#45 Ohio Football 2012 Preview

Ohio Bobcats

2012 Overall Rank: #45
#1 Mid-American Conference
Ohio College Football 2012 Team Preview
Ohio Team Page


Ohio is quite the force in the MAC conference.  It is no surprise.  Frank Solich won when he was head coach at Nebraska.  He has taken his achievement to small town Ohio and made the Bobcats a relevant team.  In 2011, the Bobcats had a great year with a young team and they are hoping that 2012 finds them older and wiser.  They were the strongest team in the Eastern division last year and they just have to find a way to navigate the top teams in the West.  They have the opportunity to build upon the great foundation 2011 laid.

2011 Record: (10-4)
2011 Bowl:  Famous Idaho Potato (W 24-23)
Coach: Frank Solich (50-40 at Ohio, 108-59 Overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tim Albin
Defensive Coordinator: Jimmy Burrow

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Ryan Boykin, RB, 465 yards
Passing: Tyler Tettleton, QB, 3,306 yards
Receiving: Jordan Thompson, TE, 258 yards
Tackles: Gerald Moore, S, 84
Sacks: Corey Hasting, 3.5 Tremayne Scott, 3.5
Interceptions: Travis Carrie, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: S Xavier Hughes, WR Donte Foster, LB Alphonso Lewis, OL John Prior, DL Carl Jones, LB Keith Moore, K Matt Weller

Key Losses: RB Donte Harden, WR LaVon Brazill, LB Noah Keller

Ohio had a stellar offense in 2011.  Quarterback Tyler Tettleton was on point for the squad last season.  He is now an upperclassman who is talented enough to be considered for preseason award watch lists.  He threw for over 3,300 yards last season with 28 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions.  He is a bona fide star for the Bobcats and is a dual threat quarterback as well.  The offense was 23rd in the nation on the ground.  They ranked 43rd in passing offense, but at least they were efficient.  They will need to find the end zone a bit more in 2012.  But at 30 points per game in 2011, Solich has to believe that those numbers will climb this coming season.  The Bobcats were also solid on defense and they held offenses back where it counted – the scoreboard.  They were second in the conference in defending their own end zone.  That will be important moving forward.

As good as the defense was at preventing scores, the front seven still need to be better at applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks.  They only had about a sack and a half per game last year.  They had a tough time holding up at the line of scrimmage.  Most teams found a way to advance the ball at least between the 20s against Ohio.  They will also need to improve their special teams.  They did not get very good field position (or prevent good field position) on their punt and kickoff return teams.  Against their conference foes, they were decent, but they still have room for improvement in that area.

The Bottom Line:
Solich has to believe that his team has a shot to win the MAC in 2012.  They were a team with an offense that built up into something special by the end of the season.  The passing numbers should improve with Tyler Tettleton more comfortable as a leader and a thrower.  The loss of running back Donte Harden will hurt and they will have to find a player to pick up the slack.  Three of their losses were only by three points last season so a few plays the other way, and the Bobcats may have won the conference.  They appear ready to defend their East title.  They will be gunning for Northern Illinois and Toledo in the West.  It should be another 10 win season in Athens.

Projected Bowl: GoDaddy.com Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 200.29 (23rd in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 249.00 (43, 6)
Total Offense: 449.29 (23, 4)
Scoring Offense: 30.50 (41, 5)
Rushing Defense: 142.0 (52, 5)
Pass Defense: 219.0 (52, 9)
Total Defense: 361.0 (46, 4)
Scoring Defense: 22.14 (32, 2)
Turnover Margin: .00 (59, 5)
Sacks: 1.57 (89, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.71 (51, 7)