2007 Ohio Offense Preview |
2007 Ohio Defense Preview
- Bobcat Offense
2007 Ohio Depth Chart
2006 CFN Ohio
What you need to know:
You know the fastball is coming, but
can you hit it? Ohio will try to add more passing to the attack,
but this is a running team that'll pound away with Kalvin McRae
behind a good, though not as good as last year, offensive line.
The attack has to be more versatile after being stuck in the mud
against the good teams on the schedule, and that's where new
starting quarterback Brad Bower comes in. He'll be looking to
add more passing to the mix, but he doesn't have a great
receiving corps to work with. The tight ends will get more
involved this year to try to keep things moving.
Passing: Brad Bower
41-72, 426 yds, 1 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Kalvin McRae
258 carries, 1,252 yds, 15 TD
Receiving: Kalvin McRae
29 catches, 280 yds, 1 TD
Star of the offense: Senior RB Kalvin McRae
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior OT
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Chris Garrett
Best pro prospect: Senior OG Matt Miller
Top three all-star candidates: 1) McRae, 2) Miller, 3) OT
Strength of the offense: Kalvin McRae, running the ball
Weakness of the offense: Passing game
Projected Starter: One of the worst passing offenses in
the nation gets a better passer taking over with senior Brad
Bower stepping in for Austen Everson. Bower's not the runner
Everson was, but at 6-2 and 215 pounds, he has good size and a
live arm. While Bower's stats aren't anything to get excited
about with one touchdown pass and seven interceptions, he mostly
stepped in when things were slipping away and he had to force
his throws in a comeback mode. The former Illinois transfer has
experience and should be solid.
Projected Top Reserves: An experienced backup who
was the main reserve in 2005, sophomore Brandon Jones can
step in if needed and things likely won't drop off the map. He
redshirted last season and now has three years left with the
hope that his passing accuracy can pick up after completing just
11 of 35 throws so far. At 6-0 and 190 pounds, he has to use his
mobility to make plays.
Jones will battle with sophomores Josh
Febus and Theo Scott for the number two job. Febus is
a big passer who saw a little bit of mop-up time last year. A
great runner, his improvement as a passer will be what gets him
time. Scott. transferred from the JUCO ranks after initially
gong to Cal. While he can run, his worth will be as a passer.
Watch Out For ... Bower to be better now that the
job is his. He'll get to start and won't have to come in with
the game out of reach. He'll add more to the passing game than
the team has seen in several years.
Strength: Runners. That's what Ohio quarterbacks can do, and
they can all move. Scrambling isn't a problem.
Weakness: Proven production. Yeah, Bower is a thrower, but this
isn't an offense designed around throwing it 35 times a game.
Bower might not be the optimal player to run the attack, so if
he's not completing 60% of his throws and keeping the
interceptions to a minimum, he won't be what the offense needs.
Outlook: As long as you can hand off, you can play
quarterback for Ohio. Basically, the Bobcat quarterback has to
make the third down throw, occasionally connect on a deep pass
to loosen things up, and be efficient. As a runner, Bower just
has to make some positive plays here and there. There's decent
experience among the reserves and they have to be at the ready
if Bower isn't effective early.
Projected Starters: Senior Kalvin McRae was the
most valuable player in the MAC last season with seven 100-yard
rushing games in a row before being held in check in the MAC
title game. Basically, without him, Ohio wouldn't have come
close to winning the East with his 1,252 yards and 15 touchdowns
carrying the offense. How important was he? Ohio went 8-0 when
he ran for 100 yards or more, and 0-5 against D-I teams when he
didn't. If that wasn't enough, he led the team in receiving
making 29 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown. At 5-11 and 208
pounds, he's not necessarily huge and he's not particularly
fast, but he's the ultimate workhorse.
Paving the way is
sophomore Mitch Morsillo, a 243-pound blaster who did a
great job of opening things up for McRae while also serving as a
dominant short-yardage runner. He only ran 20 times for 60
yards, but he almost always got the first down.
Projected Top Reserves: While it's hard to get a
lot of work behind McRae, senior Josh Abrams will be a
key number to runner as well as a top special teamer. He made
the most noise blocking kicks, getting to three, while he ran 19
times for 36 yards. Tremendously quick, he's a speed back
compared to McRae.
Also looking for time will be freshman
Vince Davidson, who ran for 3,300 yards in high school
before going through Harmony Community School last year.
Donte Harden is another young speed back 8.2 yards per carry
in high school. Backing up Morsillo will be 231-pound junior
Jayson White, who's more of a runner at fullback and can
play tailback if needed.
Watch Out For ... the coaching staff to do
everything possible to save McRae for the big games. He's the
lifeblood of the team and can't carry the ball any more than he
absolutely has to.
Strength: McRae. The offense is tailored to him and he's exactly
what head coach Frank Solich wants. He's not a game-breaker, but
he'll get five yards a crack and make plays for the passing
Weakness: Reserves. There aren't any. If the incoming freshmen
don't shine right away, there will be big, big problems if McRae
gets dinged up.
Outlook: The only issue is the depth. McRae will
be the centerpiece of the offense again and should be a lock for
a third straight 1,000-yard season, but someone else has to come
in to help out the cause. The fullbacks are unsung but
sensational, and they might be used more to carry the workload.
Essentially, as long as McRae is healthy, everything is fine.
The rating would be far higher if there was a backup worthy of
Projected Starters: It's all about the new guys to the
receiving mix. Sophomore Chris Garrett is a tremendous
speedster who'll take over at the outside X position and try to
become a big play target. He only caught ten passes for 84 yards
last season, but was tremendous as a punt returner averaging a
MAC best 14.5 yards per try. He can also run the ball averaging
5.1 yards per carry adding a speed element to the mix. Only 5-8
and 174 pounds, he has to prove he can hold up on a regular
6-1, 184-pound sophomore Taylor Price will start on
the inside Z position after seeing time in every game as a true
freshman catching nine passes for 77 yards and also getting a
little bit of work as a punt returner. He's a physical player
with good speed.
At tight end, junior David
Carter will get a shot a the Y position after taking a year
off due to transfer rules. The former Vanderbilt defensive end
is physical and athletic, and now he has to show he can be a
steady receiver. Mostly, he'll be a blocker.
When the offense
goes to a two tight end set, F-Back Andrew Mooney will
step in after transferring from New Mexico State. While Carter
will be a blocker, Mooney will be a receiver after catching 27
passes for 372 yards and two scores as a true freshman.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Chido Nwokocha
was a key JUCO transfer who made 20 catches for 201 yards
turning into a key third down receiver. Not necessarily a deep
threat, he's a good possession receiver who'll rotate with Price
at the inside Z position.
Senior Justin Fitzgerald has
been a regular in the rotation for the last three years with 37
catches for 379 yards and a score. Purely a backup, he brings
size along with experience creating matchup problems with a 6-3,
198-pound frame. He can stretch the field a little bit with
Backing up at tight end will be redshirt freshmen
Kody Carr and Nate Caldwell. the 6-5, 199-pound
Carr is a big receiver who can block bigger than his size, while
the 6-5, 231-pound Caldwell is a big blocker with nice hands.
Watch Out For ... the tight ends to play a more
prominent role. While there isn't a tight end on the two-deep
who's taken a snap for the Bobcats, the offense upgraded with
the addition of Mooney and Carter.
Strength: Blocking. If you're going to play for Ohio, you're
going to block someone and these receivers can. Even the smaller
Weakness: Production. There isn't anyone who'll keep opposing
defensive coordinators awake at night. Until someone turns into
a burner of a deep threat, the receivers will be a big concern.
Outlook: The offense doesn't do much to help out
the receivers, but there also hasn't been a who's who of top
talent coming through Athens. The speedy Scott Mayle never got
going in the offense, and now someone else has to step up and
become a true number one in his place. In time, things will be
better with several young players certain to get into the mix
Projected Starters: The right side is set with the return of
seniors Matt Miller and David Shelby. Miller is a 6-3,
312-pound rock at guard starting 30 times over his career and becoming a
dominant run blocker. He went from being inconsistent as a sophomore to
fantastic as a junior, and now he should be one of the MAC's top
interior blockers. Shelby was one of the team's most durable players; he
didn't get out of the lineup. At 6-4 and 296 pounds, he has a big frame
will be one of the team's best pass blockers.
Junior Tommy Stuck will take over for J.J. Knabb at center after
seeing time in five games last season. He's a strong 286 pounds who's
been great in pass protection and now has to be consistent in the
Senior Paul Johnson is a 318-pound mauler at left
guard who should be one of the new stars after having a great spring.
Staying healthy will be a must after having problems with an ankle
injury two years ago.
6-3, 289-pound junior Josh Leuck has
emerged as as a starter out of spring ball after coming over from the
defensive line. He made two tackles before converting to the offensive
line where he learned how to play tackle. Now he has huge shoes to fill
replacing all-star Matt Coppage.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Mike Eynon
started nine times last season showing enough versatility to play tackle
and guard. At 289 pounds, he's smaller than the 318-pound Johnson at
left guard, and he could end up getting the starting spot again by the
end of fall practices.
289-pound sophomore David White was a key
reserve throughout last year making a start at center. He's a great run
blocker and will see plenty of time behind Stuck.
Watch Out For ... problems with cohesion early on.
With so many new faces in the mix, it might take a month or so to jell
into the banging unit it was last year.
Strength: The right side of the line. The offense will run
behind Miller and Shelby early on, and it'll be successful. These two
are good veterans who'll pave the way for a big year for McRae.
Weakness: Experience. The Bobcat line basically went with all
the starters throughout last year and didn't get the backups much in the
way of playing time. That'll be a big problem early on as everyone on
the left side has to figure out what they're doing.
Outlook: For good and bad, the line was a rock
last season with all the starters having a hard time being a part of a
rotation. Now the line needs a former defensive lineman (Leuck) and has
to hope for Johnson and Stuck to step in and shine right away. It won't
be the killer for the running game it was last year, but it'll be fine
in time as long as some of the backups get a little time to develop as
the season rolls on.