It isn't bad enough that Miami University is 0-6 this year with all of the losses this year by double digits, but to have a 1st year coach who refuses to try and win games is really disheartening. Sure the *talent level on this team is bad, which we all knew going into the season since last year's team went 2-10. Also, true is that the team is starting a 19 year old freshmen, so growing pains would be expected. Still I can't help but come to the conclusion that first year coach Mike Haywood is terrible.
*Was it only 5-6 years ago that NFL level talent was going through Oxford, OH? I mean Ben Roethlisberger is the big name who has obviously done very well for himself after leaving Miami, but there was also quality players like Jacob Bell (2004 - 5th round pick), Ryne Robinson (2007 - 4th round pick), Terna Nande (2006 - 5th round pick) and Alphonso Hodge (2005 - 5th round pick)
Why would I pick on a coach who is only halfway finished with his first year? Besides the fact that he is *0-6 (did I mention that?) and in charge of the 4th worst team according to ESPN's Bottom 10 that just happens to be last in the FBS in scoring offense. There is a simple reason that I pick on Mike Haywood and that is because he was the culprit on what has to be one of the dumbest tactical decisions in football this year. Let us set up the scenario after the asterisk.
*11 straight losses for the Redhawks. That is the 2nd longest streak in the country. Everyone in Oxford can now ironically look down at the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.
Miami is down 16-0 a little over 10 minutes to go in the game. 4th and 3 yards to go from their own 48 yard line. Why punt it? You are down two touchdowns and two two point conversations and you are near midfield. Does he realize that you need to try and score to win the game?
Miami is still down 16-0, but now there is 5 minutes to go in the game. It is 4th and 13 yards to go from Miami's 19 yard line. Again, why would you punt it? You need to score at least two times and to do that you have to keep your offense on the field. There is a much better chance of you getting 4th and 13 than having Northwestern fumble the punt, which is pretty much what you are hoping to happen. This makes zero sense. It is almost like he is punting in hopes of keeping the final score close. As a Miami alum I don't care about the final score....all I care about is trying to win. I know the situation is bleak, but by punting there you are taking a 3% chance of winning the game and reducing it to 1%. That makes no sense.
After Scenario 2 happened Miami got the ball (after a Northwestern 3 and out) back with only 2 minutes and 49 seconds left. The fact that they were able to drive the ball down and score with a little over a minute left meant practically nothing since there was almost no time left on the clock. They tried an onside kick, which Northwestern recovered and quickly ran out the clock. Now if Coach Haywood would have gone for it on 4th down on one of the scenarios then maybe there would have been a chance to win the game. I certainly think 4th and 3 and 4th and 13 are much easier options than trying to get an onside kick. Basically Haywood was telling his offense that he didn't trust them to get any yards and it was best to try and just make the score respectable instead of actually trying to win. Maybe some Miami fans saw a 16-6 loss to a Big Ten opponent as an improvement? All I saw was a coach that was telling his team through his play calling that he didn't believe that they could win the game.
Coach Haywood try to win games.