During the 1830s, war broke loose between Michigan and Ohio. Each state claimed ownership over a precious piece of land on their border. After 15 years of simmering, a 19-year old Michigan governor grew restless and sent militia south to settle the dispute once and for all.
What was this promised land that both states so dearly valued? Toledo. Clearly people back in the 1830s weren’t so bright. Want proof? Not only were they fighting over (eh hem) Toledo, but they never actually fought because each army got lost in the swamps and thus failed to find each other.
Eventually Michigan came to its senses and succeeded the land. In exchange, congress awarded the state possession of the Upper Peninsula. Copper and iron deposits have since been discovered in this region along with the plentiful source of timber. Ohio, on the other hand, remains stuck with… Toledo (just a stone’s throw away from Bowling Green, the STD capital of Midwest America). I’ll let you decide for yourself who won the war.
As for today’s football game, expect plenty of fireworks, and by that I mean exploding rockets. With exception of a 0-38 loss to Ohio State, Toledo has scored at least 20 points in every game and at least 30 points in four of its games. This includes a 54-38 bombing of Colorado, a game Miami gave up in exchange for its Tumble at the River.
For Miami to stay competitive today, the RedHawks will need Zac Dysert to run a highly efficient and productive offense. This actually seems reasonable, and even though its Halloween I don’t mean that as a joke. While the Rockets score plenty of points, they give up plenty of points as well. Dysert did not throw a pick on Homecoming, a sign that he is making strides in the turnover department. As long as the players carrying the ball for Miami can at least dress up and pretend to be real running backs I think the RedHawk offense can hang with Toledo.
DK Kountry Key Matchups:
- Toledo vs Halloween ticks: On paper, the Rockets should easily blast off to their fifth win of the season, but today is October 31st and crazy things are known to happen on Halloween. Oxford is known for its stray cat population, and who knows, maybe a black one will make its way down to Yager for the game. I think this contest will have its fair share of quirks which could end up deciding the victor.
- Toledo vs Haywood tricks: Haywood has shown thus far that he is not afraid to call a trick play or two… or three or four. Watch out for the fake punt, onside kick and some crazy combination of reverses today, especially if the RedHawks get down. This should make for some great eye candy.
- RedHawk ring and run vs Rocket powered D: Miami finished with -11 net rushing yards last week. That is a fantastic way to lose games. Dysert has the talent to keep this thing close through the passing attack, but he just hafta has help from his ball carriers.
Prediction: I foresee lots of tricks and lots of treats. The first team to 30 wins. Miami shows improvement each week but they also seem to find new creative ways to lose each week as well. At first they couldn’t play past the first quarter. Then they couldn’t stop turning the ball over. Now they can’t even finish a game with positive rushing yards. This season has been flat out spooky. Somehow, on Halloween of all days, I don’t expect that to change. Rest assured, the RedHawks will find a frightening way to not win. RedHawks 21, Holy Toledo 34.
There are roughly 120 people on the student section side of Yager right now. I counted. That’s how few people there are. I looked across the stadium and in no way felt overwhelmed by the idea of counting fans. Awesome.
Miami gets the ball first. Dysert misses two open receivers down field but two dump off passes to Merriweather each go for first downs. Can Miami just not attempt a run play ever again and use screen passes as its ground game instead? Can’t be worse than the actual run game, right?
Miami’s first drive ended with out a single rushing attempt (by a running back) in nine plays. I think Haywood and I are on the same page. This is great news. Inside Toledo territory I really expected a fake punt but some guy named Broadway was making his first career punt attempt so I guess you gotta give him he dignity of actually kicking it. On the return, two Rockets each tried to catch the ball and ran into each other. Miami did not recover the fumble.
HOLY TOLEDO! A penalty pushes Toledo back to its own nine yard line. Two play later… PICK 6!!! TOUCHDOWN MIAMI!!! Extra point is goooooood! Miami 7, Rockets 0.
Toledo’s drive began with a big run helped by poor (as in, lack of) Miami tackling. After that the D locked down to force a punt. Miami’s drive starts on its own 12.
On its 11th play from scrimmage, Miami finally runs a running play. Five yard pick up aint bad, especially coming off a big pick up from a pass interference penalty.
Dysert fumbles to give Toledo the ball inside the 40. Regardless of the fumble I must say Dysert has not looked as sharp as usual today. Very inconsistent in terms of accuracy. This could be a huge problem if Toledo starts scoring with any regularity (which it definitely can).
One of the Toledo coaches keeps holding up a HUGE sign. The back side (the side facing me) is all white and I really want to know what it says on the other side. In other news, Toledo just picked up a fourth and one inside the 15. They got there on a big pick up from a sweep play to the right. This was the second of two big gains for them today, both pretty much on the same play.
Looks like Haywood isn’t the only coach in Yager willing to be risky. Toledo just went for it on fourth and one from the four yard line to pick up their second fourth down conversion of the drive. Two plays later they pick up the TD. RedHawks 7, Toledo 7.
The first quarter end all tied up. Miami has the ball second and two from the Toledo 46. Dysert just ran a really nice fake hand off quarterback sneak play. He still is off on his deep throws but is hitting the short slants pretty well.
Miami isn’t running the ball much, but when they do it seems to actually work. Not only does the rush attack look quzi competent but it seems to be functioning in a very healthy manner. And whatdayaknow, the pass game opens up for a few nice gains down field. Its almost like that’s how its supposed to work.
TOUCHDOWN MIAMI!!! In a very Roethlisberger-esq move, Dysert steps up in the pocket to avoid what looked to be a sure sack and then nailed a receiver in the back of the endzone for the score. Side note, this is the first time all season Miami has led in the second quarter. Now THAT’s scary. RedHawks 14, Rockets 7.
So while Miami seems to have at least temporarily solved its problem of rushing the ball, the inability to stop the other team’s rushing attack is still quite prevalent. Toledo just ripped off a looooong run play all the way down to the Miami 20.
Miami D holds with the help of a punishing sack by Jerrell Wedge, who just flew into the backfield on third down and drilled the Toledo QB. Ouch.
Dysert is really clicking this drive with the short slant routes. Miami ball on the Toledo 27… first down!
Make that the Toledo 3… now five completions in a row.
TOUCHDOWN MIAMI!!! Dysert hit Robinson on yet another slant for what woulda been his 6th consecutive completion in a row this drive (and 8th counting passes before the drive) but Robinson got hit and dropped the pass. Dysert ran it in himself on the next play. What really caught my eye was the way Dysesert danced into the endzone and then did a double fist pump while looking up to the sky. So nice to see some emotion and enthusiasm from this RedHawk team. Miami 21, Toledo 7.
So I completely over estimated the power of the rocket offense. That or Miami is playing ridiculous defense. Maybe both. Either way Toledo only has seven points with just over five minutes left in the first half. And Miami has the ball inside their territory… again.
Dysert’s pass got tipped straight up in the air. A rocket lineman went up for the pick only to have Zac come over, leap up and swat it away. RE-JECTED!
An absolute bomb of a pass took Toledo from their own 15 to Miami’s 40. If the receiver is hit in stride its an easy TD but instead he had to make a really nice diving catch. The rocket offense only went backwards from there tho and now Miami has the ball on its own 3 after a great punt.
A long run by Merriweather, a questionable call by the refs and another big pass by Dysert has Miami inside the Toldeo 35. 50 seconds left in the half. Could the RedHawks really take a three score lead into halftime?
WOW! Trevor Cook just blasted a 55 yard field goal. Un freaking believable. This crap could only happen on Halloween. The kick set Miami’s all time record for longest field goal by a Miami kicker. RedHawks 24, Toledo 7.
Forget about the score. Miami looks like a real football team. Now that is both a trick and a treat! Obviously there is still a whole half of football to play but the Hawks really do look like they have it all figured out on offense and mostly figured out on defense. Toledo has been able to get off a concerning amount of deep passes and long runs. So far the MU D has always limited it to just that and shut down the drive right away. Even so, the big play ability scares me and could prove instrumental in a comeback effort. On offense, Miami has somehow managed to establish a legitimate (and at times, even dangerous) ground attack and it is doing wonders for Dysert. Since the first quarter he’s look much better down field but the quick hits are whats really working. The Rockets better find away to get pressure on ZD and stop the run or it won’t matter how many points they score in the second half.
Some first half stats for ya. Dysert went 21-37 and threw for 215 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Merriweather ran for 29 yards on only four carries. Dysert ran for 28 yards on five carries.
touchdown toledo. Wow, that didn’t take long. The drive was largely aided by a questionable late hit out of bounds call, but the fact still remains that the Rocket powered offense just shredded the Miami D. This is what I expected from the beginning but not even close to what we saw in the first half. Let’s hope it was just a one-time trick. RedHawks 24, Toledo 14.
Oh wow. Dysert looked to have miss cued once again on a deep ball down field but a ridiculous one-handed diving catch completed the pass. We’re talking sportscenter top 10 worthy here. Side note, Merriweather still looks strong running the ball.
So Miami’s drive (i.e. one big play) stalled and Cooked barely missed his field goal attempt. Toledo is now busy ripping off more big runs. No, I’m not nervous, are you?
Add big pass plays to the list of things Toledo is busy ripping off. I knew Miami couldn’t keep letting the Rockets do this. Eventually they will start finishing drives. They are now inside the 10.
Well, the MU D held em to 3. RedHawks 24, Rockets 17.
TOUCHDOWN MIAMI!!! With no one to throw to, Dysert opted for a 25 yard TD run. Looks like they made it to 30 first so lets hope that ensures the win like I said it would. RedHawks 31, Rockets 17.
And the shootout is on! Toledo is driving down field with concerning ease once again. I don’t think either defense plans on playing this half, at least not until their opponents get into the red zone.
A potential Toledo TD run is under review, while we wait, I will amuse myself by watching Swoop and Rocket chase each other behind the Toledo bench… so great!
After review, mascots chasing each other are awesome… oh and the TD stands. Maybe its actually first to 40 wins. I don’t see this stopping anytime soon. RedHawks 31, Rockets 24.
Uh oh. Those of you who read this blog regularly know I have a knack for jinxing Miami. Well, their drive just stalled, right on cue. MU needs a stop.
Toledo is punting. I wish I could say its because Miami played great D but the truth is that the Rockets stopped themselves. A receiver ran the wrong route on second down and another pass was dropped on third down. Both woulda been firsts. Miami gets the ball on their 10.
ZD just does not like to throw the ball away. He holds on to it as long as he possibly can. Often it results in a sac but he pulled off a nice pass for a first down here. Still, its definitely an area he could use some maturing in.
Miami punts but at least showed signs of life this time before doing so. The special teams unit downed the ball on the one yard line, but not before falling down in the process. Oh, Swoop and Rocket are back at the whole chasing thing, and this time they even pretended to fight. Swoop tackled Rocket, sat on him and the began ‘punching’ him in the face over and over. This needs to happen more often. A lot more often!
Toledo was 0-8 on third down coming into this drive but now has converted their last two. Very frustrating considering the drive started on the one. If Toledo doesn’t score on this drive time will become a very important factor in the rest of the game. Only 4:45 left right now.
Toledo now 3-11 on third down and at the Miami 33. This is getting scary.
1st and 10 from the 13 with 1:22 left… I can’t watch I’m so spooked. I’m definitely sleeping with the lights on tonight.
touchdown toledo. under review. this sucks.
AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Toledo ball carrier fumbled the ball into the endzone right before he crossed. By rule, this is a touch back and MIAMI BALL!!! How’s that for a trick and a treat! Toldya crazy things happen on Halloween!
Its official. MIAMI UNIVERSITY WON A FOOTBALL GAME!