HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Miami University quarterback Austin Boucher is a new face starting under center for the RedHawks ... sort of.
It's been a while since Boucher was Miami's starting quarterback, but it was a memorable streak. In 2010, he stepped into the starting role in the RedHawks' 11th game after a Zac Dysert injury and led them to four consecutive wins, including a Mid-American Conference championship victory over Northern Illinois and a GoDaddy.com Bowl win over Middle Tennessee State.
After spending the last two seasons as Dysert's backup, Boucher will be Miami's No. 1 signal-caller when the RedHawks and Marshall line up at 7 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network).
Marshall defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said Boucher's lack of game experience over the last two seasons is no reason to ignore him.
"He's an unknown, but by the end of the season, he'll be pretty well known," Heater said. "He's a great player and must be a great kid to have managed the last couple of years the way he has."
Dysert was a pretty tough player to beat out, ending his Miami career with 12,013 passing yards, eclipsing Ben Roethlisberger for No. 1 on the RedHawks' all time list, and getting drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. But even as a reserve, the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Boucher maintained the respect of his teammates, getting voted one of Miami's 2013 captains.
"He's had a lot of intangibles all along," Treadwell said. "It's not like just this year emerged. Even in his role as a backup behind the scenes, he's been a very strong leader. For him now to take the reins of quarterback, it's really just a nice ending to a nice story. He's waited for his time, but he's always been a leader."
For his career, Boucher has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,278 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He's attempted just 23 passes in the last two seasons.
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REDHAWKS DEFENSIVE end Wes Williams has a varied background, playing some linebacker last season due to some injuries. He has the frame to fit in either position, standing 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds.