2021 Bearcats Opponent Preview: Miami University

I wrap up an exciting preseason and break down the Miami Redhawks. Breaking news, the Victory Bell isn’t going back to Oxford this year…

Preseason Wrap-Up

I broke down all of our position groups right here on Republic of Cincinnati and also on the Cincy Slangin’ Podcast (You can find them on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, etc), if you want to get more familiar with this year’s team. As of today, no major injuries in camp and the team looks to be healthy going into the season!

“Sauce” Gardner and Myjai Sanders have found themselves on the Preseason All American team. Sauce is a first team All American and Myjai is second team. These are lists that we rarely find ourselves on, so this is huge!

The Athletic Department produced a 6 Episode documentary about the team called Let It Fly that’s available on YouTube. It’s similar to Hard Knocks, with each episode being about 15 minutes. It’s a cool little behind the scenes view of the program.

Conference realignment looks to be picking back up with Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC. UC is in a good spot right now as the Big 12 needs to add at least two members before 2025. Rumors are swirling about an imminent Big 12 invite, along with UCF, BYU, and Houston, but I still believe the ACC is in our future, but here’s what you can do to help the program put itself in the best position going forward:

1. Subscribe to ESPN+ and watch Bearcats games, anything you can find.
2. Purchase tickets to games.
3. Donate to UCats.

The October 8th game against Temple is Officially Sold Out!

Let’s Make it 15 in a Row!

via GIPHY

A Miami University student has never been able to Tweet a victory in the Battle of the Victory Bell. It’s been 16 years since the Redhawks got to ring the Victory Bell in 2005 and things aren’t looking good for the Redhawks this year. Cincinnati is on a 14 game win streak and looks to even the all team series with Miami, which currently holds a 59-58-7 advantage in the series. After a win this year at Nippert and a victory next season at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bearcats will hold the advantage over their rival and they can cancel the series (kidding, kind of).

The Bearcats and Redhawks had a year off of their series last season, as the MAC postponed their season into November and the Redhawks finished 2-1 only playing 3 games. In 2019 the Bearcats hosted the Redhawks at Nippert and gave them a 35-13 thumping on their way to a MAC Championship, but not before getting absolutely wrecked in the Horseshoe up North, 76-5.

Mike Warren is lifted into the air by one of his offensive linemen.

Miami actually took a 10-0 lead in 2019 as RB Tyre Shelton punched one in from the 1 yard line and kicker Sam Sloman knocked a FG through, as the Bearcats struggled early. Michael “The Truck” Warren punched in two TDs in the first half to answer and the Bearcats never lost the lead. The Bearcats rushed for 234 yards that day, with 113 and 3 TDs by Michael Warren. Sophomore Desmond Ridder threw for 186 yards, 2 TDs (Deguara/Geddis) and 1 int. It was a slow start for the Bearcats, but they took control in the second half ultimately finishing with a 35-13 victory.

This year, I don’t expect things to be so close. Miami returns QB Brett Gabbert, brother of current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Blaine Gabbert and former First Round Draft Pick, under center. Gabbert started the game against Cincinnati in 2019 and finished 10/18 for 143 yards and no TDs against the Bearcats as a true Freshman. Gabbert returns his #1 target in Jack Sorenson who totaled 10 yards on 2 catches in 2019 against the Blackcats Defense. The Redhawks Offensive Line is going to be a major concern for the Redhawks as they have a total of 31 starts amongst the 5 of them and all signs point to a true freshman Sam Vaughan starting at Left Tackle and having the task of trying to prevent Myjai Sanders and sweet-voiced Jowon Briggs from getting to Gabbert. The Rushing attack for Miami also leaves some to be desired against a potent front six for the Bearcats.

In 2019, the Redhawks finished 80th against the run, allowing 172.9 yards per game and 40th against the pass, allowing 209 yards per game, but in 2020, things flipped with the Redhawks allowing 125 yards per game on the ground, good for 21st in the country, but were woefully bad against the pass, allowing 267.7 yards per game in the air, in an extremely small sample size. It doesn’t sound like the Redhawks have done much to improve their pass defense since last season, so it’s going to be a rough go for the Redhawks defense.

The Bearcats have a lot to prove this season, but also need to get their core of young talent playing time. If things go as planned, the Bearcats will be up big at half against the Redhawks and allow freshman Evan Prater to start the second half and get his first significant playing time. The Bearcats have a big day at Nippert and start the 2021 season with a bang.

Bearcats – 49
Redhawks – 7 (on a late TD against the 3rd team defense)

Juncta Juvant!

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