If the Miami (OH) Redhawks are to compete this season, they will need to get all they can out of QB Gus Ragland.
One of the best returning Quarterbacks in the MAC, Ragland is set to lead the Redhawks to a potential MAC title. A RS Junior, he’s coming off an outstanding season, where the Cincinnati, Ohio native threw for 1,537 yards and 17 touchdowns despite missing the team’s first 6 games to recover from a torn ACL.
In Ragland’s absence Miami went 0-6, including two straight losses in MAC Conference play. Upon his return, the Redhawks rolled through the competition, winning 6 straight regular season games to close out the season, before eventually falling in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
In the team’s 7 losses ( One of which includes the St. Petersburg Bowl against Mississippi State ) Miami only averaged 355 yards of total offense. The team’s 6 wins saw the Redhawks put up 380 total yards of offense. Surprisingly, the passing yardage saw a decrease from the losses to wins, despite the presence of Ragland.
While this might suggest that Ragland’s play had little effect on the team, it doesn’t really tell the whole picture. It was his leadership which catapulted Miami of Ohio into bowl contention. How else do you explain 6 straight wins after 6 straight losses?
As the 2017 season rolls around, the Redhawks are ready to continue their winning ways from the previous year. Hopefully the end result is a win in a prominent Bowl game. If Ragland can stay healthy, we could see Miami get off to a fast start once the season begins. Hopefully, the trend will continue throughout the year.
Judging from last season, Ragland is a team leader. His presence in the huddle inspired the Redhawks, and the team played much better football because of it. Look out for Miami this year, they might surprise in the MAC Conference.