by CFP Staff
January 7, 2011
Even without departed head coach Michael Haywood, the Miami RedHawks won their 10th game of the season (10-4), downing Middle Tennessee 35-21 (6-7) in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday night.
It was the Sun Belt Conference's lone loss (2-1) of the bowl season while the MAC went 2-2.
Lance Guidry stepped in as interim head coach for the RedHawks after Haywood was hired by Pittsburgh on December 16. But Haywood was subsequently fired from Pitt on January 1st after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge against a woman with whom he has a child.
Haywood engineered a dramatic one-season turnaround at Miami, from 1-11 in 2009 to 9-4 in 2010 (Guidry gets the 10th win). The bowl victory made the RedHawks the first team in FBS history to go from a double-digit loss season to a double-digit win season in just one year.
Miami intercepted MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher four times in the second half.
The RedHawks broke a 21-21 stalemate late in the 3rd quarter when Austin Boucher connected with Chris Givens for a 17-yard TD pass. Boucher's 6-yard pass to Nate Harwell completed the scoring with just over 6 minutes left in the game.
The GoDaddy.com Bowl began in 1999 as the Mobile Alabama Bowl and became the GMAC Bowl the following season.
The Miami RedHawks were the 2010 MAC Champions and MTSU was the No. 3 team out of the Sun Belt.
The RedHawks improved their bowl record to 7-2 in their first bowl appearance since 2004. Miami's only other visit to Mobile came in 2003 when it beat Louisville 49-28.
Middle Tennessee dropped to 1-2 in bowl games, a solid feat considering the Blue Raiders moved up to the FBS level in 1999.
It was the first meeting between the two teams.