Who: Miami RedHawks (3-2) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Nippert Stadium (35,000), Cincinnati
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Radio: WMOH-AM (1450), WDBZ-AM (1230), WONE-AM (980), WFMG-FM (101.3), WEBN-FM (102.7)
Series: Miami leads 59-50-7
Miami University’s suddenly potent offense may get one of its best weapons back this week.
Wide receiver Nick Harwell, who has been sidelined the last three games with a leg injury, is probable for Saturday’s trip to unbeaten Cincinnati, according to RedHawks coach Don Treadwell.
Will Harwell be back in the starting lineup?
“I don’t know,” Treadwell said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “I think we kind of have to see how he does at the end of the week.”
MU is coming off a 56-49 conquest of Akron, a wild affair that included a school-record 705 yards for the RedHawks (3-2). Dawan Scott had a career day at a receiver spot, catching 11 balls for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Zac Dysert was 34-of-49 for 516 yards and a school-record six touchdowns, also rushing for 108 yards on 14 carries. The senior became the first player in Football Bowl Subdivision history to throw for 500 and rush for 100 in a game.
“It’s awesome, but at the end of the day, the most important thing was getting the win,” Dysert said. “It was a tough game. It took everybody. I was just really proud of our offense in general putting up that many yards and being able to execute the way that we know we should every game.”
Treadwell liked the fact that Dysert connected with seven different receivers.
“He’s just been able to play in that zone,” the Miami coach said. “It’s kind of becoming a way of life for him now as we move forward.
“We’re very, very proud of him. It’s one thing to have a Miami record. That’s unique. But when you start talking about a national record, that’s a whole ’nother level.”
The Zips are just 1-4, but Treadwell said he knew they would put up a fight. Akron collected 629 yards and had rallied to take a 49-48 lead before the RedHawks scored with 1:04 remaining.
“Their offense presented a great, fast-paced challenge for our defense,” Treadwell said. “We were in position to make plays often, but I have to give credit to their offense because they made more plays on that side of the ball. They broke tackles, they made plays, threaded a seam …. things you have to do to be successful.”
The MU defense is allowing 517.2 yards and 34.8 points per game. Treadwell was asked Tuesday if any changes might be coming.
“I don’t know about any changes,” he said. “I think right now we’ll just continue to work to do what we do best. In the big picture, there’s been plenty of times that our defense has quite frankly held us in the game and given (the offense) a chance to get on track. If we all played great every game, that would be awesome. I think we just keep doing what we’re doing and making sure our kids know what they’re doing.”
Defensive tackle Austin Brown has missed three straight games with a back injury and continues to be listed as doubtful by Treadwell. Strong safety Justin Bowers and offensive lineman John Anevski got hurt during the Akron game and are also doubtful for Saturday.
Cincinnati (3-0) is ranked 23rd in this week’s USA Today coaches poll and 26th in the Associated Press poll. Miami’s last win in the series was a 44-16 decision in 2005.
“They have replaced key starters from last year,” said Treadwell, who was a UC assistant coach twice (1994 and 2004-06). “What’s interesting is, they haven’t missed a beat. They’re just as explosive on offense. Their defense flies around to the ball. When you can lose great players and still fill the gaps in the next wave that you have ready to play, that’s a sign of a really good program.”
The Bearcats are allowing 13.7 points per game. That ranks 16th in the FBS.