Just like other student-athletes playing in their final game, Hendrix wants to walk away as a winner. Leading his team to a win over arch-rival Ohio as an end note to his career and a rebuilding season would make it that much sweeter.
The former Moeller High School (Cincinnati) quarterback originally took his talents to Notre Dame. But he saw very limited action for the Irish and the prospects for any kind of significant role in 2014 were beyond slim.
When ND offensive coordinator Chuck Martin took the Miami head coaching job after MU’s winless 2013 campaign, Hendrix was one of several Irish players who elected to follow him to Oxford. All three would be be immediately available, albeit for only one season.
As for the RedHawks team, Hendrix figured to give MU a quarterback who was completely familiar with Martin’s system. Hence, Hendrix bought a year of system learning for other quarterbacks on the roster. Moreover, he has been able to provide helpful insights to other positions (e.g. receivers).
By all accounts, Hendrix quickly blended in, leading not as some blustery transfer from ND, but as somebody who wanted something common to almost any athlete – opportunity to show what he could do.
Certainly the fact that Miami ranks 21st nationally in passing says something about Hendrix. The RedHawks totaled 1,491 passing yards in 2013. Heading into Tuesday’s game, Miami has 3,115 yards through the air. d
The RedHawks through eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. So far this year, Miami has 22 TDs and nine INTs – eight by Hendrix.
Dawan Scott and David Frazier led Miami receivers in 2013 with 28 catches each. Scott had picked up 425 yards with two TD, while Frazier gained 302 yards and also had two TDs.
Scott has been hurt this year and also moved to running back, where he has helped when healthy. Frazier enters his final game of the campaign with 54 catches for 901 yards and five touchdowns. Several other receivers have also thrived with Hendrix at the helm of a new system.
To its credit, the Miami offensive line has also stepped up in pass protection skills as the season progressed. Of course, Hendrix has also shown the ability to escape and/or run for key yardage. His best day running the football was 15 carries for 104 yards in a 10-3 Miami win over Kent State. His best day passing was in Miami’s 42-41 win over Massachusetts. Hendrix completed 32 of 58 for 437 yards and four touchdowns in a victory that broke Miami’s 21-game losing streak.
Heading into the finale, Miami owns just two wins on the season. Yet it has been very competitive in a number of other outings and was tied with Central Michigan (27-27) in the fourth quarter of its last outing. The RedHawks eventually lost 34-27 after failing to punch in a touchdown from the CMU two-yard line on the game’s final play.
Upon being hired, Martin was upfront about the rebuilding process – many changes needed to be made as quickly as possible, but the entire turnaround would take several years. Hendrix won’t be on the field for the end, but he certainly has made his mark on the foundation. With one more brick to lay in that foundation, Hendrix, would no doubt like to make sure it comes from a win in the 2014 Battle of the Bricks against Ohio.
► Hendrix is currently ranked seventh in the nation in passing yards.
► The Bobcats have a pair of quarterbacks at coach Frank Solich’s disposal – J.D. Sprague and Derrius Vick
► Ohio cruised to a 41-16 win against Miami in last year’s meeting. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns – all to Donte Foster. Beau Blankenship ran for 172 yards as the Bobcats amassed 536 total yards in the blitz.
► Miami’s last win before embarking on its 21-game losing streak was a 23-20 home field win over No. 23 Ohio.
► Miami has lost two games (Western Michigan, 41-10 and Central Michigan (34-27) since its last win (10-3 over Kent State). Ohio is coming off a 21-14 loss to MAC West leader Northern Illinois.
The Bobcats last win was one game earlier when they drilled Buffalo, 37-14.
► Ohio (5-6, 3-4) could become bowl eligible with a win over MU.
► Miami is ninth in scoring; Ohio is fifth in scoring defense.
► Ohio is 11th in scoring offense. Miami is 11th in scoring defense.
► Miami is eighth in total offense. Ohio ranks 10th.
► Ohio is fifth in total defense. Miami is 11th.
► Ohio is sixth in rushing offense (162.7 ypg). A.J. Quellette had 25 carries for 127 yards with one TD in the Bobcats recent outing against Northern Illinois.
► Miami’s run offense has struggled since MU’s MAC championship year of 2010. The RedHawks are 12th in the MAC this year with a 97.5 ypg average.
► Miami leds the all-time series with Ohio, 52-36-2.
►Among Miami seniors playing their last game is defensive back Quinten Rollins. After four years with the RedHawks basketball program, Rollins decided to give football a try. Because there was more opportunity at defensive back, Rollins came out for that position. He is tied for the MAC lead in interceptions and is now considered a pro prospect. He has been invited to this year’s senior bowl.