Greetings Bearcat Faithful!!! It is time once again for yet another edition of Bix’ Picks, a weekly Op/Ed here on BearcatLair.com that is known for specializing in “Rivalry Games” almost as much as it is for providing a virtual cornucopia of bulletin board material for our upcoming opponent’s locker room.
This week is a very special one for the Cats! Not only are your football playing Bearcats 3-0 coming off a thrilling come from behind victory in the nation’s capital BUT it is Homecoming Week and the Cats are going for the 2nd Leg in the Rivalry Series Cup as they prepare for the 117th Battle for The Bell!! And who better to invite to such a much ballyhooed soiree than our good, former American Indian friends from Oxford, The Miami Redhawks?!?! I cannot think of a more suitable and deserving opponent to serve as sacrificial lamb than the MUSkins! The Miamis will be the perfect entrée for our ravenous Cats this Saturday night and they are a dish that will be served cold in front of a sellout “WHITEOUT” crowd under the bright lights of Nippert Stadium!!!
THE MIAMI REDHAWKS
Coach Don Treadwell brings his 3-2 Redhawks into the unfriendly confines of Nippert Stadium and when they step onto Carson Field they will be in search of their first victory against the Bearcats since Weeb Ewbank was head coach of the team commonly referred to then as the Redskins. Alright!, it hasn’t been that long, but it sure as hell has been a long time since the Oxford Preps were remotely relevant on the gridiron.
The 2012 Men of Miami may just be suffering illusions of grandeur after posting 3 victories against football powerhouses Southern Illinois, UMASS and most recently in front of 8,000 screaming Zip fans last Saturday in Akron. Only one of their losses came against a real team, future BIG EAST mate Boise State waxed’em 39-12 on the blue turf. Their other loss came at the hands of the ridiculously overrated Buckeyes at the Horseshoe, 56-10.
Three time team Captain and SR QB Zac Dysert is the leader of the Red and White. Dysert, the onetime Bearcat recruit who played the “committable offer waiting game” a tad too long and had to “settle” for the Redhawks, has grown his locks to match his game and he has become a very serviceable quarterback for the Miamis. I think it’s safe to say that Dysert has realized self actualization and he is the Big Fish in the little moss covered pond that is Oxford, Ohio. Dysert ranks 2nd on just about every Redhawk record in the books and will likely surpass Ben Roethlisberger (Big Ben did it in 3 years) after the completion of his senior campaign to become the best QB (statistically) in the history of Miami football. That is pretty impressive stuff and with those long blonde curly locks, if Zac can’t cut it in the NFL he can surely look forward to one hell of a career in either the WWF or follow in my footsteps and become a highly successful Chippendale Dancer.
Regardless of Mr. Dysert’s post Miami playing day plans, he certainly has the full attention of HC Butch Jones and the UC Bearcats defensive unit this week at practice in preparation for this Saturday’s tilt.
JR WR Nick Harwell will reportedly be back in action for the Redhawks after missing the last 3 games due to injury. Harwell is already Miami’s leader in single-game receptions and yardage and single-season receptions. If he stays healthy, Harwell could go down as the All-Time best receiver in Redhawk history by the conclusion of his junior year. Harwell has great speed and at 6’-1” and 193 lbs can cause some major problems for any defensive secondary. You will recall that Harwell hauled in a 66 yard toss from Dysert last year at Miami and took it down to the Bearcat 1 yard line. The Cats defense then turned the Miami scoring bid in reverse and made them settle for a missed 34 yard FG to preserve the 27-0 shutout. Harwell’s got game and he must be contained if the Cats hope to be successful for the 7th straight time against Miami.
And that my friends, is pretty much the extent of the guys who are going to beat you if given the chance for Miami. They do have SO WR Dawan Scott and Turpin’s own RS SR WR Andy Cruse who currently lead the teams in receiving yards and TD’s. However, one would have to think that their production will slow when Harwell returns this week.
Miami makes their hay via the pass as they have gone to the air in their 5 games 189 times vs. just 157 rushing attempts. The Redhawks lack a premier running back and have elected to give Kings High true freshman Jamire Westbrook the bulk (44 of them for 188 yards) of the carries. RS SO Spencer Treadwell (yes, the coach’s son) is a close 2nd with 36 totes for 139 yards in 5 games. Of course the leading rusher on 43 attempts is Mr. Dysert who has ground out 266 yards on 43 attempts. Once again, to be clear, you put the kibosh on Dysert and Miami can’t beat you.
Now onto the Miami Defense….Jesus Jenny folks, if you have a moment pull out your handy-dandy Webster’s Dictionary and look up the following words:
2.) Anemic (and I mean lacking any and all red blood cells!)
3.) Grossly Deficient
4.) Total Embarrassment (Example: Imagine yourself emerging from a Scandinavian fyord at the annual Swedish Bikini Team Skinny Dipping Party)
5.) Non Existent
Got it? OK good. You will notice that every definition of every word listed above is accompanied by a picture of Defensive Coordinator Jay Peterson and his Miami Redhawk “Defense”….well, at least if you have the latest edition that is!
Every time Miami’s “D” takes the field Saturday, prepare yourself for the ultimate exercise in futility. What? Can’t be that bad? Numbers don’t lie my friends…They gave up 56 points and 538 yards to OSU, 39 points and 599 yards to Boise and most recently, 49 points and 629 yards (in a “winning effort!) to the offensive juggernaut that is the Akron Zips! Hell, they were outgained by Southern Illinois and UMASS in two of their 3 wins. They did do yeoman’s work against the Salukis though holding them to 371 yards…the wind must have been blowing in that day!
The 3-0 Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0 ATS) have been designated a 19.5 point home favorite for the game against Miami. The Over/Under started at 55 but has since moved upward (I wonder why?!?!) and now sits at 58. Sooo, for this edition of Bix’s Picks Cincy -19.5 and 58 will be the official numbers of record.
THE PREDICTION and THE PLAY
Hmmmm…..You are probably asking yourself right now, “I wonder which way Ol’ Bix is leaning for this one?” Come on!?!?!? Miami vs. UC in football? This isn’t hockey! (And by the way I am fairly confident that there are more Canucks taking up partial residence in Oxford than there are in the city of Vancouver!) Hell, Hellen Keller has a far better chance of winning a paint ball game than Miami does of beating the Bearcats Saturday night at the Nip!!! I know Butch is “nervous” but that’s just Butch being Butch. Trust me, the fur and feathers will be a flyin’ on Carson field shortly after kickoff and if we could shut down Megatron last week in Landover, the Cats ability to apply the “Dyson Treatment” to Dysert is a foregone conclusion!
The Cats win big here on Homecoming Saturday my friends! Gladly lay the 19.5 and play the Bearcats in spectacular fashion! In addition, since it is Homecoming Weekend let’s go ahead and play a two teamer with the Bearcats laying the 19.5 and taking the over 58. You’ll be glad you did it come Sunday morning!!! Always remember my friends “Gamblin’ money’s got no home!” and most importantly….GO BEARCATS!!!!!!