RedHawks Ride Defense To Victory
The NCAA had an interesting dilemma following the 2021 season. 84 teams recorded six wins or more which meant there were two more bowl eligible teams than games. As a result the NCAA did something cool and created another bowl game for the extra squads. When the dust settled Miami (Ohio) and North Texas met in Texas. Riding a strong defense Miami (Ohio) wins the Frisco Football Classic 27-14.
A Very Close First Half
Both teams went back in forth during the early part of the game. A 48 yard field goal by Graham Nicholson put Miami up 3-0. However the Mean Green marched down the field and Isaiah Johnson took it the last 15 giving North Texas a 7-3 lead. A Kenny Tracy eight yard run gave the RedHawks back the lead. North Texas answered with a 90 yard drive capped by a two yard Austin Aune run giving them a 14-10 lead. However that would be the last points Seth Littrell’s club would score. Miami ran off ten unanswered and took at 20-14 lead into the half.
Second Half Shutdown
On their first drive in the second half Miami struck quickly as 51 yard pass from Brett Gabbert to Jack Sorenson put them in scoring range. From there Gabbert hit Nate Muersch who made an incredible catch giving Miami a 27-14 lead.
— #MACtion (@MACSports) December 23, 2021
Needing a score North Texas got the ball inside the Miami ten yard line. However they failed to cash in as on fourth and four as Ahne’s pass to Christian Lee fell incomplete with 9:18 to go. Remarkably the Mean Green never got the ball again as the RedHawks ran out the clock as Miami (Ohio) wins the Frisco Football Classic 27-14.
A Big Loss
If you checked out our game preview, and of course you did, we said the biggest key for the game was North Texas’ run offense. Unfortunately for Mean Green fans about 90 minutes before their game top running back Deandre Torrey was ruled out for the Frisco Football Classic. Minus his 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns North Texas struggled to get anything going.
They came into Thursday’s game fourth in college football averaging 246 yards per game. However without Torrey they managed only 89 yards and less than three yards per rush. In addition they also forced two turnovers. As mentioned earlier they totally shut down North Texas in the second half.
Another player we said to watch in our game preview was Sorenson. The Mid-American conference’s leader in receiving yards had a huge game hauling in seven passes for 116 yards. Gabbert was also solid completing 22 of 30 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Tracy added 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
It’s Been A While
With the win Miami finishes 7-6 on the year and ends a decade long bowl losing streak. Before Thursday they hadn’t won a bowl since beating Middle Tennessee 35-21 in the 2010 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Furthermore it gave coach Chuck Martin has first bowl victory as he had been 0-2 since coming to Oxford.
INTRODUCING YOUR FRISCO FOOTBALL CLASSIC CHAMPIONS!!!!
— Miami Football (@MiamiOHFootball) December 23, 2021
The victory ended one of the more interesting streaks in college football. Their win in the Frisco Football Classic gave Miami their first out of conference win against an FBS opponent since beating Army a decade ago on October 8, 2011. Furthermore it got the MAC on the board with their first bowl win of 2021 as they were 0-4 previously.
On the other side of the ball the Mean Green end 2021 at 6-7. In addition they lose their fifth straight bowl game under Littrell with four of those losses coming by double digits. Their last win came in the 2013 Heart Of Texas Bowl when they beat UNLV 36-13. Of course North Texas is one of several teams set to leave Conference USA for the AAC as early as 2023.
Again Miami (Ohio) wins the Frisco Football Classic 27-14 with a strong defensive effort. Thanks for checking out our recap here at Last Word On College Football. As a reminder we’ll have preview and recaps of every bowl game leading up to the big one on January 10th.
Main Image courtesy AP Photo/Matt Strase