RedHawks 'rearmed' for run at MAC title
2022 Record: 6-7, 4-4 MAC
2023 MAC Head Coaches Poll: Second in MAC East
By MIKE SMTH
In some respects, the Miami RedHawks had two football seasons last year. The first lasted less than 60 minutes of playing time. The second was everything after that.
Two key RedHawks went down to serious injuries during a Week One game at Kentucky. Tackle Sam Vaughn was lost for the season. Quarterback Brett Gabbert, meanwhile, appeared in just three more games after injuring his non-throwing shoulder.
Gabbert's injury was particulary devastating given the RedHawks had already lost backup A.J. Mayer to transfer during the offseason. That forced Aveon Smith into the starting spot. Not only was he lacking any significant game experience, the freshman was much more of a running weapon than a passing threat. Although he improved in the latter and picked up valuable game management skills, the RedHawks preseason offensive battle plans were radically altered.
Defense shines; offense shows flashes in fall preview
FALL CAMP REPORT - FALL PREVIEW EVENT
By MIKE SMITH
Head Coach Chuck Martin's 2023 RedHawks football squad displayed some of its fall camp progress Saturday at Yager Stadium. The MU defense flexed its muscle and experience through much of the session, leading Martin to observe: "Today, the defense wanted to come and kick our you-know what. We weren't so sure we wanted to kick their you-know-what, and so that's what happened."
He continued, "Sometimes it's just how hard you bite down on your mouthpiece, and today the defense was biting down a lot harder than we were (on offense)."
RedHawk receiving stock on the rise
CAMP REPORT 2
Two years ago, when Brett Gabbert was throwing for over 2,600 yards and 26 touchdowns, his targets included Jack Sorenson, Mac Hippenhammer and Jalen Walker. That trio of wide receivers combined for 155 catches, 2,590 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Sorenson, who had an uncanny knack for finding holes in, under or behind opposing defenses, earned First Team All-MAC honors after registering 76 receptions, 1,406 yards and 10 scores in his final season.
Hippenhammer, a transfer from Penn State, led RedHawk receivers in 2022. Despite often seeing double coverage and operating in a significantly scaled back passing game due to Gabbert's (injury) absences, Hippenhammer caught 54 passes for 769 yards and nine TDs.
With Hippenhammer AND Walker gone, Miami is now . . .
RedHawks' QB depth figures as plus
FALL CAMP REPORT 1
Survival -- and success -- often come down to adaptability.
After adapting for survival early last year, the Miami RedHawks are again adapting as 2023 fall camp opens. This time, they are able to focus on season goals.
On the surface, Miami's fall work this year probably doesn't look a whole lot different than in 2022. That's because, the RedHawks again plan on a robust -- and pass friendly -- offense that should make MU a serious MAC East title contender.
Last year's plans, however, took a devastating hit . . .
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.