'Good teams win all styles of games' - Martin
By MIKE SMITH
For Chuck Martin, the ending makes the story.
He can -- and has -- experienced many different plots/conflicts over the years. As long as his team comes out of a game relatively healthy and with a win, he can enjoy the result.
Such was the case with Saturday's RedHawks 23-3 victory over Kent State. It lacked the offensive/scoring muscle MU showed against Delaware State the week before and was definitely off MU's dramatic overtime upset of rival Cincinnati two weeks ago.
In fact, neither Kent State (206 yards) nor Miami (292 yards) reached 300 yards of offense. The Flashes only score of the game was a field goal to cap their opening drive. Once the RedHawks . . .
. . . established a 23-3 lead late in the fourth quarter, they put the offense in low gear.
Gabbert threw one fourth quarter pass and Miami gained 21 yards on 15 plays during the period. the final three snaps were kneel downs.
"Their defense, I thought, played pretty well. I thought our defense played exceptional," Martin said Monday. "We'll take a 20-point victory on the road . . . (It was) very workmanlike, very boring, but we'll take it every time. (We were) basically milking the clock the whole fourth quarter. That's fine with us."
With the RedHawks facing a dangerous Bowling Green offense this week, the MU defense will again be challenged. However, Miami's offense may well need to switch into another gear.
"We talked all year about how good teams can win all styles of games," Martin said.
-- As for injuries, Martin said the RedHawks left Kent in "pretty good" shape. However, as of Monday, he wasn't sure about the upcoming status of standout receiver Gage Larvadain, who was injured in the first quarter against Delaware State. "He couldn't quite get ready (to play against Kent State). He was close," Martin said.
"It was nice to see other receivers step up. Cade McDonald had a nice game. It was the first time he really got significant action (and he) showed some of the things he can do ... Obviously, Joe Wilkins made some plays, and other receivers stepped up."
Wilkins caught three balls totaling 110 yards. McDonald recorded four catches totaling 62 yards, including a 32-yars touchdown late in the first quarter.
-- In addition to his contributions as a receiver, McDonald filled in for Larvadain on punt returns. With KSU averaging 34.1 yards per boot on eight punts. "I thought Cade stepped in nice for Gage on punt returns and did a really nice job," Martin said, noting secure catches were the most important element. Also, while there wasn't really much room for returns, McDonald caught it in the air. "You don't (appreciate) it until it hits the ground and the ball rolls 30 yards."
-- Miami totaled 292 yards of offense, with quarterback Brett Gabbert completing 11 of 23 passes, good for 216 yards with one score.
-- Speaking of good endings (see start of this story!!!), the Bowling Green Falcons scripted quite a story for themselves last week as they emphatically upset Georgia Tech 38-27 Saturday in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets quickly went up 14-0 in less than six minutes. However, BGSU then proceded to score 38 straight points by 2:28 of the third quarter. The Falcons forced three turnovers and ultimately dominated time of possession (42:25 - 17:15). "Bowling Green absolutely -- offense, defense, special teams -- dominated the rest of the game." Martin said. "You have to have a great week to make those things happen, but they made it look pretty easy."
-- Bowling Green, which faces Miami (:30 p.m. ET) Saturday at Yager Stadium, owns just two wins in five outings. But Martin is expecting quite a battle. He noted a season-opening 34-24 loss to Liberty (now 4-0) turned on a few plays. In a 31-6 loss at No. 2 Michigan, BGSU held the Wolverines' offense to 312 yards and forced four turnovers. "You hold any Big Ten team to 304 yards and its an insane effort," Martin said.
-- Bowling Green has thrown nine interceptions and picked up six opponent aerials. He has also recovered four opponent fumbles.
-- The Falcons lone MAC outing to date was a 38-7 home loss to Ohio two weeks ago. The Bobcats defense dominated play, holding BGSU to 211 yards and forcing four turnovers.
-- Ohio's defense leads the MAC , surrendering just 10.8 ppg. Miami is third (22.6 ppg).
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.