Being 2-1 for the first time since 2010.
Facing a 0-3 Football Championship Subdivision team in their home opener.
Believe it or not, one of the Miami RedHawks’ biggest problems going into Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game against a Delaware State team that could be deploying its backup quarterback might be overconfidence.
Senior defensive tackle Austin Ertl gets it.
“You can think what you want about Delaware State,” the 6-foot-2, 285-pound Ertl said. “It’s a really hard thing we’re going to have to get accustomed to this week. All the emotions that come with that win — I mean, it was our Super Bowl. Trying to come down from that a little bit — you’ve got to prepare for everyone the same way.”
Coach Chuck Martin has coached two losses against FCS teams in his 10 seasons in Oxford, so he understands the possible pitfalls.
“It’s going to be hard,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing next week, it’s going to be hard. It’s an emotional game. It’s a physical game. We’re a pretty best-up football team right now. It’s why very few teams go undefeated.
“Everyone tells you how good you are. After a great road win, it’s always hard to come back. Delaware State will be trying to do what we did last week. I’m sure that’s what their plan is. We’ve got to bounce back, physically and emotionally.”
Delaware State, located in the state capital of Dover in President Joe Biden’s home state, plays in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Hornets are 0-3 with losses of 22-11 to Bowie, 57-0 to Army and 38-6 to Richmond. They show looks offensively and defensively that Miami already has seen this season, Martin said.
“The run game and the pass (protections) will be a lot of the same looks,” he said. “It’s nice to have four straight weeks of a kind of carryover.”
The only question mark the RedHawks face is who will be piloting the Hornets. Aaron Angelos opened the season as Delaware State’s starting quarterback, but Marqui Adams played against Richmond after Angelos was injured. Angelos relies more on passing than Adams, Martin said.
“We’ve got to prepare for two different quarterbacks,” he said.
A win would make Miami 3-1 for the first time since 2003, when the Ben Roethlisberger-led RedHawks lost at Iowa before they won at Northwestern and Colorado State and edged the Bearcats in Oxford. Miami finished 13-1 and 14th in the final Associated Press football poll that season. On the other hand, Martin’s Miami record includes home losses to FCS teams Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Illinois.
Saturday’s non-conference game is Miami’s last before opening Mid-American Conference play at 1-2 Kent State on Sept. 30. The RedHawks’ first MAC home game is scheduled for Oct. 7 against 1-2 Bowling Green, which lost last Saturday, 31-6, at second-ranked Michigan.
Halftime ceremonies at Saturday’s game will include recognition of seven former athletes into the program’s Hall of Fame: track and field’s Lauren Collins, men’s basketball’s Rick Goins, hockey’s Ryan Jones, swimming and diving’s Kim Kinzler and coach Pete Limdsay, soccer’s Jess Kodiak and Barb Ramsey, who starred in basketball, softball and volleyball.
Also to be honored is the 1973 football team, the first squad to be inducted into the Hall in its entirety. Under coach Bill Mallory, the 1973 team went 11-0, beating Purdue and South Carolina on the road and Florida in the Tangerine Bowl before finishing 15th in the final AP poll and sparking a three-year run during which Miami went 32-1-1 with three MAC championships.
Official induction ceremonies were scheduled for a dinner on Friday.
Delaware State at Miami, 3:30 p.m., ESPN+, 980, 1450