Notre Dame Football Opponent Preview: Miami (OH) Redhawk Defense

OXFORD, OH - SEPTEMBER 16: Doug Costin
OXFORD, OH - SEPTEMBER 16: Doug Costin /

Notre Dame plays Miami (OH) for the first time since 1909 when the two programs met for the very first time.

The Redhawk defense currently ranks 33rd in the country in scoring defense. Miami (OH) is allowing only 19 points per game. For the Chuck Martin and the Redhawks, their offense and defense go hand-in-hand. The offense tries to possess the ball in order to keep the defense fresh. Here is a quick preview of the Miami (OH) defense:

Defensive Line

Doug Costin, Ikeem Allen, Nate Trawick and Pasquale Calcagno start along the front for the Redhawks.

Costin has produced more than any other Defensive Linemen so far this season. The Sophomore Defensive End from West Chester, Pennsylvania tallied 17 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. In addition to his tackles, Costin has deflected 5 passes so far and pressured the Quarterback 3 times.

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For a “Group of Five” team, this starting group looks the part. The Redhawks average 285 lbs. along the line. For comparison, the Fighting Irish Defensive Line weighs in at 286.25 lbs. per player.


Middle Linebacker Sam Connolly burst on the scene against Central Michigan. He replaced the injured starter Junior McMullen. He tallied 9 total tackles and 1 interception. Connolly looks to continue his early success against the Irish on Saturday evening.

Alongside Connolly stand Junior De’Andre Montgomery and Junior Brad Koenig. The tandem recorded 33 and 32 tackles in the first four games of the season.

It is safe to say that if a tackle is being made on Saturday, it will come from one of these three players.

Defensive Backs

The secondary may be the strength of the Redhawk defense. It starts with Senior Cornerback Heath Harding. Harding hails from Dayton Christian School. This is not your average MAC player. He earned first-team All-MAC honors. Prior to the beginning of the season, Harding was listed as one of 85 defensive players on the Bednarik Watch List. So far this season, Harding When Brandon Wimbush drops back to pass, he will need to know where No. 24 is.

So far this season, Harding has collected 22 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 fumble return and 2 passes broken up. When Brandon Wimbush drops back to pass, he will need to know where No. 24 is.

Reid, Allen, and Daniels join Harding to round out the backend of the defense. Reid has notched 26 tackles in four games in the 2017 season.


The Notre Dame football team needs to flex its muscles on Saturday. If the Irish can run the ball for huge numbers against Temple and Boston College, they should be able to do the same against the Redhawks. Notre Dame needs to take Miami (OH) seriously. They have enough players on Defense to make it a miserable day. If they focus on playing Notre Dame football, they will not have a problem.