QB Josh Betts

2003 Statistics

Coach: Terry Hoeppner
40-20, 5years
2003 Record: 13-1
at Iowa LOST 3-21
at Northwestern WON 44-14
at Colorado State WON 41-21
at Ball State WON 49-3
at Kent State WON 38-30
at Ohio WON 49-31
at UCF WON 56-21
at Bowling Green WON 49-27
Louisville WON 49-28

2003 Final Rankings
AP-10, Coaches-12, BCS-11

2004 Outlook

The Red Hawks are truly a team in transition after losing their best field general ever. Rankings of Miami in the Top 15 of many polls have sunk as all of us experts lopped them off of our Top 25s. But Miami has the 14th-best all-time winning percentage for I-A programs, ranking 22nd in all-time victories - the only MAC or mid-major team listed in either stat. They also had 2003's most road wins (7-1 in the opposition's stadium), as well as having, along with Northern Illinois, the only winning record against major conference foes of any MAC team, going 3-1. LSU and Iowa (twice) have been the only two programs from BCS-aligned conferences to beat the Red Hawks in the past two years.

Terry Hoeppner enters his sixth season as the head coach, with his most daunting task to date being the current rebuilding of an offensive scheme to fit the new signal-caller. Josh Betts is a pure passer, not the multi-dimensional guy Ben was. Making him roll-out and create will be bad news for Miami, so expect much more conservative calls to start. The defense's immediate impact will allow the offense to try and establish the ball-control pacing needed to allow the learning curve to work for the new QB. Expect the line's play to affect the offensive flow more than any relative inconsistencies from the QB - if the line can hold early, the whole thing will click for Miami to again play their game.

Games should be closer this time, as can be expected. But games with Toledo, (at) Marshall and UCF will define their destiny more than the stronger non-cons Michigan and Minnesota (proposed game, still not official). Those Big Ten foes are early, so expect a few losses to be character builders with the establishing unit's jelling. Oxford, Ohio's Yager Stadium will need to brace for the initial impact of life after Ben, and the pain has to help them grow stronger and not be the death of their 2004 fan-based efforts. You'll eventually see Hoeppner & Co. make it back to the conference finale, but it might be 2005 before this happens.

Projected 2004 record: 8-3
LB Terna Nande
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 4 DB - 3.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Josh Betts, 36-19-1, 263 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Mike Smith, 175 att., 802 yds., 17 TD

Receiving: Martin Nance, 90 rec., 1498 yds., 11 TD

Scoring: Mike Smith, 18 TD, 108 pts.

Punting: Mike Wafzig, 32 punts, 41.1 avg.

Kicking: Jared Parseghian, 6-9 FG, 61-62 PAT , 29 long

Tackles: Matt Pusateri, 141 tot., 89 solo, 2.5 TFL

Sacks: Tranaine Sills, 6 sacks

Interceptions: John Busing, 5 for 93 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Darrell Hunter, 12 ret., 16.5 avg.

Punt Returns: Ryne Robinson, 38 ret., 17.2 avg., 3 TD

OFFENSE: Ben Herrell-OT, Frank Smith-OG, Jacob Bell-OG, Matt Brandt-TE, Cal Murray-TB, Ben Roethlisberger-QB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Phil Smith-DE, Will Stanley-DE, Terrell Jones-MLB

Stop your crying, please. Yes, Roethlisberger is gone now. The superlatives are many, so we will save you Ben's resume. What is important for this preview is to tell you about junior Josh Betts. This guy has close to the same arm strength as Roethlisberger, but no where near the fundamentals. Those days of effortless roll-outs that end with a quick-released precision strike are gone. Betts will assuredly pick up much of the slack here, but offensive schemes will have to be marginally changed for this pure passer. Ryan Busing is a diamond in the Roethlisberger-style rough - he runs and passes with pocket-presence that will have many impatient Red Hawks fans calling his number at the assured first signs of struggle for Betts. But he is slated to again be a receiver, too, so we will see who gets the nod if Josh goes down. Mike Kokal is another dual-threat possibility, but it is too early to tell you with any solidity how this will look on the final depth charts in August.

Running Back
Three seniors make up a running back crew that will keep defenses off balance and honest. Starter Mike Smith is a slasher who can dodge and weave, as proven by his 175 rushes in '03. His backups, Ciborowski and Clemens, will see the major duty Smith saw last time. Luke Clemens is an outstanding former walk-on who was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2002, but struggled after injury to barely contribute his junior year. Adam Ciborowski rushed for 2,000+ his senior year of prep, and was good for 4.8 yards per rush in '03, with many substantial yards coming after contact to pain would-be tacklers. Both backups compliment Smith's style as they grind while he darts. The receiving results of any and all will make the Red Hawks use of their one-back sets close to as effective as when Ben ran things.

Wide Receiver
This area is strong, so the new QB can ease into his confidence with little worries from WRs being in wrong places. Martin Nance is a huge target with sure enough hands to finish third in all of Division I-A for receiving yards. Yes, his output may decrease, but his impact will be as the leader of this solid crew. Larkin and Busing will also return in the three- and four-receiver sets Miami employs. Both are speedy, but Larkin is a fearless small man, while Busing uses his QB-senses and size to sneak underneath and avoid coverage. Another former QB with too much talent, Ryne Robinson, as well as other oft-used reserves, all saw revolving time last campaign. Robinson, like Nance, will stretch defenses to assure a quality running game.

Tight End
Junior Dan Tyler has proven hands and the size to positively affect blocking schemes. The TE position was good for 50 catches in 2003 Miami, so expect Tyler and his positional cohorts to again make LBs and safeties feel over-burdened.

Offensive Line
This area should rebound with strength, but the losses are gaping. Three of the five linemen that helped pave an average of 4.3 yards per carry are gone. The three players left with starting status, all juniors, are each capable and mobile. The slated fill-ins for those above-listed blank spots look to be well-placed. It is that whole deal with the unit having to gel that makes time a factor which could (with such a tough opening slate) work against the growing offensive dimensions, and ultimately team results.

It's all uphill with such a huge offensive drop-off - we can assure you that Miami won't again have the nation's number one scoring offense and the number two overall offense. But they should improve their rushing impact, with both RBs and WRs that will make the trial-by-fire for Josh Betts a short duration. It is the line that will be the unbankable piece of this puzzle - if they don't fit together, and fast, then expect Miami to slip from the top tier of the MAC elite. The defense will improve with eight returning starters, so realize just how much the team's entire fate will rest upon the new offensive dimensions. The multi-receiver sets and Mike Smith will aid all in making opposing defenders respect the possibilities.


WR Martin Nance


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Josh Betts-Jr (6-3, 225) Mike Kokal-Fr (6-2, 191)
TB Mike Smith-Sr (6-0, 205) Luke Clemens-Sr (5-10, 217)
Adam Cirborowski-Sr (6-0, 223)
WR Martin Nance-Jr (6-5, 209) Korey Kirkpatrick-Sr (6-2, 201)
WR R.J. Corbin-So (5-11, 201) Ryan Busing-So (6-3, 200)
WR Mike Larkin-Sr (5-8, 163) Ryne Robinson-So (5-10, 165)
TE Dan Tyler-Jr (6-4, 244) Tyler Vogel-Jr (6-4, 251)
OT Mark Kracium-Jr (6-5, 295) Chris Fessel-Jr (6-5, 275)
OG Dave Rehker-Sr (6-5, 275) Steve Meister-Fr (6-3, 286)
C Todd Londot-Jr (6-7, 300) Steve Kosky-So (6-4, 269)
OG Nate Bunce-Jr (6-6, 321) Pete Walters-Fr (6-5, 315)
OT Charles Norden-Fr (6-5, 304) Ryan Meyer-Jr (6-5, 278)
K Jared Parseghian-Sr (5-10, 197) Todd Soderquist-Jr (6-2, 201)



Defensive Line
This is a line that will have high expectations with the talent potential on its depth chart. Legendary end Phil Smith is easily replaced by ex-LB Tranaine Sills, a sophomore who has played over his head in his few chances. He and junior John Glavin are the Red Hawks best building blocks of talent. Glavin returns on the inside with Will Rueff to recreate the Miami 2003 interior line. Larry Burt is another penetrating producer we think will make this interior the MAC's best. The other outside position is important with all of the creative offenses this conference throws at them, but little proven talent means this unit will not rank 19th in the nation against the run again. But the middle push they constantly create should be solid enough that the LBs will be able to strategically compensate for the weaker outside.

The three returning LBs (two are starters) will make this entire defense better, period. With that said, we must point out the size mismatches often encountered by this corps when facing major I-A opponents. The big three, all juniors - Josh Busing and Terna Nande (20 TFLs) on the outside, with Derek Rehage ruling the middle - are bruising hitters and sharp in their reaction to the pass-coverage needs, too. But Miami must find better reserves. The backups are, too, small and not at the level of these starters by a long shot, so something could give here if injuries occur.

Defensive Back
The DBs all return for the nation's 73rd pass defense, but, more importantly, they were the 34th-ranked pass efficiency defense. That means they keep the play well in front of themselves. Impressively, they gave up 6.7 yards per opponent's pass and a modest 22 TDs through the air. The corners are both well-sized - they are practically Red Hawk LBs, as are the safeties, if size is the issue. Matt Pusateri, '03's leading tackler, is a ball-magnet. Ryan Redd is a capable reserve at CB behind Hodge and Hunter, but other backup CB, Marcus Tate, is only 146 pounds on the roster listings. And the safety reserves remind us of the ones at LB, weak in the time they have had to prove themselves. Talent exists, but there is a huge disparaging jump from first to second team.

This side of the ball is much more likely to pick up right from where they left off in 2003, bending-but-not-breaking for the 22nd-ranked scoring defense nationally (allowed just under 20 per contest) and the best in the MAC this way (second in total defense next to Marshall). There are only two slots they need to refill, with Derek Rehage practically a starter as he commanded the field for the Red Hawk 'D' as MLB by season's end. He will be one of the literal and spiritual centers for a back-seven that will be the only saving grace should the offense sputter early against the tough non-cons. The line will be strong, too, and that is all-important for a small-to-medium sized overall unit.


SS Matt Pusateri


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tranaine Sills-So (6-1, 244) Craig Mester-Fr (6-3, 286
DT John Glavin-Jr (5-11, 260) Otto Linwood-Fr (6-1, 285)
DT Will Rueff-Sr (6-4, 276) Larry Burt-Sr (6-4, 315)
DE Jarrod Rich-Jr (6-3, 257) Marcus Johnson-Jr (6-3, 253)
OLB John Busing-Jr (6-3, 219) Clayton Mullins-Fr (6-1, 206)
MLB Derek Rehage-Jr (6-1, 235) David Hutzelman-Jr (6-2, 225)
OLB Terna Nande-Jr (6-1, 230) Bryan Tyson-Jr (6-0, 206)
CB Darrell Hunter-Jr (6-1, 206) Ryan Redd-Jr (5-10, 182)
CB Alphonso Hodge-Sr (5-11, 206) Jerrid Gaines-Fr (5-11, 175)
Frank Wiwo-So (6-3, 170)
SS Matt Pusateri-Sr (5-11, 210) Darren Paige-Fr (6-1, 180)
Jeff Schroeder-So (5-11, 184)
FS Steve Burke-Jr (6-0, 188) Joey Card-So (6-1, 196)
P Mike Wafzig-Sr (6-4, 242) ..



Legacy senior Jared Parseghian is healthy and will not likely need the help again of kickoff specialist Todd Soderquist. Parseghian is on the verge of breaking a few MAC records. Both hit 66.7%, but in '03 neither could hit from past the 31-yard line. With Roethlisberger gone, this marginally weak dimension will surely cost Miami a win or two in close games.

Mike Wafzig is a boomer with both good control and hangtime. The Red Hawks like to do the quick-kick in 3rd-down situations when that no-man's land of needing 35-yard FGAs is reached. Roethlisberger did this an average of once a game, and backup QB Mike Kokal could easily do this again.

Return Game
Ryne Robinson will make the return of punts again a Miami specialty. He was second in the nation, had three return TDs, and made the Red Hawks the nation's number one team for punt returns! But the kickoff return efforts of DB Darrell Hunter are just the opposite, as were the efforts of the other KO returners.


With Josh Betts at QB, the offense was at full speed this spring. Betts threw for 273 yards and three TDs in an eye-popping performance in the final spring scrimmage. He's cool, crisp, and consistent in his command of the offense. This is a big play offense, though offensive coordinator, Shane Montgomery says the offense needs to be more consistent. Sporadic lightning strikes must be accompanied by a constant, forward move of field position. Freshman RB Brandon Murphy excited coaches this spring with his incredible burst. He'll likely see the field as a third back and should also line up to return kicks. WR Ryne Robinson made a strong case for best hands on the team. He's slowly moving his way into the starting rotation, with a sound performance in the pre-season.

Hoeppner feels the defense will be a real strength under the guidance of co-defensive coordinators, Joe Palcic and Brian George. They did a fantastic job of stopping the run and getting good push from their front seven. This is a fast-paced, hard-nosed crew that will pose some challenges for opposing offenses. Depth is a wealth, as even the backup defense got to the QB seven times in the spring game. DT Will Rueff is finally healthy and Hoeppner called him "unblockable" this spring. RSF DT Craig Mester impressed with his quickness. True frosh Clayton Mullins, an OLB, excited everyone, too. He won the backup spot behind John Busing, and will provide extensive minutes. The RedHawks saw some positives due to key starters rehabbing injuries, tutoring green backups with added repetitions. The secondary had a very good spring. The free safety position looks strong, as Steve Burke returns. He's backed up by Joey Card, who had the most impressive spring performance of any DB. RSF Frank Wiwo led all tacklers in the spring game and gives the Hawks a reliable backup.

OLB FR Clayton Mullins (fr)
RB Brandon Murphy (rsf)
WR Ryne Robinson (so)