2022 Miami Ohio RedHawks Preview

by Matt Fargo

Miami Ohio RedHawks

2021-22 Season Record 6-6 (5-3 MAC East) - 6-7-0 ATS - 6-7-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 9
Defense - 6

Overview

Miami Ohio is trending in the right direction after a very extended bad run from 2006-2017 when it had 11 losing seasons over those 12 years. The RedHawks have been .500 or better over the last four seasons, albeit a 2-1 COVID shortened 2020 season included, under head coach Chuck Martin who endured four straight losing campaigns after taking over a program coming off a 0-12 season and going nowhere. This is the best run since the Ben Roethlisberger days and it does not seem to be slowing down as they just had their best recruiting class in a very long time and third overall in the MAC. One thing that Miami Ohio has not deterred from is scheduling tough nonconference games under Martin and they have gone 2-10 over the last three seasons, not counting 2020, but that has made them better down the stretch as the RedHawks have gone 18-9 in the MAC and in bowl games. Expect more of the same.

Offense

The overall stats were not great but they were good enough as Miami Ohio finished No. 48 in total offense and No. 63 in scoring offense and the disparity in those rankings can be attributed to a below average third down offense where it converted only 39.2 percent of its opportunities but that will improve. The No. 20 ranked passing offense was directed by quarterback Brett Gabbert, yes of that Gabbert clan, as he threw for 2,648 yards with 26 touchdowns and only six interceptions but he needs to become more accurate as he hit only 59.5 percent of his passes. He loses top target Jack Sorenson and his 1,406 yards but there is plenty leftover and will have no problem finding open receivers. The offensive line is one of the best in the MAC and brings back four starters that allowed 21 sacks, tied for No. 21 in the country. They will look to improve a running game that averaged 143.9 ypg and while young, everyone is back.

Defense

Like the offense, the defense was not great but capable enough to keep games close as the RedHawks were No. 62 overall No. 45 in points allowed and that disparity is a flip of that of the offense as they were excellent on third down defense. It could be a work in progress this season as Miami Ohio has only six starters back and the returning production is ranked just No. 120 in the country. The rushing defense has improved immensely over the last few years but a revamped defensive line will have its growing pains getting thrown right into the fire but there is still talent and experience to form a solid group that will improve. The linebackers are in good shape with Matthew Salopek who was second on the team with 112 tackles and they are getting help in the transfer portal to make up for lost production. Only one starter is back in the secondary but it is a good one in corner John Saunders, Jr. and transfers will be scattered in here as well.

2022 Season Outlook

There is enough on offense to put up big numbers again and they will likely have to do that with a defense that is suspect in some areas. Since 2016, Miami Ohio has endured 15 losses by a touchdown or less and even if half of those go the other way, the 34-33 record over that stretch would be significantly better. Still, the RedHawks are competing again which had not happened in a long time and they should be there once again. Three of the first four games are away from home against Kentucky, Cincinnati and Northwestern along with a home game against Robert Morris and a win over Northwestern is feasible. The MAC schedule is far from daunting and Miami Ohio is the favorite in the weaker East Division and it misses Central Michigan and Toledo from the West. The O/U win total is 6.5 and with only five home games, it will take some work on the road, namely at Buffalo and Bowling Green to get over this number.  

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