#93 Ohio Football Preview

Ohio Bobcats

Overall rank: #93
#5 MAC

Ohio Logo

Ohio Team Page

2010 Record: (8-5, 6-2)
2010 Bowl: New Orleans Bowl vs Troy (L 21-48)
Coach: Frank Solich (40-36 at Ohio, 98-55 overall)
Co Offensive Coordinators: Tim Albin and Gerry Gdowski
Defensive Coordinator: Jimmy Burrow

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Phil Bates, QB, 519 yards
Passing: Phil Bates, QB, 178 yards
Receiving: Riley Dunlop, WR, 387 yards
Tackles: Eric Benjamin, LB, 56
Sacks: Carl Jones, DT, 3.5
Interceptions: Omar Leftwich, CB, 2

Other Key Returnees: RT, Joe Flading, LT, A.J. Strum, RB, Donte Harden, TE, Jordan Thompson, MLB, Noah Keller, FS, Gerald Moore, K Matt Weller, P, Paul Hershey

Key Losses:  QB, Boo Jackson, RB, Vince Davidson, WR, Terrance McCrae, S, Donovan Fletcher, DL, Stafford Gatling, DL Nak Notestine

It is all about the quest for the elusive first bowl win for Ohio. This is the 50th anniversary of the Bobcat program joining the major college football ranks and they are pushing to make school history with three straight bowl appearances. Coach Frank Solich has built a strong foundation and talent base for Ohio to be a consistent force in the MAC Conference on an annual basis bringing the same consistency he had while head coach at Nebraska.

The Bobcats, with five returning offensive linemen, should be able to quickly institute their no-huddle offense they have been implementing since the New Orleans Bowl loss to Troy where the Trojans executed the no huddle offense very resoundingly in a 48-21 defeat of Ohio. The deep receiving corps with the return of Lavon Brazill and Donte Foster’s growth should boost their passing game numbers from a year ago.
On defense, it’s all about getting guys back healthy. Gerald Moore and Noah Keller missed the majority of last season and, when healthy, are without question All-MAC conference caliber players. These two playmakers should help create more turnovers and short fields for the offense, especially as MAC Conference play evolves.

The inexperience up front on the defensive line after losing four fifth year seniors is a significant question mark for the Bobcats coming into fall camp. The ability to generate pressure on the quarterback is going to be critical to open up guys like Gerald Moore and Noah Keller to create turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, the quarterback play is going to be critical.  There is plenty of talent and skill at the position, however, the experience is definitely lacking. Early season success against New Mexico State and Gardner Webb and Marshall would be a great opportunity to build confidence going into the road game at Rutgers on September 24th.

The Bottom Line:
The Ohio Bobcats have become a very steady force under the direction of Frank Solich. That consistency should prevail with five returning starters on the offensive line and plenty of depth at running back, led by Senior Donte Harden. Also key will be the evolution of QB Tyler Tettleton, son of MLB catcher Mickey Tettleton. If he can add more consistency in the passing game to the mix, then defenses will have a nightmare time trying to slow down the Ohio offense. The Bobcats should put up a lot of explosive numbers offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio will need to create more turnovers and improve upon their -7 turnover margin from 2010 if they are to win the MAC Conference this season.

Projected Bowl: none

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 163.8 (47th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 162.3 (102, 10)
Total Offense: 326.1 (95, 8)
Scoring Offense: 27.5 (55, 4)
Rushing Defense: 123.1(20, 2)
Pass Defense: 230.3 (83, 11)
Total Defense: 353.4 (41, 6)
Scoring Defense: 23.8 (51, 5)
Turnover Margin: -0.54 (98, 10)
Sacks: 1.85 (72, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 1.69 (43, 3)

Check out another article about Ohio football