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Misc The MAC The MAC Archive 2012 MAC Football Preview Part Four
Written by Mike Spinelli

Mike Spinelli

Football TCF Preview 4


Welcome to Part Four of the 2012 MAC Football Preview.  This has been quite the project, but not knowing what the readers, or the website staff wants, I’m pretty much flying blind. Any feedback would be a big help!!! Today we cover the “beasts of the East”, Ohio and Miami. I wrap it up tomorrow with thorough coverage of Akron and Kent State, and on Thursday I’ll have the Week One Preview. And Thursday night, the action begins!!!




The Ohio Bobcats come off a 6-2 season that ended with a tough loss to Western Michigan in the MAC Championship by three points. They are the highest ranked team in the MAC, and favored by many to win it all this year.  OU began football play in 1894, becoming (the last remaining) charter member of the MAC in 1946. They have won five MAC championships, most recently in 1968.

Head coach Frank Solich is 50-40 in seven years at Ohio. With quarterback Tyler Tettleton, Solich installed a no-huddle offense last year, Tettleton responded by throwing for 3302 yards and 28 touchdowns. Tyler is a dangerous runner (658 yards and 10 touchdowns), and completes 68% of his passes. Alongside Tettleton in the backfield will be fellow junior Beau Blankenship, an Iowa State transfer who redshirted last year. The Cats only return one starting receiver, Dante Foster. The former Juco basketball player had nine touches for 153 yards last year. Senior Tyler Furell is expected to take one of the other spots, with Matt Waters and Bakari Bussey vying for starts at the third spot. Another strength for Ohio is the front line, big and bad they are probably the best in the MAC. TE Jordan Thompson can block and catch, and adds another weapon to the potent passing game.

Six starters return to a defense Solich considers the best he has had here. But one key loss is Noah Keller. The Cats are faced with replacing his 116 tackles.  If Keith Moore can come close to those numbers, OU will again have one of the best defenses in the MAC this year. DT Carl Jones anchors the line, while Travis Carrie and Gerald Moore (all returning starters) anchor the secondary (a very important part of any MAC team).

Last year they lost three conference games by a combined seven points. The road game at Miami Oct. 27 looks to be the toughest part of their conference slate, drawing BGSU at home will be a big help in their other conference challenge. Tettleton has to create chemistry with his new receivers, but he and Blankenship should have little trouble running up the yards behind that line and pulling in the safeties. The defense looks tough, I can pick them nowhere else than first place on paper, and another trip to Detroit in November. If they can air it out, they can sign their ticket to the GoDaddy Bowl.



We head west now to Oxford, Ohio to visit the Miami Redhawks. The Redskins started play in 1888, and joined the MAC in 1947. Renamed the Redhawks in 1996, they have 15 MAC championships, most recent in 2010.

The offense is led by three year starter Zac Dysert. Zac, a senior, is considered college football’s best kept secret, throwing for over 8500 yards and 48 touchdowns thus far. He threw for 2611 yards last year, and ran for 258 more. And the Dysert-Nick Harwell (97 catches for 871 yds) combination is one of the most potent in college football. Zac’s running mate is junior Justin Semmes, who ran for 210 yards off the bench last year. Wadsworth’s Jack Snowball will also get a look in his first year. The other receivers are also returning starters, including senior Andy Cruse (248 yards at 13.8 per) and sophomore Willie Culpepper (116 and 12.9). The line returns four starters.

The Hawks brought in three new coaches to try to improve an anemic D. DE Jason Semmes, DT Austin Brown, CB Dayonne Nurley (All-MAC), and safety Pat Hinkel anchor a unit with seven returning starters.

Miami has a rough non-con schedule, but in the MAC they catch Ohio and Kent State at home, and their West opponents are Ball State and Central Michigan. The new defensive staff should improve an adequate unit this year, and the line will allow Dysert to do his thing. Not quite ready to overtake Ohio just yet, I have the Hawks finishing second in the East.

That wraps up part four of the season preview, just one more to go. Tomorrow we look at the area rivals, Akron and Kent State. And we’ll wrap up the season preview just in time for the start of the season.

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