Joe Gieringer, Senior Staff Writer

The Miami University football team kept the season opener close at the half, but Marshall University pulled away in the second half en route to a 52-14 victory.

The RedHawks opened up the scoring midway through the first quarter when redshirt senior quarterback Austin Boucher hit classmate and fellow co-captain tight end Steve Marck on an eight yard pass, giving Miami that critical first strike. Sophomore running back Spencer Treadwell added to the scoreboard with just 1:25 left to go in the first half, deadlocking the game at 14.

That would be the last time the RedHawks would come close to the endzone, however. Marshall came out with a vengeance in the final 30 minutes, dropping 38 unanswered points on the Red and White. Junior quarterback Rakeem Cato was superb for the Thundering Herd as he completed 22 of his 34 pass attempts, connecting on five of them for touchdowns.

“The first half is a statement of what we’re able to do, but what we have to do, obviously, is carry that into two halves,” head coach Don Treadwell said. “Certainly, you’ve got to give credit to Marshall without question. They have a tremendous offense in particular.”

That offense compiled 591 yards of total offense over the course of the game, leaving the RedHawk defense reeling. Miami limited Marshall in the first quarter, holding the Thundering Herd to just 11 yards of total offense.

Miami found some success on the offensive side of the ball, as Boucher finished 10-for-22 with 165 yards through the air. Nine RedHawks combined for 74 yards rushing.

Boucher had a great first half, completing nine of his twelve passes, but was just one for 10 in the second half.

“Well I thought in the first half, shoot – he did just about everything you want,” Treadwell said of his quarterback. “I thought he was in good command and in charge of what we were doing, and had some passes that were thrown right on the money. We have a young receiving corps so there’s some growing pains there, but we’re going to be fine.”

Co-captain Marck explained the team as a whole was ready, but things just didn’t go according to plan.

“We’ve been preparing for weeks, and we were excited coming out to renew this game with Marshall that has a little history behind it,” Marck said. “They made great adjustments, and all credit to them. We just need to do a better job playing tough for two halves of football.”

The coaches know this is just a notch in the loss column, and nothing more. The program continues to look forward and stay positive, focusing on what it can control: the future.

“We’ve just got to be able to respond from this, learn from this,” Treadwell said. “We’ll be fine.

Miami returns to action next week when they take on the University of Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington. The game is slated for a noon start Saturday, Sept. 6.