Miami (Ohio) 35, Army 28
Don Treadwell saw no need for a big celebration after his first coaching win. Standards are a lot higher at the Cradle of Coaches, where four new statues tell the history.
Zac Dysert threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half Saturday, rallying Miami of Ohio to a 35-28 victory over Army on a day dedicated to the school's reputation as a launching point for successful coaches.
It took five games and one big comeback to get the first win for Treadwell, a former Miami player who joined in singing the fight song on the field afterward.
''It's been a long time,'' Treadwell said. ''We were overdue to sing the fight song. Being an alum, I knew the words but I didn't know we sing it so many times now. But if you win, I'll sing it as many times as they want.''
His quarterback got the band warmed up.
Dysert had only two touchdown passes in the first four games. He put the RedHawks (1-4) ahead midway through the fourth quarter with his 20-yard pass to Nick Harwell, completing a 98-yard drive against an inexperienced defense.
''Obviously that's horrible, to have the ball go down the field,'' Army coach Rich Ellerson said. ''Give them credit, but we're better than that.''
Dysert also ran 1 yard for a score against Army's young defense - which had three sophomores and two freshmen starting.
''We were playing a little out position on a couple of plays,'' Army linebacker Steven Erzinger said. ''Obviously they're going to exploit that. They saw us doing some things they liked and at halftime made some adjustments. Once you get them hot, it's hard to stop.''
Army (2-4) blew a 14-point lead in the second half and remained winless in three road games. Trent Steelman threw a 45-yard touchdown pass and ran for two more scores, but was sacked on fourth down from the Miami 15-yard line with 25 seconds left.
Miami unveiled four more statues on its Cradle of Coaches Plaza before the game, honoring Ara Parseghian, John Pont, Bo Schembechler and Earl ''Red'' Blaik, who played and coached at both Miami and Army.
The RedHawks had trouble getting that first victory for Treadwell, the 34th head coach in school history. The defending Mid-American Conference champions were off to their worst start since 2009, when they lost their first eight games and finished 1-11.
Dysert and Harwell pulled it off.
''It was a great experience,'' said Dysert, who was 24 of 37 for 342 yards. ''That should start us rolling.''
Harwell had 10 catches for 186 yards, the third-highest total in school history. He topped 100 yards receiving for the fourth straight game, matching Martin Nance's school record.
The RedHawks were coming off a 27-0 loss to rival Cincinnati a week ago, the Bearcats' first shutout in Oxford since 1898. Miami opened the game with Dysert's 13-yard touchdown pass to Harwell on the sixth play.
The RedHawks couldn't stop the triple option in the first half.
The Black Knights have topped 300 yards rushing in all six games, their longest such streak since 1996. Steelman ran 24 times for 99 yards overall and completed all of his eight passes for 124 yards against a defense that dared the Black Knights to throw.
Steelman started his 31st consecutive game, the longest streak by a quarterback in Army's history. He threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Brown for a 21-14 lead late in the first half. It was Steelman's third touchdown pass of the season and the longest play so far by the Black Knights.
Steelman also got the Black Knights rolling at the start of the second half. He carried three times for 55 yards, taking it the final 5 yards for a 28-14 lead on the opening drive.
Another turnover figured in the Black Knights' undoing. Raymond Maples' fumble set up Dysert's 9-yard touchdown pass to Andy Cruse that tied it at 28 on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Army lost two more fumbles, leaving it with 10 lost fumbles in the first five games.