Thursday, November 14, 2002

Miami's bowl hopes all but gone


More fallout from loss at Marshall

Enquirer news services

OXFORD - Miami lost a very big football game Tuesday night. That fact largely has been overshadowed by the incidents that followed Miami's 36-34 heartbreaker at Marshall.

MAC STANDINGS
East Division
SchoolConf.Overall
Marshall 5-17-2
Miami5-27-4
Ohio4-24-6
West Division
SchoolConf.Overall
NIU6-07-3
BGSU5-18-1
Toledo4-16-3
The team was given Wednesday and today off, which was the plan before the postgame events that led to the suspension of two Miami assistant coaches.

The RedHawks are off Saturday and play their final regular-season game Nov.23 against Central Florida at home.

"We're going to come back and play Miami football," coach Terry Hoeppner said.

That will be difficult. The RedHawks will have to prepare without suspended defensive coordinator Jon Wauford and linebackers coach Taver Johnson.

They also don't have a lot to play for. The loss to Marshall all but quashed the RedHawks' hopes of winning the Mid-American Conference East Division, and therefore their bowl chances.

Marshall would have to lose Nov. 23 at Ohio and Nov. 30 at Ball State, and Miami would have to beat Central Florida to win the MAC East and reach the MAC championship game.

That's why the loss to Marshall was so painful. Two pass-interference penalties in the end zone led directly to quarterback Stan Hill's 1-yard touchdown run with five seconds left.

Miami almost certainly would have advanced to the MAC championship game with a win.

"It was a very emotional game for us, and it was a difficult ending for us," Hoeppner said. "I can't speak about the officiating."

Hoeppner addressed the team Wednesday.

"I told them that going through this would make us stronger," Hoeppner said.



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