There's no place like Saturday...

January 7, 2011

College Football Report - Miami (Oh) Makes History In Bowl:

Sometimes, history can be found in the strangest of places. It doesn’t always have to come from the Rose Bowl or National Championship game. Sometimes, history can come in the Bowl.

College football history was made in Thursday night’s Bowl featuring Miami (Oh) versus Middle Tennessee, when Miami became the first team in the history of the game to go from a double digit losing season, to a double digit winning season the next year.

The Redhawks, who beat Middle Tennessee 35-21, went through a 1-11 2009 season, turning it around this year to a 10-4 record and MAC Championship.

The road to the turnaround wasn’t an easy one, and it didn’t come without a bit of adversity.

The Redhawks lost starting quarterback Zac Dysert to a spleen injury against Bowling Green, the 10th game of the season. No problem, in steps redshirt-freshman quarterback Austin Boucher, who led the Redhawks to three straight wins before the bowl win.

Boucher passed for 333 yards and a touchdown against Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship, on their way to the school’s first MAC title since Ben Roethlisberger was at the school. Boucher earned Bowl MVP honors against Middle Tennessee, passing for 289 yards and two scores. He also snuck a kiss on race car driver and GoDaddy girl, Danica Patrick (above).

The MAC title didn’t come without a bit of adversity and suspense in its own, though. The Redhawks needed to complete a 4th and 20 with under a minute left to play, to win the game. Down five, Miami needed a touchdown to win. Boucher completed the 4th down pass to Alan Baxter, after the ball was tipped and caught by Baxter. Two plays later Boucher found Armand Robinson wide open for a 33 yard touchdown and go-ahead score with 33 seconds remaining. MAC Champion: Miami (Oh).

When it looked as if things were finally going the Redhawks way, Miami players needed to then overcome a coaching change when head coach Mike Haywood decided to accept a head coaching position with the University of Pittsburgh. Haywood has since been fired by Pitt, following a felony domestic violence charge, and left his Miami position before the Bowl game.

Stepping in as interim head coach against Middle Tennessee was defensive backs coach Lance Guidry. The fiery and young Guidry delivered a powerful pregame speech, using Miami’s history and one-time new helmets to inspire his players before the game.

It worked. It also got me a little fired up:

After all the team went through this season, with the injuries, wining six games by a touchdown or less, the coaching change and all, it’s fitting that the Redhawks earned a bit of history Thursday night. Congratulations, Miami (Oh).

No comments:

All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.