2013 Ohio Preview – Offense

Posted Jul 20, 2013

CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Ohio Bobcat Offense

Ohio Bobcats

Preview 2013 - Offense

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What You Need To Know: Veteran offensive coordinator Tim Albin might have his best attack yet. The Bobcats had a nice running game and some good pop with the MAC's fourth-best offense in yards and scoring, but now the experience is in place and the talent is there to be dominant at times. For this team, consistency is a must, and the veterans should provide it. Tyler Tettleton is an ultra-efficient, scrappy quarterback who pushed the ball down the field well, and he has a good No. 1 target in Donte Foster to work with. Running back Beau Blankenship put up huge numbers, and he should be able to do even more behind a strong line that gets back enough starting experience to build on a good 2012.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Tyler Tettleton
228-367, 2,844 yds, 18 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Beau Blankenship
312 carries, 1,604 yds, 15 TD
Receiving: Donte Foster
59 catches, 659 yds, 8 TD

Star of the offense: Senior QB Tyler Tettleton
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore OG Mike Lucas
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore C Lucas Powell
Best pro prospect: Senior OG Jon Lechner
Top three all-star candidates: 1) RB Beau Blankenship, 2) WR Donte Foster, 3) Tettleton
Strength of the offense: Passing Efficiency, Running
Weakness of the offense: Pass Protection, Consistency


While other MAC quarterbacks have been in the national spotlight over the last several years, few are more effective than senior Tyler Tettleton, a fiery 6-0, 198-pound veteran who came up with a tremendous year completing 62% of his passes for 2,844 yards with 18 scores and four picks while also finishing third on the team with 244 rushing yards and four scores. While he's not built like a big bomber, he has a strong, accurate arm and is great at making things happen on the move. Now he has to be more consistent. He dominated early last season starting with his brilliant 31-of-41, 324-yard, two touchdown, 47-rushing yard, one score day in the win over Penn State, and followed it up with two touchdown passes against New Mexico State and three against Marshall, but he was off against Bowling Green and struggled in the loss to Kent State. With his moxie, accuracy and leadership skills, he has the potential to knock out Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois for All-MAC honors.

6-0, 195-pound sophomore Derrius Vick grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and he plays like a Husker quarterback with tremendous quickness, toughness and all-around ability. A defensive back as well as a kicker in high school, to go along with his quarterback skills, he's good on the ground and can throw a little bit, too, stepping into the starting role against Norfolk State and completing 14-of-20 passes for 199 yards with four scores. While he's a good runner – tearing off 75 yards in his limited time – he's a smart all-around playmaker who can spread the ball down the field with his live arm.

Watch Out For … the redshirt freshmen. The Bobcats didn't recruit any quarterbacks this year because they have Vick, 6-1, 188-pound JD Sprague and 6-1, 218-pound Greg Windham three young talents who can all move and can all fit what the offense needs. Sprague is a terrific athlete with a big arm, while Windham is a big-time, smart passer out of Tampa who can stretch the field.
Strength: Interceptions. Tettleton threw one in each of the final two games, and just two in the previous 11. He's not going to beat himself. The offense is built for accurate, efficient passers; the Bobcats led the MAC in passing efficiency.
Weakness: Consistency and backup experience. Vick has enough to get by, but Tettleton is the franchise. If he goes down, the MAC title hopes might be over.
Outlook: The Ohio passing attack wasn't always efficient, but Tettleton and the latest batch of quarterbacks have made it that way. This will be a major plus if Tettleton is Tettleton for a full season. However, it would be nice to get Vick and the young guys a little more work, too.
Unit Rating: 8

Running Backs

There was a time in the middle of last season when it wasn't crazy to put senior Beau Blankenship deep in the hunt for the Doak Walker. All he did was crank out five straight 100-yard games to start the season, and six in the first seven, including 269 yards and two score against UMass and 109 yards against Penn State. He was pushed out of the running for the award after a few 70-yard days, but he closes strong with 161 yards and three touchdowns against Ball State, 145 yards against Kent State, and 104 yards and four touchdowns against ULM in the bowl win to finish with 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns on a bruising 312 carries. The 5-8, 202-pounder can catch a little, too, with 21 grabs for 182 yards and a score, and while he's not going to blaze away for too many big yards, and he's not going to hit the home run, he's a quick, reliable back who'll get 100 yards rushing every time out.

5-6, 180-pound sophomore Daz'mond Patterson is the speed back in the equation with extreme quickness and cutting ability. He got to school early as a freshman and took over as a top kickoff returner – with a key return for a score against Buffalo - and he also added 195 rushing yards and a score averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Even better in the classroom than he is on the field, he's extremely smart who can handle the variety of roles well without a problem.

Watch Out For … Dorian Brown, the team's only running back recruit in the 2013 class. There might be a slew of young runners waiting to show what they can do behind Blankenship and Patterson, but Brown could make a splash early on with 5-11, 195-pound size and the ability to rip off yards in chunks. He might not be a speed rusher, but he's a tough all-around back who'll provide a little power along with decent quickness.
Strength: The 1-2 punch. Throw in the mobile Tettleton, and the Bobcats are loaded with good rushing options. Blankenship will carry the mail, Patterson will hit the occasional home run, and the ground game should be among the most effective in the MAC.
Weakness: Reserve experience. Patterson got in a few carries, but he's not an every down back if something happens to Blankenship. Blankenship was everything to the offense at times.
Outlook: Third in the MAC in rushing, the Bobcats averaged more than 200 yards per game thanks to the steady production of Blankenship. Developing other options is a must, but the offense finds ways to come up with big rushing numbers no matter what. This should once again be one of the league's most effective ground attacks.
Unit Rating: 7


Senior Donte Foster is the main man. The Oklahoma native was a basketball player at the JUCO level for Seminole State, and he was state champion high jumper, but he has proven he can be a No. 1 target for the passing game catching a team-leading 59 balls for 659 yards and eight scores highlighted by an 11-catch day against Kent State and his seven-grab, 164-yard, two touchdown performance against Eastern Michigan. The 6-1, 200-pounder has size, field-stretching speed, and athleticism at the outside X spot. He'll be backed up by 5-11, 184-pound junior Landon Smith, a deep threat who averaged 24.8 yards per catch making eight grabs for 198 yards and two scores highlighted by a three-catch, 82-yard, one touchdown game to open things up against Penn State. He was banged up throughout the year, but he'll find a bigger role in the rotation this season.

Working at the inside Z is junior Chase Cochran, a 6-2, 185-pounder who finished fourth on the team with 22 catches for 377 yards and four scores, but he was one of the team's top deep play threats averaging 17.1 yards per grab. Steady throughout the year, he blew up against ULM with three catches for 162 yards and a score. Also in the hunt for time at a starting spot is senior Matt Waters , a 6-0, 201-pounder from Iowa Western CC who stepped in as a backup last season making 14 catches for 225 yards averaging 16.1 yards per try. The former high school quarterback is quick with good route running skills.

Back at tight end is Troy Hill, a good blocker and a decent midrange receiver averaging 12.1 yards per catch with 14 grabs for 169 yards and three touchdowns. At 6-4 and 238 pounds, he has good size and he's physical enough to hit like a defensive lineman at times, but he's a strong athlete who can be a bigger part of the passing game. He'll be backed up by Alex Asher, a transfer from North Carolina with 6-4, 244-pound size and great receiving skills. He was a walk-on for the Tar Heels, but he should grow into a solid pass catcher for the Bobcats; he has great hands.

Watch Out For … Mason Morgan. Ohio didn't go too heavy on the wide receivers in the latest recruiting class, but it did a nice job bringing in the tight ends. The 6-5, 230-pounder from Cincinnati stretched the field in high school and can be used like a big wide receiver. However, he can hit and should be a power for the ground attack.
Strength: Foster and the deep ball. Ohio averaged a solid 12.6 yards per catch, and while there weren't a ton of home runs, there were plenty of big plays that kept the chains moving. Foster and this group can take advantage of defenses that cheat up against the run.
Weakness: Depth. It's not bad, but more options need to emerge. Foster did most of the heavy lifting throughout the season, and while there's enough experience to hope for more from the No. 2 and 3 targets, it would be nice to have a bigger and better rotation.
Outlook: The receiving corps won't necessarily take a back seat to the ground game, but it'll be along for the ride. Foster is an all-star waiting to happen, and with Cochran and Hill emerging, balancing out the attack won't be a problem.
Unit Rating: 6

Offensive Line

Former Florida State Seminole John Prior is back to anchor the line at left tackle after solidifying himself at the position over the last few seasons. A strong puncher on the outside, he's not a mauler, but he gets after his man and is sound as a pass protector. It'll be a fight for the job on the other side with 6-5, 313-pound junior Bryce Dietz back after getting the start throughout last year. However, 6-6, 298-pound senior Ryan McGrath is a versatile option who can work at either tackle spot. Both of them could slip in at left tackle if needed, but they're more needed on the right side. Athletic, they're better on the move than in a phone booth.

6-3, 287-pound sophomore Lucas Powell will step in at center after serving as an apprentice behind Skyler Allen last season. Built for the position, he was a nice recruit for the program in 2011 with a good short range burst and the toughness to be the main man in the middle for the next three years.

Senior Jon Lechner is a big 6-5, 332-pound run blocker who has been a key part of the blocking scheme for the last three years. While he's not a whale of a pass protector, he's good enough to hold his own on the left side, however, the big guard is the main man the offense works behind for the ground attack. With his size and experience, he's one of the team's most reliable linemen. 6-3, 311-pound sophomore Mike Lucas saw action throughout last season turning into a tough, physical run blocker. He'll start at right guard in a rotation with 6-3, 313-pound senior Sam Johnson, a longtime reserve who brings the bulk.

Watch Out For … Tate Leavitt, the top prospect in a good class of linemen. The 6-6, 300-pounder is a good athlete for the outside, but he'll be moved around where needed with the toughness and versatility to play guard if needed.
Strength: Run blocking. The Bobcat scheme gets the most out of the linemen for the ground attack. It's a cohesive, athletic unit that does a great job of getting on the move and blasting open holes when needed. With plenty of experience returning, rushing yards won't be an issue.
Weakness: Steady pass protection. The numbers are skewed because Tyler Tettleton runs a bit too much, but the line gives up a few too many sacks allowing 27 last year. It wasn't a huge problem, but the line could be tighter.
Outlook: The Bobcat offensive front has been great for the ground game and solid in pass protection, and with a few tweaks, it could grow into one of the strongest in the MAC. The depth needs a little developing and the interior needs some solidifying, but this is a good, sound line that won't make many mistakes.
Unit Rating: 5.5

- 2013 Ohio Preview | 2013 Ohio Offense
- 2013 Ohio Defense | 2013 Ohio Depth Chart