Primetime College Football: GoDaddy.com Bowl
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders taking on Miami University of Ohio RedHawks in the 12th annual GoDaddy.com Bowl, formerly the GMAC Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
Miami University of Ohio, 9-4, 7-1 MAC, Redhawks are no longer coached by Mike Haywood who left the program after turning it around from a 1-11 campaign in 2009 to coach University of Pittsburgh. However Haywood was fired from his coaching position for felony assault on the mother of his child. Defensive backs coach Lance Guidry will serve as interim coach as Don Treadwell has been hired to take over the program next season after serving as Michigan State’s offensive coordinator and receivers coach for the last four years.
The season didn’t take on the look it did for the Redhawks until mid-season when they started out 4-4 then reeled off five consecutive victories that finished off with a 26-21 upset of Northern Illinois in the Mid Atlantic Conference title game. The last three games for Miami they had to turn to redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Boucher after starting quarterback Zac Dysert lacerated his spleen.
Boucher has been crucial to the RedHawks win streak as he has thrown for 701 yards and 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He has had that much of a time to develop a true report with his wide receivers but early on he has often looked in the direction of Armand Robinson. The teams second leading receiver on the season though is Thomas Merriweather who doubles as the running back. Merriweather has 821 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns but as a rusher he has 1,802 and 21 touchdowns, showing he clearly is the Redhawks best player and option.
Middle Tennessee, 6-6, 5-3 Sun Belt, Blue Raiders struggled through an up and down but found their stride late and won their last three straight games. The crucial win came in the regular season finale against Sun Belt Conference co-champion FIU 28-27. Head coach Rick Stockstill has his dual threat quarterback Dwight Dasher back into full swing of things after he was forced to miss the first 4 games of the season for accepting a $1,500 loan from unsuspecting characters.
Dasher is just the 15th player in college football history to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards during his career. In last years New Orleans Bowl he accomplished another rare feat as he set a bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 201 yards while totaling 4 touchdowns. On the year however Dasher completed 127-of-222 passes for 1,388 yards and 6 touchdownsa and 14 interceptions. On the shortended season though for Dasher he did rush for 453 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee’s leading rusher is Phillip Tanner who has run for 841 yards and 11 touchdowns on 5.6 ypc. The Blue Raiders ride these two to 178.5 rushing ypg and have compiled 29 rushing touchdowns as a team.
An impact player to keep an eye on the defensive of the ball for the Blue Raiders is Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Jamari Lattimore as he had 11.5 sacks on the season which ranked 6th in the country.
This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.
PICK: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders