The Miami RedHawks have a tradition of occasionally pulling off upsets against superior opponents.
1986, the then-Miami Redskins upset eighth-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge, 21-12, en route to an eventual MAC Championship.
1995, Miami traveled to Evanston, Illinois, and upset eventual Big Ten champion Northwestern in week two, 30-28.
In 1997, Miami traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia, and upset twelfth-ranked Virginia Tech, 24-17.
And in 1998, Miami pulled off the upset over twelfth-ranked North Carolina in the season opener, 13-10.
Now are you all scared?
You should not be. Far from it.
While Miami University has a history of upsets, it has been over twenty years since the RedHawks have been able to pull one off. And as for how Miami has performed against Ohio State? The closest Miami has ever come close to defeating Ohio State was back on October 7, 1911, when Ohio State defeated Miami, 3-0, in Columbus.
There is a reason why the oddsmakers have this heavily favoring Ohio State (Ohio State -38.5), and there is also a reason why Las Vegas continues to put up new, shinier buildings and casinos on a frequent basis. Miami University head coach Chuck Martin may have made headlines with his suggestion that Ohio State’s players are superior to his team, but I personally find the direct candor refreshing.
Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin on facing Ohio State: "It's kind of like going to recess and they have the first 85 picks."
— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) September 16, 2019
Below are three areas I will be keeping an eye on from B Deck of Ohio Stadium when the game kicks off at 3:30pm.
1. Miami’s Brett Gabbert vs. The Ohio State Pass Rush – Last week against Indiana, Chase Young was especially dominant, leading the defensive line with 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. Brett Gabbert is a true freshman quarterback who had some decent moments in the season opener at Iowa (Iowa defeated Miami, 38-14); Iowa only led Miami 10-7 at the half. Gabbert will need to get rid of the ball quickly against an emerging dominant Ohio State defense, and it will be interesting to see how the true freshman responds in what should be his most difficult challenge yet in his college career.
2. Miami’s Dominique Robinson vs. The Ohio State Secondary – Robinson is listed at 6’4″, 235 pounds, and is a junior wide receiver from Canton, Ohio. Robinson was a high school quarterback for Canton McKinley, who was moved to wide receiver by Miami. Averaging over 23 yards a reception, it will bear watching to see how Ohio State elects to cover Robinson.
3. Miami’s Run Defense vs. Ohio State’s Rush Offense – Last week versus Indiana, Ohio State was able to run for 306 yards against the Hoosiers. Miami’s run defense is only giving up around 173 yards per game on the ground. Considering the likelihood that Ohio State will be able to rest starter J.K. Dobbins after the first half, how Ohio State fares with a probable backup offensive line, with running backs such as Master Teague, Marcus Crowley, and Steele Chambers should make the second half go that much faster with a run-oriented Ohio State offense.