Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Miami shines in the spotlight

RedHawks convert Toledo turnovers into points

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer contributor

OXFORD - For once, Miami wasn't the team that self-destructed on national television.

Miami defenders Bryan Tyson (30) and Derek Rehage (38) force Toledo running back Richard Davis (27) to fumble in the first half.
(AP photo)
The RedHawks forced four Toledo turnovers and converted three into scores, including two Luke Clemens touchdown runs, on the way to a 23-16 win over the Rockets in a Mid-American Conference game televised by ESPN2 Tuesday night.

Miami (6-3, 5-1), which committed a combined 12 turnovers in its two other nationally televised games this season, moved to a half-game behind Marshall (5-3, 5-0) with its fourth consecutive win. The RedHawks have two games left; Marshall has three to play.

"I don't think it was us self-destructing in those games, and I don't think they self-destructed tonight," quarterback Josh Betts said. "Our defense made some plays. Our defense made them self-destruct."

Toledo (6-3, 5-1), which brought a five-game winning streak into the game, fell a full game behind Northern Illinois in the West Division.

Miami committed three fumbles but lost just one, Betts' fumble late in the fourth quarter. Betts finished 24-for-41 for 295 yards with no interceptions. Sophomore Ryne Robinson caught nine passes for 146 yards.

Miami linebacker Derek Rehage runs down Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradowksi (7) in the third quarter.
(AP photo)
"We had to move the ball," Betts said. "They brought some things we hadn't seen on film. Our line did a good job adjusting."

Clemens, who carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards, converted Trinity Dawson's fumble with a 1-yard run on Miami's first play of the fourth quarter to snap a 16-16 tie.

The RedHawks forced three first-half turnovers, but Toledo converted two of three fourth-down situations to tie the game 13-13 at halftime.

Todd Soderquist capped Miami's opening possession with a 42-yard field goal.

After Matt Pusateri recovered a Quinton Broussard fumble on Toledo's first possession, Jared Parseghian's 33-yard field goal gave Miami a 6-0 lead.

Toledo converted a fourth-and-7 on the way to Bruce Gradkowski's 7-yard touchdown run. John Busing blocked the conversion kick to leave the score 6-6. The Rockets took the lead on their next possession when Gradkowski hit Lance Moore with a 36-yard pass on fourth-and-3.

The Rockets ended up 5-for-8 on fourth-down conversions, including two on their final drive, before the clock ran out.

Jarrod Rich recovered a Scooter McDougle fumble, and Miami converted with Clemens' game-tying 7-yard touchdown run.

Both teams had 226 yards of total offense in the first half. Parseghian added a 28-yard field goal, and Jason Robbins kicked a career-best 40-yarder in the second half.

Toledo6 7 3 0-16
Miami6 7 3 7-23

First Quarter

Mia-FG Soderquist 42, 10:38.

Mia-FG Parseghian 33, 7:40.

Tol-Gradkowski 2 run (kick blocked), 0:49.

Second Quarter

Tol-Moore 36 pass from Gradkowski (Robbins kick), 11:03.

Mia-Clemens 7 run (Soderquist kick), 4:31.

Third Quarter

Mia-FG Parseghian 28, 8:40.

Tol-FG Robbins 40, 3:26.

Fourth Quarter

Mia-Clemens 1 run (Soderquist kick), 14:56.


Tol Mia
First downs18 24
Rushes-yards36-177 40-76
Passing203 295
Comp-Att-Int23-36-1 24-41-0
Return Yards73 29
Punts-Avg.1-38 3-37.7
Fumbles-Lost4-3 3-1
Penalties-Yards6-53 5-50
Time of Possession27:56 32:04

RUSHING-Toledo, McDougle 10-68, Higgins 3-53, Dawson 8-45, Broussard 1-6, Moore 1-6, Gradkowski 12-0, Body 1-(minus 1). Miami, Clemens 24-94, Betts 7-(minus 31), Murphy 6-11, Robinson 1-4.

PASSING-Toledo, Gradkowski 23-36-1-203. Miami, Betts 24-41-0-295.

RECEIVING-Toledo, Moore 9-104, Odom 4-54, McDougle 3-14, Higgins 3-12, Holmes 2-19, Dawson 2-0. Miami, Robinson 9-146, Larkin 7-66, Corbin 3-34, Tyler 2-24, Kirkpatrick 1-15, Murphy 1-5, Clemens 1-5.

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