Eleven RedHawks earn All-MAC recognition
Salopek, Nicholson receive special awards
Their efforts helped Miami win 10 regular season games and a Mid-American Conference East title. Now, eleven RedHawks have been recognized by MAC coaches with All-MAC honors.
Two players also picked up special award recognition.
Salopek, who ranks 11th nationally with 125 tackles, is the first RedHawk to be named MAC Defensive Player of the Year since Quinten Rollins in 2014. He had a career-high 18 tackles in the win over Cincinnati and has recorded double-digit tackles seven different times in 2023. He added 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and an interception for a defense that allowed just 86 points in eight conference games in 2023.
Nicholson, a Lou Groza Award finalist, has been nearly perfect this season, connecting on 23-of-23 field goal attempts and 33-of-34 extra points. He is 8-of-8 on field goals over 40 yards, and has made a field goal in all 12 games this year.
Linebacker Matt Salopek was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Kicker Graham Nicholson was tabbed MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.
Salopek, who ranks 11th nationally with 125 tackles, is the . . .
Kotecki leads MU past Spalding; tough road trip awaits
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- Three days after absorbing a lopsided loss at St. Bonaventure, Miami dished out the punishment as MU cruised past Spalding University 82-43 Tuesday at Millett Hall.
The victory evened Miami's record at 3-3, with a brutal road trip set to begin Saturday at Marshall. That will be followed by matchups against Ohio State, Davidson and Wright State.
Spalding, a Division III member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, came in with an 0-4 mark and counted the game as an exhibition. Dominic Sanders led the Pelicans with 14 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
Game high scoring honors went to Miami's Jackson Kotecki, who came off the RedHawks bench to score a career-high 19 points in 16 minutes. He hit 6 of 7 shots from the floor, including both 3-point tries, and 5 of 6 at the line. Joining the 6-9 freshman in double figures were Mekhi Cooper (15), center Jaquel Morris (11), and Eian Elmer. Cooper and Morris connected on a combined 9 of 11 from the floor.
As a team, the RedHawks . . .
Nichols named Groza Award finalist
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Graham Nicholson is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top placekicker. The junior is the first RedHawk and third placekicker in Mid-American Conference history to be named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award. Jose Pizano (UNLV) and Will Reichard (Alabama) are also up for the award.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native has been nearly perfect this season, connecting on 23-of-23 field goal attempts and 33-of-34 extra points. He is 8-of-8 on field goals over 40 yards, which includes a career-long 52-yarder earlier this year in a win over Bowling Green.
Nicholson has made a field goal in all 12 games this year, including three makes versus Kent State, Ohio and Buffalo. He also . . .
Big first half sends Bonnies past Miami
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Hosting St. Bonaventure closed the first half on an 18-0 run and the Bonnies went on to a 90-60 win over Miami Saturday at the Reilly Center.
St. Bonaventure was already up 28-18 before its big run, giving it a 46-18 halftime advantage. Miami nearly matched the Bonnies (42-44) after intermission but could not get within striking distance.
Darweshi Hunter led the RedHawks (2-3) with 17 points on the day. Ryan Mabrey had 13 points, and Jackson Kotecki added 10 points. Charles Pride led the Bonnies (4-2) with 18 points.
St. Bonaventure connected on 55.4 percent from the field overall and 44.0 percent on threes. It outrebounded MU 44-22.
Miami shot 39.3 percent overall and 25.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Miami returns to the home court against Spalding on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in Oxford.
Blocked kick saves 'W' as RedHawks nip BSU
By MIKE SMITH
MUNCIE, IN -- Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin called it an ugly win, but they still count those things and MU recorded its first 10-win season since 2010 as the RedHawks edged Ball State 17-15 Saturday at Scheumann Stadium. It was the first Miami 10-win regular season since 2003 when Ben Roethlisberger led MU to a MAC title.
The hosting Cardinals out-gained MU by nearly 150 yards (365-216) and owned a 21-12 advantage in first downs.
Most of the damage came on the ground as RB Marquez Cooper (31 carries) and QB Kiael Kelly (20 carries) ran for 137 yards each. The Cardinals totaled 274 yards on the ground and another 91 through the air as Kelly completed 14 of 19 for 91 yards.
He also threw two interceptions, and those helped Miami grab a lead that it held most of the game. However, when MU returned the favor with two Aveon Smith interceptions, Ball State took advantage and was in position to win at the end.
Smith's crucial interceptions . . .
Will underlying issues affect MU vs BSU tilt?
By Mike Smith
It can be difficult to predict how a team will play after it has clinched both bowl eligibility and a spot in the conference champioship game.
The Miami RedHawks are in that position as they close their regular season with a matchup against inter-division rival Ball State. Miami already has nine wins and will meet West champ Toledo Dec. 2 in Detroit for the MAC title.
There was a somewhat similar situation in 2019, but there were also some key differences.
Miami and Ball State also finished that campaign in Muncie, and the new MAC East champion RedHawks led 28-14 at . . .
RedHawks win tourney; even record
Quantity/Quality at free throw line sends MU past EIU
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- Freshman Evan Ipsaro scored 18 points and four RedHawks reached double figures as Miami downed Eastern Illinois Sunday at Millett Hall.
With the victory, MU went 2-0 in the Miami Classic and raised its record to 2-2 on the season. The RedHawks defeated Coppin State 76-48 Friday night. Eastern Illinois, which edged Coppin State 48-46 Saturday, fell to 2-4 on the season.
Joining Ipsaro in double figures Sunday were Darweshi Hunter (16), Byrson Bultman (11) and Mekhi Cooper (11). Bultman, who tallied 21 Friday, was named tournament MVP.
Nakyel Shelton led the Panthers, hitting 8 of 16 from . . .
RedHawks cruise by Coppin State for first win
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- Forward Bryce Bultman knocked down 4 of 6 treys on the way to 21 points, leading Miami over Coppin State 76-48 Friday at Millett Hall. It was the first win for Miami (1-2), while the Eagles remain winless at 0-5 on the year.
Bultman, a 6-5 grad-student transfer from McKendree University, got off to a slow start to the young season, missing all five 3-point tries and totaling seven points . . .
RedHawks defeat Buffalo to clinch MAC East
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, OH -- Very little has come easy, but the Miami RedHawks have officially persevered through a difficult course to become MAC East champs.
Miami (9-2, 6-1 MAC) got it done again Wednesday with a 23-10 victory over Buffalo (3-6, 3-4 MAC). The Bulls never led, but they nearly pulled within five points with 2:49 remaining when Cole Snyder hit Marlyn Johnson on an 80-yard pass play. However, Miami's Michael Dowell dislodged the ball just before Johnson reached the goal line. Although a Bulls player recovered the ball, his foot was out of bounds at the time. Miami took over on a touchback and ran most of the remaining clock off before downing a punt deep in UB territory to effectively end any threat.
"There's Michael Dowell . . . never giving up" Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin said of the senior defensive back. "It's a pretty awesome way to end it."
Buffalo's only touchdown of the game came on a 13-play, 75-yard third quarter drive. Miami appeared to . . .
Bulls are big hurdle in MU stretch run
Ball security among keys for Miami offense
BUFFALO at MIAMI
Wednesday, Nov. 15 -- 7 p.m. ET
Yager Stadium -- Oxford, OH
The RedHawks have already gained bowl eligibility, but a win against Buffalo would lock up the MAC East title and a spot in the MAC Championship game, which would be a rematch of MU vs. Toledo.
It wasn't pretty, but MU took care of business last week when it shut out Akron 19-0. At least offensively, Miami may need another gear to handle a Buffalo team that can be tough on a given day. The Bulls led Ohio at halftime last week and limited Ohio to 236 yards through four quarters. UB’s defense is . . .
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.