Fifth-year senior Daniel Raudabaugh practiced with the second stringers today. Afterwards, head coach Mike Haywood confirmed that redshirt freshman Zac Dysert will start at quarterback for the RedHawks against Kent State University Saturday.
“We believe that we should be more effective on offense,” Haywood said. “The staff felt it was a great opportunity to put Dysert into the starting lineup so that we could do the things that we do best on offense. Zac’s quick passing game and his ability to run the football will help us succeed.”
Dysert has only attempted 11 passes during his collegiate career, five of which went for completions and two of which went for interceptions. The redshirt freshman threw his first touchdown for Miami Saturday against Westen Michigan University and has never started a game for the RedHawks. Comparatively, Raudabaugh has completed 59 of 111 passes this year with five interceptions and two touchdowns.
Haywood noted that the offense will look different against the Golden Flashes since Dysert brings a different skill set to the table than Raudabaugh and thus the team must adjust accordingly. He believes Dysert is more athletic, more of a runner and the passing game will be quicker under his direction. Since Saturday will be the youngster’s first career start, Haywood plans to reduce the amount of reads he gives him.
Overall, Haywood stated that this is an opportunity for the team to move forward and gives Dysert a chance to develop as a quarterback. Haywood noted vast improvement in Dysert’s performance and confidence from his first game action against Boise State University to his second appearance Saturday against WMU. In Boise he threw a pick on his first career pass and finished the night two of four with one yard and two interceptions. In Kalamazoo he went 3 of 7 with no interceptions and one touchdown. He also ran four times for 32 yards.
In addition to Dysert’s increase in stats from game to game, Haywood also noted a decrease in the size of his eyes.
“He did a nice job when he went into the game (at Western Michigan),” Haywood said. “He showed awareness and scramble-ability, and he showed much more confidence that he did the week before at Boise. His eyes weren’t as big as saucers anymore.”