NOTEBOOK - Postgame ... Miami vs Akron
-- Mike Smith --
-- Miami Head Coach Chuck Martin was satisfied with the 19-0 win over Akron Wednesday, but disappointed in the offense.
The win took MU to 8-2, setting up a big matchup next week against Buffalo. Martin noted the Bulls beat Miami in the final minutes last year. "We got out of Dodge and we're 8-2 . . . Now we're one win away from getting to Detroit" for the MAC Championship game.
-- MU's defense managed just 236 yards of total offense.
"Offensively, we weren't very good," Martin said. "We didn't have a good enough plan on offense . . . We called a lot of plays and none of them worked. . . . When that happens, you say, 'Hey, it starts with the plan, and the plan wasn't very good.'"
-- As usual in post-Gabbert times, most of . . .
. . . the RedHawks offense came on the ground. Miami totaled 186 yards rushing, with Rashad Amos providing 118 yards and two TDs while averaging 7.9 ypc.
-- Miami's passing game generated just 50 yards as Aveon Smith completed 8 of 17 attempts, with an average gain of 2.9 yards. "We didn't get anything out of the passing game," Martin said, adding "We didn't protect good enough."
-- The two teams combined to convert 6 of 28 (21.4%) third down opportunities. Miami was 4 of 14 on third and 0 for 1 on fourth down. After the game, Martin declared his decison to go for it as "the dumbest decision I made all night," adding that he talked himself out of the right move. "I should have punted. . . I usually listen to myself."
-- In addition to losing the ball on downs four times, Akron punted another six times, averaging 42.2 yards per kick. Miami's Alec Bevelhimer averaged 48.6 yards on five boots with three inside the 20 and one touchback.
-- Martin credited MU's defense with a "dominating" defense. "They just controlled the game."
Not only did the defense hold the UA run game to 36 yards (1.6 ypc), it harassed Zips quarterbacks all evening. "We were all over the quarterback," Martin said.
-- Undercuffler was injured on a hit with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter. He was hit while passing and the ball went sideways, where it was picked up by a Miami player who ran it into the end zone. Originally ruled a fumble and Miami touchdown, the call was overturned. Akron punted away and Miami came back to kick a field goal.
-- Tajh Bullock replaced Undercuffler, who returned to play the entire second half. Ask about adjusting to quarterbacks with different styles (Bullock is more of a runner), Martin said his team staff had prepared for the possibility. "At least we knew the plays that (second) guy had run in the past."
The RedHawks recorded six sacks and seven TFL. Ty Wise, who tied Yahsyn McKee for team lead in tackles (10), notched three sacks. McKee and Salopek recorded interceptions.
-- McKee's fourth quarter interception preserved MU's shutout. The Zips had reached Miami's 5-yard line and Undercuffler threw into the end zone. McKee made the pick with 3:44 remaining. Bevelhimer's punt four plays later moved Akron out of scoring range.
-- Amos' 30-yard, third quarter touchdown run was part of halftime adjustments. "We thought we could get the corner and we did," Martin said. Once Amos did, he sprinted down the sideline for a score. Nicholson's PAT was blocked -- his first PATs or FGs miss this season.
-- Akron had scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to defeat Kent State one week earlier. Martin felt his defense could prevent a Zips repeat. "We got to 16, and I said, 'Hey, if we don't screw it up, they're not getting three touchdowns on our defense."
-- With a 32-yard fourth quarter field goal to close scoring, Nicholson is now 19 of 19 with a long of 52.
-- Gage Larvadain, who has battled an upper body injury this year, left the game in the third quarter with what could be a hamstring issue.
-- With a huge game against Buffalo next up, Martin is looking for offensive improvement "We didn't do anything good tonight. We've been pretty good on offense, and this was oobviously our worst showing of the year. . . We've got to be better across the board."
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.