QB Josh Betts

2004 Statistics

Coach:Shane Montgomery
1st year
2004 Record: 8-5
at Michigan LOST 10-43
at Cincinnati LOST 26-45
OHIO WON 40-20
at Marshall LOST 25-33
at Buffalo WON 25-7
UCF WON 43-7
at Western Michigan WON 42-21
at Akron WON 37-27
vs. Toledo LOST 27-35
vs. Iowa State LOST 13-17

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

With college football's youngest head coach (37), Miami and Montgomery are in great position to make a splash in his first year running the show. He inherits a talented, battle-tested team that is amongst the MAC favorites. Montgomery has been as big key to Miami's success since 2001 as its quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, a role that gives him great rapport with his players, especially for just a rookie head coach. It also gives the RedHawks someone who will keep the current system in place for this group of veterans.

While there's great opportunity here for Montgomery, there's also great risk in attempting to follow the recent precedence. Two bowl games in the last two seasons, including a MAC title and an AP top-10 finish in '03, have raised the bar of expectation in Oxford. And though the RedHawks, predictably, didn't fare better than their previous finish (from 13-1 in '03, to 8-5), this season is so crucial. Montgomery will surely land more three- and four-star recruits if there is improvement in the win column (Miami has only landed one three-star in the last four classes), meaning this initial campaign speaks volumes for how high he can aim his five- (or more) year plan. Another drop this way would make five years of tenure seem like a lifetime once fans clamor for a replacement.

Just don't expect that to happen so soon, as the "Rosetta Stone" (running game) of this offense is eventually found with a learned line and much potential in the backs. They will run it half the time, maybe more, so it's do or die, and they will do adequately, even better when the big, talented receivers spread the field. The ground dimension's progress tells all as to where Miami goes and eventually finishes. Balance is the goal, and finishing with their running game ranked in the top 50 would make this team (offense) improve. A keen secondary and another strong front-seven should keep opponents' point totals low enough for Betts & Co. to easily outscore (most of) them. The MAC's 12th-worst (and the nation's 110th-ranked) TO-margin needs drastic improvement, which should come with a more experienced offense and a big, athletic secondary.

Getting Ohio State at Columbus to open up won't be fun. This team has the potential to at least put up a respectable effort and grow (character) through such a test. Rival Cincinnati and Temple won't be problems, but the MAC is competitive enough such that escaping it unscathed is impossible this year. But Miami can regain the conference title, and though the move of high-flying Bowling Green into the East Division exacerbates that, it is their only real competition. Winning a second in three years would be a telling statement for a rising program under new leadership. This team has all the ingredients to do it, but will not be able to beat the (already) more balanced squads (Toledo). But the program will grow even if such superlatives aren't reached, and the RedHawks will begin to soar again.

Projected 2005 record: 8-3
DE Marcus Johnson
QB - 4 DL - 3.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 4
WR - 4 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Josh Betts, 442-267-14, 3495 yds., 23 TD

Rushing: Brandon Murphy, 48 att., 248 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Ryne Robinson, 64 rec., 932 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Todd Soderquist, 6-8 FG, 24-25 PAT, 42 pts.

Punting: Josh Betts, 1 punt, 39.0 avg.

Kicking: Todd Soderquist, 6-8 FG, 24-25 PAT, 42 pts.

Tackles: John Busing, 93 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Marcus Johnson, 7.5 sacks

Interceptions: Darrell Hunter, 2 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Darrell Hunter, 11 ret., 12.5 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Ryne Robinson, 39 ret., 14.0 avg., 2 TD


OFFENSE: Luke Clemens-TB, Mike Smith-TB, Michael Larkin-WR, Korey Kirkpatrick-WR, Dave Rehker-C, Jared Parseghian-K
DEFENSE: Will Rueff-DT, Larry Burt-DT, Alphonso Hodge-CB, Matt Pusateri-SS, Mike Wafzig-P

Josh Betts isn't Big Ben, but he's pretty darn good. The tall, rocket-armed senior will be even more confident knowing drop-off from Roethlisberger was only from the fourth-best passing game down to 11th. Showing the same unteachable poise, Betts was 25th with his 137.6 efficiency rating, and third in the MAC in yards per game (only behind Jacobs and Gradkowski). Betts threw 14 INTs, but his decision-making in his second starting campaign will improve with experience. This offense isn't very balanced, so Betts and his strong group of receivers will have to meet the increased expectations for this team to (offensively) improve. Sophomore backup Mike Kokal is a more mobile option, and with decent arm strength, he will do an adequate job when needed.

Running Back
There's not much experience here as the top three RBs depart, but there is definitely ability. New starter Brandon Murphy will also have a strong offensive line to run behind. The bottom line is this team has to get more out of its ground game, and it will, but how much will go a long way towards defining 2005 for this entire team. Murphy, a small redshirt sophomore, is an explosive scat-type back (5.2 per try) with good hands. Depth needs to be developed. Look for athletic redshirt soph Akim Lannaman, who brings more power, to move into the backup role. With offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery promoted to head coach, the RedHawks will run half of the time again. But they'll need to improve on the 3.4 yards per carry to achieve any real balance, and therefore consistency and then success.

This group is stellar once again as the major components return. Go-to mammoth and potential pro Martin Nance returns (knee injury in the team's fifth game). Nance will be the top playmaker in this unit, with his explosive play drawing enough defensive attention to make everyone else better. Athletic (34.5 inch vertical leap) and fast (4.35 in the 40), Nance was Roethlisberger's favorite target two years ago, then finishing third in the nation (receiving yds). Last year's leading receiver, smaller junior Ryne Robinson (14.6 yards per catch), is another deep threat for safeties to handle, creating a myriad of worries without the TE even being considered yet. That opens things up underneath for possession targets like R.J. Corbin and Josh Williams, though Williams' 19.1 yards per catch and his 2004-team-best 79-yarder (TD) tells tale of his abilities. This unit is fast, deep and experienced, and will more often line up in four- and five-WR sets so that Betts can shuffle the options for optimum results. Betts to any/all of them makes this the toughest corps to contain in the MAC.

Tight End
Dan Tyler gives opposing defenses a little more to worry about in the short-route passing game. He's not the MAC's answer to Kellen Winslow, but he does have decent hands and even better blocking skills. It would be nice to get some scoring out of this position, which didn't account for one TD last fall. Incorporating Tyler's classmates, the "Vogel-Vogele Combo" (Tyler and Matt, respectively), would make the entire "name game" at TE into just the distraction to occupy LBs and/or safeties so as to kick-start the running game.

Offensive Line
Four-fifths of last fall's inconsistent starting unit is back, as well as all five backups listed on the Independence Bowl two-deep. This is a big group, especially for a mid-major, and it should do a better job getting people off the ball with instilled chemistry and more push. The anchor is senior Todd Londot, a second-team all-MAC pick who is an excellent overall blocker on the right side. Counterpart Mark Kracium is a third-year starter and a solid pass blocker on the blindside. Run blocking has to be better, but there is marginal concern in pass protection. Even with a QB who has decent mobility, this group allowed 26 sacks. But 3.4 per carry is the biggest symptom we can see needing a cure, and this is the area we already outlined as a barometer for measuring team success.

Even without Roethlisberger and Nance, Montgomery put together the nation's 11th-rated passing offense, although efficiency was a problem a times, finishing 29th in that more important department. And the running game struggled to rank 91st, which now puts more pressure on the Redhawks' second-year starting QB. Betts should be more fluid in the system this year, but this team has running on its mind. Theoretically, a dangerous passing game and an experienced line should open things up for the run. Spreading the field with so many great receivers will occupy hats and make the running game click. If/when balance is regained, there won't be many teams on the schedule that can stop it.


OL Todd Londot


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Josh Betts-Sr (6-3, 219) Mike Kokal-So (6-3, 192)
TB Brandon Murphy-So (5-8, 189) Akim Lannaman-So (6-2, 219)
Austin Sykes-So (6-0, 240)
WR Ryan Busing-Jr (6-3, 200) Sean McVay-Fr (5-10, 182)
WR Ryne Robinson-Jr (5-10, 169) Marcus Tate-Jr (5-9, 143)
WR R.J. Corbin-Jr (6-1, 203) Martin Nance-Sr (6-4, 215)
Patrick O'Bryan-So (6-1, 199)
TE Dan Tyler-Sr (6-5, 244) Tyler Vogel-Sr (6-6, 253)
OT Mark Kracium-Sr (6-5, 286) Josh Satterthwait-Fr (6-4, 280)
OG Steve Meister-So (6-2, 293) Matt McKeown-Fr (6-4, 275)
C Todd Londot-Sr (6-7, 308) Steve Kosky-Jr (6-4, 273)
OG Nate Bunce-Sr (6-7, 337) Pete Walters-So (6-6, 313)
OT Charlie Norden-So (6-6, 314) Dave DiFranco-Fr (6-6, 323)
K Todd Soderquist-Sr (6-2, 210) Brian Pierce-Fr (6-0, 189)



Defensive Line
With four tenacious pass-rushers to rotate at the ends, this will be one of the MAC's best lines. All-conference DE Marcus Johnson is their best at getting to QBs (7.5 sacks), and this on a team that led the MAC in sacks (38). Johnson, a converted DT, is quick and athletic for his size and forces offenses to run away from his side. On the right side, senior Jerrod Rich is a fast run-stopper who contains the outside well. Also-quick backups Craig Mester and Tranaine Sills will make this mobile group only vulnerable to Ohio State. Offenses will try to run it between the tackles as Miami will be breaking in two new starters. Senior John Glavin, a former starter with a low-center of gravity, is an experienced replacement who gets consistent penetration, but new line coach Jay Hood will have to find some more bodies to throw into the middle. Still, this group will create plenty of havoc behind the line so the back-seven can optimize their efforts.

Led by two-time all-conference OLB Terna Nande, this small, explosive LB trio should be the best in the MAC. Nande is typical of the personnel here. He just runs a 4.36-40, benches 500, squats 620 and has a 37-inch vertical. Nande simply has a nose for the ball and is the type of guy who will deliver the big hit when needed, especially in the open-field. OLB John Busing and MLB Derek Rehage, both seniors and returning starters, are also quick, big hitters, though neither is as talented as Nande. Rehage, a former RB, is a strong pass rusher (10 TFLs, 4.5 sacks) in the middle. This group uses its excellent speed to make up for its size deficiency by shutting down short-range passing routes. It also gets plenty of help from a strong front-four that ties up blockers. This front seven should be even better, which will decrease the average per run to around 3.0, making it so they can control an opponent this way.

Defensive Back
This area needs a little work, especially with Miami playing a schedule loaded with big passers, but is solid and can, most often, hold its own. There's plenty of speed and athleticism here, enough for a slight improvement from 63rd the nation (though 74th in efficiency). Still, this won't be a dominant secondary, especially with the departure of their top tackler (Pusateri). CB Darrell Hunter, who runs a 4.3-40, will improve as the new top-cover guy, while nickelback Ryan Redd will move his complete approach into the other starting spot. Joey Card, who missed the last four games with a hand injury, is the kind of big-hitter needed at the SS spot to replace Pusateri. So is Frank Wiwo, who can play either secondary position. There is also a need to step up and create turnovers, though the front-seven will help this along as they accelerate offensive development with ample pressure. The gelling factor here will allow them to play as a unit, which will be the only way they can truly challenge better passing teams. Bank on practices against/with Betts as a factor forcing improvements, needed savvy sure to be found by fall here.

Led by a strong LB corps, this should be a better defense. Don't expect new coordinator Taver Johnson, Miami's LBs coach from 2000 to '03, to change very much from what already works, schematically. Ergo, this will be a 4-3 defense that thrives on speed and penetration from the front seven, while depending on the pass rush and physical defensive backs to stop the pass. Some playmakers need to step up in the secondary, and candidates have been eagerly awaiting their turn, so this will happen. Regardless, this D will still give up a fair amount of yards through the air, especially early. The key is stopping the big plays and maintaining a red-zone defense that was fourth in the MAC (allowed only 35% third-down completion). Emotional leaders like Johnson and Nande will influence the underclassmen in that aspect, and the attitude needed to overcome the size issue will again work for them this way.


LB Terna Nande


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Marcus Johnson-Sr (6-3, 260) Tranaine Sills-Jr (6-1, 254)
DT John Glavin-Sr (6-0, 278) Otto Linwood-So (6-1, 317)
DT Jarrod Rich-Sr (6-3, 267) Mike Barz-Sr (6-4, 254)
DE Craig Mester-So (6-5, 242) James Case-Fr (6-2, 251)
OLB John Busing-Sr (6-4, 228) Dontae Wright-Jr (6-3, 230)
MLB Derek Rehage-Sr (6-2, 239) David Hutzelman-Sr (6-1, 227)
OLB Terna Nande-Sr (6-1, 228) Bryan Tyson-Sr (6-1, 210)
CB Ryan Redd-Sr (5-10, 183) Frank Wiwo-Jr (6-3, 171)
CB Darrell Hunter-Sr (6-1, 213) Jerrid Gaines-Jr (5-11, 197)
SS Joey Card-Jr (6-0, 197) Jeff Schroeder-Jr (5-11, 184)
FS Steve Burke-Sr (6-0, 187) Robbie Wilson-Fr (6-0, 208)
P Jacob Richardson-Fr (6-1, 189) Nathan Parseghian-Fr (6-2, 184)



Unlike at punter, there's experience returning in Todd Soderquist. The strong-legged senior has handled kickoff duties the past two seasons and was 6-of-8 on field goals last fall, including 2-for-3 beyond 40 yards. Coverage, which was third in the MAC, should continue to be strong with Soderquist and plenty of team speed returning.

This is one of the team's biggest concerns. Oxford soph Jacob Richardson is the only punter remaining on the roster. Richardson doesn't have a college punt attempt, so we'll have to wait and see what kind of a leg he has. Ranked fourth in the MAC in punting, Miami was second in net punting (33rd nationally).

Return Game
Robinson, who has five TDs the past two seasons, gives this team one of the conference's most dangerous punt-return threats. Robinson and Hunter will take turns on kicks, where Miami will likely regress (Kirkpatrick's 26 yd average - 12th in I-A - won't be matched). That great starting field position makes Betts and the offense even more explosive, so this is a focus not likely to falter.