“It was a hard-fought game,” the eighth-year coach said. “It was really physical for four quarters. Our inside kids on defense fought and scratched and clawed, and our kids on the perimeter flew around. Give credit to their quarterback. He’s a really good player. We got a lot of stops. They had punted the ball twice all year. We made them kick it six times.
“Offensively, we were out-physicalled, inside and outside. We didn’t get enough done offensively.”
The RedHawks gained just 28 yards rushing against Army. Martin hopes fourth-year sophomore running back Tyre Shelton, who missed the three-game 2020 season with an injury after gaining 587 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2019, and sixth-year tight end Andrew Homer will be back in the lineup, along with third-year freshman defensive tackle Anthony Collier, who started the first two games of the season and played in the third before missing Saturday’s game at Army.
“It’s a good opportunity for other guys to step in,” Weatherford pointed out. “That’s how I started playing. The guy ahead of me got hurt.”
One example is third-year sophomore middle linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. The 6-foot, 242-pound Pace started the season-opener at Cincinnati at outside linebacker before being shifted to middle linebacker when Ryan McWood was lost for the season. Pace leads Miami with 34 overall tackles and is tied for second with 14 unassisted stops. He piled up a career-high 12 tackles at Army.
Miami returns to MAC play after going 2-1 in a 2020 season shortened by pandemic protocols.
The Chippewas are 2-2, including losses by scores of 34-24 at Missouri and 49-21 at Louisiana State. They managed to squeeze in six games last season, all in the MAC, and finished 3-3.