Monday, November 05, 2007

Shane Montgomery candidate for Coach of the Year

RedHawks take advantage in East

November 5, 2007

Elton Alexander

Advantage, Miami.

The RedHawks took care of business against the Buffalo Bulls, and now Miami (5-5, 3-1) shares first place with UB (4-6, 3-1) and holds the tiebreaker for the Mid-American Conference's East Division title.

This should put coach Shane Montgomery squarely in the MAC Coach of the Year mix, considering the RedHawks are winning with backup quarterback Dan Radabaugh, their third- and fourth-string tailbacks, a bevy of freshman receivers and a defense that has been wrecked by injuries.

Yet with two games left for Miami, three for others, the victory also opened the door of hope for several teams in the division making late-season turnarounds.

Specifically, Ohio University (5-5, 2-2), Miami's main rival and defending MAC East champ, is one game back of the RedHawks with a season-ending showdown between the two teams. That's if they don't stumble before that.

The common denominator for both teams is the Akron Zips (3-6, 1-3), who are on a three-game nosedive - and it would be four, if not for a miracle, last-second kickoff return.

Ohio, which has turned its quarterback duties over to junior Theo Scott, has won two straight. The added bonus is tailback Kalvin McRae, who has rushed for 200 and 151 yards in the past two games.

The Zips host the Bobcats in the Rubber Bowl on Wednesday night, then travel to Miami on Nov. 14. Even with the nosedive, Akron has something to play for considering it is tied for last place in the East with rival Kent State. While Akron holds the tiebreaker over KSU, if the Golden Flashes pick up a late-season win and the Zips don't, the teams flip places.

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