Miami University’s football team has one of the national receiving leaders. And it’s not Nick Harwell.
Senior Andy Cruse has 20 catches for 108 yards in two games. Through last weekend, he was tied for third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total receptions and tied for fourth in receptions per game.
“Nick is getting double-teamed a lot, and I’m just opening a hole in the defense,” Cruse said. “The offensive line is protecting their butts off, and Zac (Dysert) finds me. I don’t think it’s as much me as it is everybody else.
“It’s exciting to get off to a good start, but I’m trying to accomplish some things as a team. Other stuff can fall into place after that.”
He caught one touchdown pass last weekend against Southern Illinois and was stopped inches short of another TD on a 5-yard reception at the end of the first half.
Cruse said after the game that he thought he scored. After watching the video, his opinion changed. “I think my knee was down,” he said.
Cruse could be Dysert’s primary target again today at Boise State. Harwell has been battling a knee problem all week.
Big blue boys: The average size of Boise State’s four starters on the defensive line is 6-foot-2, 274 pounds.
“They are really big, and I think their front is more physical than Ohio State’s,” Miami offensive coordinator John Klacik said. “They are a physical, move and get underneath you front, whereas Ohio State relied a little bit more on their athletic ability. And Boise plays a lot of guys.”
It’ll be another test for the RedHawks’ offensive line, though Klacik said that group is starting to jell. JoJo Williams will likely return from a leg injury to see some action, but the expected starters are Zach Lewis at left tackle, Marcus Matthews at left guard, Brad Bednar at center, Trevan Brown at right guard and Josh Harvey at right tackle.
“We have across-the-board guys who are willing to come to work every day,” Bednar said. “We’re not going to be complacent by any means.”
A little uncertainty: Boise State’s offense has been known as a high-scoring, throw-it-around unit with a penchant for gadget plays. Yet Broncos coach Chris Petersen said he’s not sure what this ‘O’ will become.
“In a perfect world, we’d like to stay balanced. But we don’t live in a perfect world,” Petersen said. “So we just try to figure out what we can do to move the ball and score points.
“I think we’re still trying to figure out our identity. I’d love to characterize us as a big, physical team with speed. Everybody would. But I don’t think we’re that.”
Of quarterback Joe Southwick’s performance in the season opener against Michigan State, Petersen said, “He was OK. That’s the problem. We need better than OK.”