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Published: Wednesday, 10/15/2008

BG ripped by so-so Miami in '07; Hawks again so-so

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Miami entered last year's matchup with Bowling Green State University looking like a complete wreck offensively. The RedHawks were scoring fewer points than anyone in the Mid-American Conference and were down to their backup quarterback and third-string running back.

Of course none of that made a difference as Miami steamrolled BG 47-14 at Yager Stadium.

It's a new season with similar circumstances as the teams prepare for Saturday's noon meeting at Perry Stadium. Miami again boasts the MAC's worst offense and has scored just 23 points over its last two games. Only once have the RedHawks (1-5, 0-2) exceeded 20 points - and that came against Division I-AA Charleston Southern.

"They've struggled lately to score points, but that was the way they were last year and you saw what happened," BG coach Gregg Brandon said.

Miami coach Shane Montgomery is mystified at what's causing the ineptness. Two weeks ago following a 28-10 loss to Temple, Montgomery cited turnovers as a reason. That theory lost credence when Miami did not turn the ball over Saturday in a 17-13 loss at Northern Illinois.

"It's been six weeks of trying to put our finger on it," Montgomery said. "The thing that continues is we're just not making big plays."

Miami is at the bottom of the league in rushing at 89.5 yards per contest and is a lengthy 13.6 yards from the next closest team. The RedHawks have had a little more success in the air, ranking eighth at 225 yards per game. Daniel Raudabaugh has completed 56.8 of his passes for 1,189 yards.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: On the same day five years ago, three MAC teams upset nationally ranked opponents.

It was Sept. 20, 2003, and Toledo topped No. 9 Pittsburgh, Northern Illinois upset No. 21 Alabama and Marshall downed No. 6 Kansas State.

Michigan was not in the Top 25 when Toledo knocked off the Wolverines 13-10 Saturday in Ann Arbor. Ranked or not, it's still Michigan, and it's still the winningest program in college football history. For that reason, the Rockets' victory ranks among the most memorable upsets in the MAC.

"That day [five years ago] was probably the bench mark in MAC history, but certainly what Toledo did Saturday is at that same level," said assistant MAC Commissioner Gary Richter, who is in his 11th year working for the league.

SHOWDOWN: Western Michigan and Central Michigan, both unbeaten in the MAC, will meet Saturday with the winner retaining a share of the lead in the West. CMU, the home team, has won the last two MAC titles and is expected to play with reigning MAC player of the year Dan LeFevour who suffered a lower body injury in the Chippewas' 24-14 win over Temple on Saturday. WMU is vastly improved from a disappointing 2007 season when it lost several close games. Saturday's winner will be tied atop the division with Ball State, which is unbeaten overall and ranked No. 24 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Cardinals are idle this week.

"This from top to bottom is the best I've seen this league and the West by far," WMU coach Bill Cubit said.

KICK IN THE PANTS: Kent State coach Doug Martin did not pull any punches when discussing Flashes kicker Nate Reed earlier this week. Reed has made just three of six field goal attempts and missed twice, including once in overtime, in a loss to Akron two weeks ago. Reed also missed an extra point in Kent's loss to Ohio on Saturday. Martin is puzzled by all of this as Reed was thought to be a sure thing after tying the school record last year for most field goals made in a season and breaking the record for longest field goal at 52 yards.

"That was certainly something you don't see coming," Martin said.

Kent State is 1-6, 0-3.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com.



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