Miami off to 3-1 start for first time in 20 years

Gabbert climbes in the record book during victory against Delaware State

While Miami’s 62-20 win over Football Championship Subdivision opponent Delaware State went pretty much as expected on Saturday at Yager Stadium in Oxford, the win could prove costly.

Electrifying wide receiver Gage Lavardain left the game with an apparent shoulder surgery during the first series. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Lavardain, a transfer from Southeast Louisiana and Miami’s leading receiver, trotted off the field holding his right arm at an awkward angle. He left the sideline before returning with ice on his right shoulder and no pads or a jersey

The RedHawks are scheduled to open their MAC schedule at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Kent State.

Seven different players combined to score eight touchdowns for Miami, which improved to 3-1 for the first time since the 2003 season.

In the first half, Gabbert threw touchdown passes to redshirt-freshman wide receiver Javon Tracy and sophomore wide receiver Reggie Virgil, and redshirt-sophomore Rashad Amos and junior Kenny Tracy each ran for scores. Junior Graham Nicholson connected on field goals of 44 and 20 yards to give Miami a 34-13 halftime lead.

Along the way, Gabbert passed Vandalia Butler product Josh Betts for third place in program history in career passing yards and tied Betts in career touchdown passes with 54. Current Miami quarterbacks coach Gus Ragland ranks third in program history with 56 career touchdown passes.

Miami kicked off and needed only 2 minutes and 50 seconds to take a 7-0 lead. Larvadain went 44 yards on a reverse to set the RedHawks up with first-and-goal at the Hornets’ five-yard line. Amos went the final five yards for his first touchdown of the season.

Amos, the RedHawks’ top rusher, later tried to limp off the field after a 25-yard gain late in the first quarter before collapsing on the field. He did return to the game.

The drive led to Gabbert’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Javon Tracy and a 17-7 Miami lead with 1:07 left in the first quarter. Amos later was seen flexing and stretching his left leg on the sideline.

The visiting Hornets tied the game at 7-7 with 7:48 left in the first quarter on a third-and-13 50-yard screen pass from Marqui Adams to Wade Inge.

Virgil helped make it 24-7 with his first career touchdown catch, a 34-yard reception in the end zone from Gabbert with 11:27 left in the first half.

Kenny Tracy helped make it 31-7 with a six-yard scoring run with 7:21 left before halftime.

Miami needed just two plays and 40 seconds in the third quarter to go 65 yards and up the lead to 41-13 on junior running back Keyon Mozee’s 23-yard touchdown run, his first of the season. He added a six-yard run before redshirt-sophomore Jordan Brunson scored from four yards out for his first career touchdown.

Brunson logged his first career touchdown and first career triple-figure rushing game, finishing with 109 yards on nine carries.

Nate Milanowski, a redshirt sophomore, added a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown for his first career score as Miami finished with the most points since a 62-26 win at Kent State in 1997, according to Miami football records.

Redshirt-sophomore Aveon Smith took over for Gabbert after the first series of the second half. Gabbert finished 15-of-20 for 180 yards and two touchhdowns.

Mozee added a six-yard touchdown run with 9:58 left in the third quarter, giving the RedHawks scores on nine consecutive possessions going back to last Saturday’s 31-24 “Victory Bell” win at Cincinnati


Miami at Kent State, 2:30 p.m., ESPN+, 980, 1450

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