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Tag:Dwight Dasher
Posted on: January 7, 2011 1:58 am
 

Bowl Grades: GoDaddy.com Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A flurry of Dwight Dasher interceptions helps Miami (Ohio) pull away from Middle Tennessee State, 35-21.

MIAMI (OHIO)

Offense: The RedHawks were rarely a thing of beauty tonight, punting six times, turning the ball over twice, and failing to score seven times in eight possessions over the second and third quarters. But as they've done all year, they didn't need a lot of flashiness to get the job done. Bruising back Thomas Merriweather ran for 101 yards on 27 carries with a pair of short-yardage touchdowns behind a line that mostly got the better of their MTSU counterparts; quarterback Austin Boucher tossed two picks but hit a consistent 22-of-36 for 8 yards an attempt and two scores; three different RedHawk receivers finished with at least 4 receptions and 60 yards.

Sure, they did some things wrong. But they did far more things right, and on a night when the Blue Raiders couldn't get out of their own way, that was plenty. Grade: B+

Defense:
Miami struggled in the first half with Dasher's speed and elusiveness, but as soon as they figured out how to keep him in the pocket, the game was over; his four second-half picks were the decisive factor, with the Blue Raiders 4-of-13 showing on third-down conversions a close second. Giving up 6.6 yards a carry isn't good, but when your defense collects five turnovers and holds their opponent scoreless over the final seven possessions of a two-score game, one flaw's not going to ruin the whole performance. Grade: B+

Coaching:
Miami seemed like a prime candidate to mail in their bowl performance, losing head coach Mike Haywood, coming off the high of the MAC championship, taking the long trip to Mobile (Ala.) to play one of the postseason's most lightly-regarded bowl games. But interim head coach Lance Guidry and the rest of the Miami staff had the RedHawks plenty ready to play. Grade: A

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Offense:
The Blue Raider offense wasn't a total disaster; it put up a respectable 371 yards, averaged the aformentioned 6.6 yards per carry, and made enough big plays to keep MTSU in the game for three quarters. But five turnovers are about four too many, and over their final 13 possessions, none lasted longer than five plays. If you're giving the opponent back the ball that often -- either by punt or turnover -- they're going to outscore you eventually.

Also, those Dasher picks? Those weren't batted balls or great defensive plays; they were horrendous throws that handed Miami possession on a silver platter. Grade: D

Defense:
It's hard to put too much blame on a Blue Raider defense that kept being put in such difficult situations by the offense, and that kept Miami off the board for so much of the middle of the game. But at the same time, giving up more than 400 total yards and three touchdown drives of 70 yards or more to a team as low-fi as Miami isn't something to crow about. Merriweather, Boucher, and the other RedHawk skill position players are solid performers, but they're also just not the kind of explosive athletes that tend to keep defensive coordinators up at night. It's not hard to think MTSU could have done better. Grade: C+

Coaching:
The Blue Raiders played hard, no question about that. And it's not entirely the coaches' fault that Dasher was so intent on throwing the ball to the other team. But at some point, maybe Rick Stockstill and Co. should have done more to rein their quarterback in; with 14 interceptions on the season in only eight games coming in, it's not like they didn't know he had a penchant for being loose with the ball. Grade: C

FINAL GRADE:
The GoDaddy.com Bowl was diverting enough. It had a lot of big and exciting plays, it stayed competitive through nearly 55 minutes, and there was a sideline interview with Danica Patrick in which she compared the atmosphere to the Indy 500. (The IRL folks are so happy for you on your move on to NASCAR, no doubt, Danica.) But there was no escaping the overwhelming feeling that this was, truly, a matchup between a 6-6 Sun Belt also-ran and the MAC team the Vegas bookies had still installed as a small underdog to them, being played in a city whose tourism commercial (featuring unflattering shots of a shipyard and a flotilla of tacky candy-colored faux-antebellum dresses) only emphasized that this was most assuredly the bowl season's equivalent of off-off-Broadway. It's hard to get too excited when the stakes seemed this low. Grade: C+

Posted on: January 6, 2011 11:58 am
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: GoDaddy.com Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Basics: Middle Tennessee (6-6) takes on Miami (OH) (9-4) in the GoDaddy.com Bowl at 8:00 in Mobile, AL

Why to watch: Oh you mean other than for the GoDaddy commercials? This game features one of the greatest turnaround stories of the 2010 season, with Miami flipping last year's 1-11 season to a 9-4 record and a MAC conference championship. However, the Redhawks are stuck in coaching limbo, with head coach Mike Haywood gone after accepting the position (and quickly being dismissed) as PIttsburgh's head coach. Miami has already hired Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell to take over in 2011, but defensive backs coach Lance Guldry will serve as the interim.

Middle Tennessee had to start the season without their star quarterback Dwight Dasher, who was suspended for the first four games for accepting a $1,500 loan. Dasher has made the most of his time on the field, accumulating 13 combined rushing and passing touchdowns in just eight games of play. The dual threat quarterback has a dangerous, and occasionally sloppy, style of play that makes each game interesting. He'll face one of his toughest challenges yet going up against a Miami defense that is only giving up 13.6 points per game on their current five-game winning streak.

Keys to victory for Middle Tennessee: Redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Boucher has played exceptionally for Miami since starter Zach Dysert's season was finished due to injury, but much of that has been set up thanks to the running game. If Middle Tennessee can use their potent offense to jump out to an early lead, they can dial up the pass rush on the young signal caller. The responsibility for that early lead will fall on quarterback Dwight Dasher. Dasher has struggled with his decision making at times this season, racking up 14 interceptions in just eight games. The time off will help Dasher, who has been banged up much of the season, and Blue Raider fans hope that the improved health with assist in keeping him comfortable in the pocket. If Middle Tennessee can play mistake-free on the offensive end and build a decent lead, they will force Boucher to move the ball with some urgency -- something he hasn't had to do yet this season.

Keys to victory for Miami (Ohio): Just the opposite. Keep Dasher in the pocket and force him to beat you as a traditional quarterback. At 5-10, Dasher cannot hurt you as bad from the pocket as he can on the run. If the Miami pass rush can keep him one-dimensional, it will take a lot of the pressure off a vulnerable Redhawks secondary. Also, if Miami's offensive line can step up and create holes for running back Thomas Merriweather the Redhawks can dictate the pace of the game. Merriweather is averaging 136.0 yards rushing in his last three outings, and has been an integral part of the Redhawks five game winning streak. Finally, the onus will fall on the Miami seniors to lead this basically coach-less team. With Haywood gone, and Treadwell only in attendance, this is the time for the players to take charge on the field and in the locker room. If Miami can get inspired play from their upperclassmen, it could provide the example to lead the Redhawks to their first bowl victory since 2003. That team was led by a current two-time Super Bowl winner you might have heard of: Ben Roethlisberger.

The GoDaddy.com Bowl is like: A palette cleanser - After an exhausting week of bowls, we get a nice little break before we head into our final stretch. The GoDaddy.com bowl will feature two teams that are playing their equivalent of a Super Bowl, and the level of competition should be up to par with any of the other bowls this week. The talent level will be a noticeable difference, but it serves as a kind reboot before we prepare for the final games of the college football season.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:21 pm
 

Minnesota could start a brand new D Thursday

Posted by Chip Patterson

Golden Gopher fans new that they were going to see some fresh faces on the field when Minnesota kicks off their season Thursday night against Middle Tennessee State.  After Tuesday it's very possible they will be starting an entirely new defense.

The Golden Gophers entered the season needing to replace nine starters on the defensive side of the ball, with only safeties Tim Royston and Kyle Theret returning from 2009.  Royston is still rehabbing from a broken leg suffered in spring practice, and his status for Thursday night is unknown.  To make matters worse, on Tuesday Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster announced that Theret would sit out season opener as part of his continued suspension for drunken driving charges in March.

Theret led the team in interceptions and recorded tackles in 2009, and the Gophers could use his experience on the field.  But Brewster says that Thursday's game is an extension of Theret's "indefinite" suspension, and has yet to put a timetable on his return.  Starting offensive tackle Dom Alford was also suspended for Thursdays game for violating unspecified team rules.  

If there is any upside to this story for Minnesota fans, it's that their brand new defense will not have to face Middle Tennessee State's star dual-threat quarterback Dwight Dasher.  Dasher was suspended for the first three games for failing to pay back a gambling debt.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com