Both teams are 1-2 going into their final non-conference game. Last week the RedHawks lost to Cincinnati, 38-17, at Paycor Stadium while the Wildcats were stunned by Football Championship Subdivision Southern Illinois, 31-24 – their second consecutive home loss. Northwestern has committed seven turnovers in those two losses.
“They have great athletes – not like Ohio State or Penn State – but they play the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Martin said.
Evan Hull isNorthwestern’s go-to guy. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound junior running back has carried the ball 64 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 301 yards and one touchdown. Out of 215 touches by Northwestern’s running backs and receivers, Hull has 91. That’s 42 percent.
“You’ve got to know where Hull is,” Martin said. “You have to be mindful that he’s had more than 40 percent of their touches.
“They really catch the ball well,” he added. “In three games, we’ve seen one drop.”
Martin is building his own legacy at Miami. He has matched Walker’s record for number of seasons as the RedHawks coach and can expect to pass Walker and reach an even 100 games coached when the RedHawks play at Akron on Oct. 29. Walker also is tied with Bo Schembechler (1963-1968) for sixth on the career wins list with 40, one shy of tying Chester Pittser (1924-1931) for fifth and three short of matching Pont (1956-1962).
Martin, who will be looking for his first win over a Big Ten team in his eighth try, appreciates the connections between the two schools and programs. Miami’s last win over a Big Ten team was 44-14 at Northwestern on Sept. 13, 2003 – Ben Roethlisberger’s last season in Oxford. The RedHawks finished that season 13-1 and ranked 10th in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.
“We’re very like-minded universities and football programs,” Martin said. “We’re facing a Big Ten opponent on the road in a great venue.”
Miami at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m., BTN, 980, 1450