College Football Preview: The 2015 Ohio Bobcats
Ohio Bobcats Preview
2014 Record: 6-6
Frank Solich looks for an experienced Ohio Bobcats squad to reverse the downward spiral of recent years.
Overview: The Ohio Bobcats have plenty of returning experience and as the saying goes ‘experience is never a bad thing’. We will see if there is truth in that statement for Ohio who on paper should be in line for a rebound although how much of a rebound is the question.
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Offense: Ohio had two signal callers a year ago and whether Solich goes with one or both remains to be seen. JD Spague threw for 1,236 yards but was a 48.5% passer while Derrius Vick passed for 1,156 yards on nearly 59%. Both combined for over 800 rushing yards so they were capable on the ground but not consistent overall. AJ Ouellette became the top option on the ground with 785 yards with Daz’mond Patterson was the second option (86-348) but he was a four yard and a cloud of dust runner and also fumbled six times. Former three star recruit Sebastian Smith is tops among the receivers (31-385) with Jordan Reid (24-326) moving in to the number two spot but this is a receiver by committee group with limited deep threats. The O-Line is loaded with every starter and backup returning.
Defense: The defensive line loses three of their top four but the Bobcats had a decent rotation and should be able to fill the void although they are lacking a bit on the interior. With the inside of the line a question a loaded linebacking crew is a welcome sight with the top seven returning. Quentin Poling and Jovon Johnson are the keys with a combined 126 tackles with 7.5 and 10.5 TFL respectably including 8.5 sacks and five interceptions. The secondary was thrown on but injuries and players forced in to playing time had something to do with it. Most are back along with several three star recruits so with some help from the pass rush we could see an improved performance from this group.
Special Teams: Punter Mitch Bonnstetter was solid with a 41.8 yard average on 63 boots but PK Josiah Yazdani was 13-16 on short FG but an anemic 4-10 on attempts greater then 40 yards. Daz’mond Patterson handles all return duties and is a dangerous returner.
Outlook: I think the Bobcats have some questions but the cupboard is not completely bare and Solich does have some talented recruits coming in. Solich knows how to win and I expect improvement in the win department and enough so to possibly get a Bowl invite if the quarterback situation is settled and the defense gets the line and secondary to produce.