CFN Take: Ohio Beats MU On Late Field Goal
Ohio Bobcats 2014 ...
Head Coach: Frank Solich
Nov. 25 Ohio 24, at Miami University 21
Aug. 30 at Kent State W 17-14
Sep. 6 Kentucky L 20-3
Sep. 13 at Marshall L 44-14
Sep. 20 Idaho W 36-24
Sep. 27 Eastern Illinois W 34-19
Oct. 4 at Central Mich L 28-10
Oct. 11 Bowling Green L 31-13
Oct. 18 Akron W 23-20
Oct. 25 at Western MIch L 42-21
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 5 Buffalo W 37-14
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 18 Northern Illinois L 21-14
Nov. 25 at Miami Univ.
And You Care Because … Josiah Yazdani hit a 28-yard field goal as time ran out to complete Ohio’s comeback over 24 unanswered points. Miami got up 21-0 on a three-yard Andrew Hendrix run and a 13-yard pass to Dawan Scott, and Quinten Rollins returned a pick 27 yards for a touchdown. And then it was all Ohio as Kylan Nelson returned the ensuing kickoff for an 84-yard touchdown to spark a run of 24 unanswered points. Derrius Vick threw two touchdown passes with a 13-yarder to A.J. Ouellette in the third and a five-yarder to Jordan Reid in the fourth, but it took a five-play drive in the final minute to lead to Yazdani’s field goal.
What Else? Ohio QB Derrius Vick completed 10-of-18 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and ran 18 times for 61 yards
- Miami QB Andrew Hendrix completed 15-of-38 passes for 218 yards and a score with a pick, and ran 19 times for a team-high 70 yards and a score
- Time of possession: Ohio 32:47 – Miami University 26:22
- Penalties: Miami University 7 for 46 yards – Ohio 3 for 24 yards
Game Rating: B+
Nov. 18 Northern Illinois 21, at Ohio 14
And You Care Because … It was a fight for the Huskies, but they came through with an 18-yard Chad Beebe touchdown catch with six minutes to play to take the lead, and then the defense held on. Drew Hare threw two scoring passes for NIU, and Cameron Stingily ran for a two-yard touchdown, but Ohio was able to keep pace until late on a two A.J. Ouelette touchdowns. The Bobcats had one last chance, but stalled.
What Else? NIU QB Drew Hare completed 15-of-23 passes for 178 yards and two scores, and ran 12 times for a game-high 67 yards
- Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette ran 25 times for 127 yards and a score, and caught four passes for nine yards and a touchdown
- Time of possession: Ohio 33:28 – NIU 26:32
- Total yards: Ohio 344 – NIU 325
Game Rating: B-
Nov. 5 at Ohio 37, Buffalo 14
And You Care Because … Ohio’s defense shut down Buffalo’s offense cold, and the Bobcat offense took advantage getting out to a 27-0 lead with Josiah Yazdani hitting two field goals and A.J. Ouellette running two short scores. Derrius Vick closed off the scoring run with a nine-yard touchdown run, and the Bobcats needed it, with a turnover leading to a 12-yard Ron Willoughby scoring catch to get UB on the board. Yazdani’s third field goal took the game back on the way to the blowout. UB’s defense got the team back on the board with a 75-yard fumble return for a score from Boise Ross.
What Else? Total yards: Ohio 389 – Buffalo 134
- Turnovers: Buffalo 4 – Ohio 2
- Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette ran 19 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns
- Buffalo ran 25 times for 28 yards
Game Rating: D
Oct. 25 at Western Michigan 42, Ohio 21
And You Care Because … Jarvion Franklin ran for three touchdowns and Zach Terrell threw two touchdown passes as Western Michigan got up 28-7 and was never threatened after getting down 7-0. Ohio started out the scoring on a three-yard Daz’mond Patterson touchdown run and tried to stay alive in the fourth on a 66-yard Chase Cochran catch, but Terrell’s touchdown passes to Corey Davis from 72 and 56 yards out, and a Trevor Ishmael pick sic were too much to overcome.
What Else? Western Michigan RB Jarvion Franklin ran 35 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns
- Ohio QB Derrius Vick completed 18-of-31 passes for 246 yards and a score with a pick
- Western Michigan QB Zach Terrell completed 22-of-28 passes for 344 yards and two scores with two picks, and Corey Davis caught nine passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns
- Total yards: Western Michigan 530 – Ohio 372
Game Rating: C
Oct. 18 at Ohio 23, Akron 20
And You Care Because … A forced fumble led the way to a Joseph Yazdani 22-yard field goal with just under two minutes to play for the lead, and the D held on to give Ohio the win. In a back-and-forth game with neither team leading by more than a score, Yazdani hit three field goals and J.D. Sprague threw two touchdown passes, but Akron kept up with Tommy Woodson throwing two touchdown passes and Robert Stein hitting two field goals, including a 38-yarder to tie it in the fourth.
What Else? Penalties: Ohio 11 for 120 yards – Akron 10 for 83 yards
- Ohio QB J.D. Sprague completed 17-of-37 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran six times for 68 yards
- Akron QB Tommy Woodson completed 23-of-45 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, and ran for a team-leading 44 yards on 12 carries
- Akron WR Zach D’Orazio caught nine passes for 117 yards and a score, and he misfired on a pass attempt
Game Rating: B+
Oct. 11 Bowling Green 31, Ohio 13
And You Care Because … James Knapke threw two touchdown passes and Travis Greene scored on a 27-yard touchdown catch and a 30-yard run as Bowling Green blew past Ohio. The Bobcats could only manage two Josiah Yazdani field goals early, and didn’t get into the end zone until it was too late on a two-yard Tim Edmond run in the fourth
What Else? Bowling Green QB James Knapke completed 20-of-39 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran once for ten yards
- Ohio QB J.D. Sprague completed 27-of-56 passes for 325 yards, and led the team with 49 yards on 16 carries
- Penalties: Ohio 16 for 153 yards – Bowling Green 8 for 75 yards
- Third down conversions: Ohio 12-of-24 – Bowling Green 4-of-13
Game Rating: D+
Oct. 4 at Central Michigan 28, Ohio 10
And You Care Because … Titus Davis caught touchdown passes from four and 32 yards out in the first quarter and then Thomas Rawls went to work for the CMU offense, taking over in the second half finishing off drives with scores from 15 yards out in the third and one yard away in the fourth. Ohio only managed a field goal in the second quarter before finally getting in the end zone in the fourth on a one-yard Tim Edmond run, but it was too late.
What Else? Central Michigan RB Thomas Rawls ran 40 times for 229 yards and two scores
- Central Michigan WR Titus Davis caught ten passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns
- Ohio managed just eight first downs and 187 yards
- Time of possession: CMU 42:19 – Ohio 17:41
Game Rating: C-
Sept. 27 at Ohio 34, Eastern Illinois 19
And You Care Because … A.J. Ouellette and JD Sprague each ran for two short touchdown runs, and Josiah Yazdani added two field goals as Ohio got up 21-3 and was never threatened. EIU made it a little bit of fun in the fourth on a six-yard Anthony Taylor touchdown catch and a 24-yard field goal, but the Bobcats were able to close.
What Else? Penalties: EIU 13 for 124 yards – Ohio 6 for 60 yards
- Ohio QB JD Sprague completed 15-of-28 passes for 143 yards and two picks, and ran 12 times for 69 yards and two scores
- Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette ran 11 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns
- EIU QB Jalen Whitlow completed 30-of-46 passes for 289 yards and a score, and ran 15 times for 112 yards and a score
Game Rating: D+
Sept. 20 at Ohio 36, Idaho 24
And You Care Because … Ohio got up 17-0, but needed a three-yard A.J. Ouellette touchdown run in the final minutes to put the game away. Idaho got back into the game helped by two Joshua McCain touchdown catches from 34 and 52 yards out along with a one-yard Elijhaa Penny scoring run. Ouellette also ran for a one-yard score in the first and Derrius Vick threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Sebastian Smith.
What Else? Idaho QB Matt Lineham completed 33-of-56 passes for 353 yards and two scores with three picks
- Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette ran 27 times for 132 yards and two scores
- Time of possession: Ohio 39:08 – Idaho 20:52
- Idaho WR Joshua McCain caught five passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: B-
Sept. 13 Marshall 44, Ohio 14
And You Care Because … Marshall delivered its most complete game of the season so far, never getting threatened by Ohio. The Thundering Herd opened up a 41-0 lead, only giving up points after the game was well out of reach. It amassed more than 700 yards of total offense, which created an opportunity for the backups to earn valuable reps in the second half.
What Else? Marshall QB Rakeem Cato was on target, as usual, completing 17-of-29 passes for 425 yards, four touchdowns and a pick. Tommy Shuler is his preferred target, but he got nine combined catches for 295 yards and three touchdowns from Angelo Jean-Louis and Davonte Allen on Saturday.
- While Ohio had 22 first downs, penalties and turnovers prevented the team from turning sustained drives into points on the board.
- Cato alone makes the Herd dangerous. When Steward Butler and Devon Johnson are combining for than 200 yards on the ground, as they did today, Marshall is next to impossible to stop.
- Ohio can win games with Derrius Vick taking snaps, but not when the other team jumps out to an insurmountable lead. Vick accounted for 251 yards and a score, while displaying the ability to make defenders miss in the open field.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 at Kentucky 20, Ohio 3
And You Care Because … The Wildcats scored the first 17 points of the game with Dorian Baker catching an eight-yard touchdown pass and Stanley Williams running for a 53-yard score, and then it was all special teams with Austin MacGinning hitting field goals from 53 and 33 yards out. Ohio’s lone score came on a 44-yard Josiah Yazdani field goal.
What Else? The Kentucky offense started to stall after the first half. Without Braylon Heard, Week One’s star running back who was out with an ankle injury, UK still ran for 232 yards, spreading out the work.
- UK QB Patrick Towles, completed 17-of-31 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, and ran 22 times for 59 yards.
- Ohio QB Derrius Vick took a massive step back, failing to complete any of his six passes and running for just 21 yards on two carries. J.D. Sprague completed 13-of-25 passes for 143 yards.
- Kentucky had the ball for 38:26 and allowed just 223 yards of total of Ohio total offense.
Game Rating: D+
Aug. 30 Ohio 17, at Kent State 14
And You Care Because … Josiah Yazdani hit a 44-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to get Ohio the win. Kent State tied it late on a 25-yard Chris Humphrey touchdown catch, but Ohio went 48 yards in the final 3:34 to set up Yazdani, who came through. The Bobcats dominated with Derrius Vick completing 18-of-24 passes for 262 yards, and Daz’mond Patterson ran 17 times for 61 yards, but four turnovers, all fumbles, kept Kent State in it. The Golden Flashes finished with just 21 rushing yards.
Game Rating: B
Frank Solich has carved out a nice niche in Athens. It might not be a spectacular run – there haven’t been any MAC titles since his arrival in 2005 – but Ohio has won three East titles and has earned enough respect to get to five straight bowl games and six in the last eight years. Can there be a little bit more of a boost to finally win a championship?
Everything appeared to be close to in place last season after coming up with a terrific 2012, but it was a disappointing 7-6 campaign that went deep into the tank losing four of the last five games and getting blown away by Buffalo, Bowling Green and Kent State by a grand total of 123 to 16 just when November was kicking into high gear. But it was still a winning season, and Ohio was still solid. Can it become great?
The rushing game has to become a factor again, but top backs Beau Blankenship and Ryan Boykin are gone. The passing game has to be more dangerous and more efficient, but quarterback Tyler Tettleton is done and all-star receiver Donte Foster is gone. The defense has to give up fewer big plays despite losing two key starters in the secondary, and the offensive line has to be stronger despite needing to replace the right side and three starters.
So why is Ohio poised and ready to become an even bigger factor and challenge for the East title?
The defensive front should jell into something terrific with all four starters back on the young line and six of the front seven back. Yeah, the secondary loses corner Travis Carrie and safety Xavier Hughes, but Devin Bass and Josh Kristoff have all-star potential.
The running game might have an instant star in Canadian freshman Maleek Irons, Derrius Vick is poised and ready to become the face of the program at quarterback, and there’s just enough talent at receiver to help out Chase Cochran and be fine. Throw in all-star kicker Josiah Yazdani, and all of a sudden, the Bobcats might need to be considered among the MAC favorites.
Akron might be the rising team in the East, Bowling Green is the defending champion, and Buffalo is still dangerous, but Ohio is lurking. Under Solich, it’s been proven the program will maintain a level of dependability. This year, it might be far more than just okay.
What to watch for on offense:
The running game needs to be far more consistent. The line did a decent job in pass protection and keeping teams from getting into the backfield, but it failed to get things moving on a consistent basis after gaining over 2,000 yards three years in a row – rushing for 2,749 yards in 2011 and 2,643 in 2012 – but struggling with 1,742 yards and just 16 scores last season, averaging under four yards per carry. When Ohio ran for 200 yards or more, it was 4-0 and is 22-2 under Solich over the last for seasons when hitting the mark. Without Beau Blankenship and Ryan Boykin to run the ball – the top two backs last year – it’s going to take some rebuilding to be Ohio again.
What to watch for on defense:
The defensive front seven should be fantastic. Last year it did a great job of getting behind the line from all angles and all sides, and now the potential is there to be even stronger with six starters back only losing linebacker Keith Moore – he was good, but he’s not irreplaceable. This is an aggressive D as is, and now it needs to be better against the run and not just disruptive. Why did Ohio stink over the final month? The defense couldn’t come up with stops, allowing 200 rushing yards or more in six of the final eight games. Blown off the ball up front and allowing way too many big, gashing plays. Being physical is the goal from the start, but the Bobcats should make up for several problems with big plays.
The team will be far better if …
the offense can start hanging on to the ball a bit more and the defense can get off the field sooner. Time of possession matters for a Bobcat offense that likes to try to grind it out and run well, but that was a problem last year and it showed, holding the ball for a paltry 27:12 a game. Part of the problem was the defense’s inability to come up with enough third down stops, allowing teams to convert 44% of their chances and 57% of their fourth down opportunities. It was bad from the start, with Louisville converting 13-of-16 third down tries. However, this has always been a bit of a problem for the Bobcats – the difference last year was that the offense that didn’t pick up the slack.
The Bobcats kick off MAC play in August with an opening day showdown at Kent State, and that starts a run of three straight road games going to Kentucky and Marshall before finally getting a home game – and an easy one. If all goes according to plan, this should be when the big wins come with four home games in five weeks and seven in nine games before closing out at Miami University. There’s Northern Illinois to deal with from the West, but there’s two weeks off to prepare and the game is at home, and there’s no Toledo to worry about. Overall, it’s not a bad schedule with Bowling Green at home and the conference road games all winnable – the slate can’t be an excuse if this isn’t a great year.
Best offensive player:
Junior QB Derrius Vick. At least the hope is that he’ll be the team’s best offensive weapon, because he needs to be. There are some nice players on the line, and Chase Cochran is a good receiver, but it’s Vick who has the athleticism and talent to become the reason the Ohio comes up with a great season. No, he’s not related to anyone else named Vick, but he’s a great runner and an improving passer. With Tyler Tettleton gone it’s Vick’s offense to run, and he should be ready for the opportunity.
Best defensive player:
Sophomore DE Tarell Basham. Rarely do you get a superstar pass rusher as a true freshman, but Basham turned out to be a perfect fit right away with a team-leading 7.5 sacks and the speed and ability to generate great pressure on a regular basis. A pure pass rusher, he takes the pressure off of the rest of the line, and with all four starters returning, and the attention Basham will receive, Kurt Laseak will benefit, and the veteran tackles in the interior should have an easier time.
Key player to a successful season:
Freshman RB Maleek Irons. All of the pressure is on Vick, but the Bobcats’ biggest concern is at running back. Daz’mond Patterson will be a part of the rotation, and there are other options like Dorian Brown who’ll get a chance, but the hope is for Irons, a true freshman, to be everything he’s advertised to be. The Canadian star is big, tough, and really, really fast with all the tools to be fantastic right out of the box. There’s a chance he’ll be a 1,000-yard back in his first season if he’s fed the ball enough.
The season will be a success if …
Ohio wins the East. There might not be quite enough to win the conference title, but it’s an attainable goal. With a favorable schedule getting all the big games at home – the toughest conference road game is at Central Michigan – and with so many home dates in a row, it’s all there for the taking. The defense has to be tougher, and the offense needs the new skill guys to rock right away, but there’s just enough overall talent to be in the championship mix.
Oct. 11 vs. Bowling Green. If you want to be the MAC champion, you have to beat the MAC champion – or something like that. Last year, with a chance to make a big statement and get back into the race, Ohio got erased 49-0 at Bowling Green. The Bobcats won three in a row in the series before losing the last two, and with the Falcons having to come to Athens, the spotlight will be on. The winner won’t lock up the East – there’s still more than half of the conference season yet to play – but it’ll play a big role in the outcome.
2013 Fun Stats:
- Penalties: Opponents 99 for 912 yards – Ohio 74 for 712 yards
- Sacks: Ohio 36 for 194 yards – Opponents 19 for 150 yards
- Punt Return Average: Ohio 9.6 yards – Opponents 4.5 yards
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