2009 Ohio Preview - Offense
Ohio WR Taylor Price
CollegeFootballNews.com 2009 Preview - Ohio Bobcat Offense
2009 Ohio Offense
2009 Ohio Defense |
2009 Depth Chart
2007 Ohio Preview
What you need to know:
It all depends
on the health of the offensive line. Since Frank Solich took
over, Ohio likes to rely on the running game, but with a line
that has no depth whatsoever, the attack could be more about
finesse with an excellent quarterback pair in Boo Jackson and
Theo Scott able to make the passing game fly. Receivers Taylor
Price and LaVon Brazill are good veterans who'll keep the
offense moving, while the small, quick backs, led by Chris
Garrett and Donte Harden, can make things happen through the
passing game as well as when they run the ball. One of the keys
will be turnovers after giving it away a MAC-high 32 times. The
offense will be better, but it's not good enough to afford a
slew of mistakes.
Passing: Boo Jackson
185-306, 2,355 yds, 19 TD, 12 INT
Rushing: Chris Garrett
117 carries, 529 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Taylor Price
51 catches, 694 yds, 5 TD
Star of the offense:
Senior QB Boo Jackson
Line Depth, Turnovers
Player who has to step up and become a star: Senior OT
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Riley Dunlop
Best pro prospect: Senior RB Chris Garrett (as a kick
Top three all-star candidates: 1) WR Taylor Price, 2)
Jackson, 3) RB Donte Harden
Strength of the offense: Quarterback, Quick Running Backs
Weakness of the offense: Offensive
Senior Boo Jackson (real
first name Franshaw) was a star JUCO transfer who came in and
took over early on and had a nice year completing 61% of his
throws for 2,355 yards and 19 touchdowns with 12 picks. The 6-1,
199-pounder has great mobility, rushing for 333 yards and two
scores, and a big-time arm. While he had a hard time leading the
team to wins, he was able to keep pace in shootouts with 365
yards and three scores against Central Michigan and eight
touchdown passes in his final two games of the year. He'll have
to battle to keep the starting job, but he has the tools and the
skills, and he improved as the season went on.
Projected Top Reserve: Senior Theo Scott
is being given every chance to win the starting job. He
was the starter in the first two games of last year, but
struggled early on, broke his collarbone against Ohio State, and
Boo Jackson took over. At 6-2 and 209 pounds, Scott is a bigger
option than Jackson and has the same type of arm, but he's not
as mobile. He threw for 247 yards with a touchdown and two
interceptions in his little time last year, and he provided a
nice boost for the offense two years ago with 743 yards and five
scores with three picks.
Sophomore Brian Sweeney
is a 6-2, 200-pound passer with good athleticism. He
didn't get any time on the field last year, but he'll be the No.
1 option going into next year with good upside to fit what the
coaching staff wants to do.
Watch Out For ... rotating quarterbacks. Frank
Solich has never been afraid to change things up when needed,
and he has two players in Scott and Jackson who can each play.
He'll go with the hot hand.
Strength: Dual-threat ability. Both Scott and Jackson have big
arms and each can run extremely well. These are efficient,
talented playmakers who can each get the offense moving.
Weakness: 2010. There will have to be some time devoted
to getting Sweeney and/or Miles Schlichter some
meaningful playing time so next year won't be a total
start-from-scratch scenario. That might be hard considering both
Scott and Jackson will play.
Outlook: The quarterbacks will be throwing more
than before with more of an emphasis being put on the passing
game. Jackson is likely the better of the two options, but
there's a razor-thin margin between him and Scott. This will be
an efficient pair of quarterbacks who'll each be able to carry
the offense at times.
Combining with Chris Garrett for the
starting job will be sophomore Donte Harden, a
flash of lighting averaging 5.2 yards per carry in his seven
games of work, rushing for 454 yards and two scores with a
142-yard day against VMI and 115 yards against Kent State before
being lost for the year with a torn labrum. At 5-11 and 174
pounds he's not going to pound over anyone, but he's tremendous
when he's on the move with a 43-yard touchdown catch against
Central Michigan and a 41 yarder against Western Michigan.
Projected Top Reserves: Former receiver
Chris Garrett is a former slot receiver who turned into
the team's top running back with 529 yards and five touchdowns.
Most of the production came in the season finale with 222 yards
and two scores in the win over Miami University, but he was
steady when he got his time averaging 4.5 yards per carry even
though he had an ankle problem. He was also the team's fourth
leading receiver with 24 catches for 290 yards and two
touchdowns and was a special kickoff returner averaging 26.9
yards per try. Only 5-8 and 190 pounds, he's tough for his size
and is tremendously quick.
5-11, 186-pound junior
Vince Davidson was a tremendous high school back
rushing for 3,300 yards, but he hasn't been able to come up with
much yet for the Bobcats rushing for 47 yards two years ago and
170 yards last years. He got one start against Bowling Green and
ran for 66 yards, and he could do far more if he got time and if
he was healthy after having turf toe problems all year.
Extremely fast, he'll be in the mix for a few carries a game
Former JUCO transfer L.J. Flintall fits
the Ohio mold of running back at a quick 5-10 and 191 pounds,
but the senior was lost in the shuffle last year with just 14
yards on four carries. He has the skills to see a few carries a
game, but he won't be the featured back unless disaster strikes.
When the offense uses a fullback and that's not always going
to be the case, senior Mitch Morsillo will step
in used exclusively as a blocker. The 6-1, 247-pounder won't get
any carries, but he's a hard-nosed hitter who'll be needed more
than ever considering the issues on the offensive front. He has
the hands to be used as a receiver if he has to.
Watch Out For ... even more of a rotation. Health
has been a big problem for Ohio backs with a slew of nicks and
bruises, but nothing too major, that killed any consistency.
Harden and Garrett will get equal work with Davidson getting
Strength: Quickness. The Ohio backs can move. They can all cut
on a dime, they can all be used as receivers, and they can all
take the ball the distance any time they have the ball in their
Weakness: Power. That's not what the Bobcat backs are about.
There won't be any real pounding ability on short yard
situations and no one will be able to power over anyone, but the
backs are tough for their size.
Outlook: There might be a little bit less of an
emphasis on the running game with the issues on the offensive
front, but the backs will be effective when they get their
chances. The backs will all get a few catches and they'll all
get their shots to make plays, but there's no power whatsoever
and health might be an issue after so many problems last year.
Ohio needed a No. 1 receiver to step on and shine and senior
Taylor Price came through catching 51 passes for 694
yards and five touchdowns averaging 13.6 yards per grab. The
6-1, 209-pound speedster on the outside X position has a leg
problem, but he's expected to be fine for the start of the year
and he should be an occasional game-breaker. The problem is his
consistency. He started out the year with 14 catches for 139
yards against Wyoming, and he caught eight passes for 100 yards
and three scores in the shootout win over Akron.
185-pound junior LaVon Brazill was a strong
running mate to Price making 34 catches for 384 yards and a
score, highlighted by a nine-catch, 79-yard day against
Northwestern. Now he's expected to get a lot more work his way
with tremendous speed after the catch, even if he didn't show it
off too often throughout last year, and he's a tough target on
the inside Z position. He's a surprisingly good blocker for his
Excellent pass-catching tight end Andrew Mooney is
gone, but Jordan Thompson appears to be a nice
fill-in after a strong offseason. The 6-4, 249-pound redshirt
freshman has great hands and is a fantastic athlete, and while
he might not be a big-time blocker, he should be the team's No.
3 receiver and a key target on third downs.
Projected Top Reserves:
Sophomore Riley Dunlop
came through with a nice first season making 22 catches for 278
yards and a score averaging 12.6 yards per catch. He showed even
more upside this offseason and proved he could be used as a top
option in three-wide formats and will be a nice backup behind
Brazill on the Z. At 6-2 and 184 pounds he has good size and
6-4, 199-pound junior
Terrence McCrae has the size and the speed to be a
matchup nightmare on the outside, but he hasn't seen too many
passes his way so far with 14 catches for 125 yards and a score
catching a few passes here and there. He'll play a big role in
three and four-wide sets and will work behind Taylor Price on
Combining forces with Dunlop in the backup role on
the Z will be Steven Goulet, a 6-2, 190-pound
junior who caught ten passes for 189 yards and a score
highlighted by a 37-yard scoring play against VMI. The former
Vanderbilt Commodore has nice size and excellent quickness, and
now he'll be more involved.
Watch Out For ... Brazill and Price to blossom.
They were solid last year and will be counted on even more this
season. This won't be the best 1-2 receiving punch in the MAC,
but it'll be good enough to keep up in most shootouts.
Strength: Veteran targets. Price and Brazill started throughout
last year while McCrae has a start under his belt. The top five
receivers have seen just enough time to be counted on to make
the offense more explosive.
Weakness: Tight end. Andrew Mooney was an integral part of the
passing game, and while Thompson is expected to be a good one,
he's the starter partly by default. Injuries and a lack of
options are the problem at a position that the coaching staff
likes to use in a variety of ways.
Outlook: The passing game will have to shine
brighter this year with good quarterbacks to get the ball to a
nice group of targets. Brazill and Price are solid and McCrae,
Dunlop, and Goulet are good options to allow the coaching staff
to open things up a bit.
The biggest hole to fill on the line is at left
tackle where All-MAC performer Josh Lueck is gone. In will step
Chris Rodgers, a 6-5, 285-pound senior who started most of last
year on the right side. An athletic blocker who's good on the move, he's
a former tight end who should be able to slide into the left tackle spot
and hold his own. He has long arms that keeps pass rushers at bay.
Rodgers was banged up over the second half of last year, and junior
Colt Bunner was able to step in and produce at right
tackle. The 6-5, 321-pounder is more of a blaster for the ground game
than Rodgers is, but he's not the same pass protector. Great in
practices ever since he came to the program, he should be a steady
starter for the next few years.
Taking over at right guard for
Mike Eynon will be Gary Schussler ... maybe. The 6-3,
287-pound senior had problems throughout last year with his ankle. This
year he has a foot injury and is iffy for the start of the season. The
senior was only able to play in five games last season, and while he has
good toughness and isn't bad on the move, he has to get healthy.
The anchor of the line will be David White, a 6-1,
294-pound senior who started the first five games of last year in
the middle before spending the last few games at guard. At 6-1 and 294
pounds he's a short, squatty blocker who gets good leverage and is
insanely strong. Great for the running game, he should settle in and
spend the entire year at center even though he's versatile enough to
play either guard spot.
6-4, 300-pound senior Michael
Philibin started for most of last year at right guard and
should be one of the team's best run blockers. With his size and
experience, he should be one of the key factors up front as long as he
can stay healthy. Out for a few games last year, he's needed up front
for his size and his toughness.
Projected Top Reserves: Redshirt freshman
Vince Carlotta might play a huge role sooner than expected.
With Gary Schussler's foot injury, the 6-4, 270-pounder could step in
right away and star at left guard and will be asked to be a key part of
the puzzle early on. He's not huge, but he's a mobile blocker for the
interior and should be fine on the move.
6-4, 291-pound sophomore
Joe Flading has beefed up big-time since joining the
team and he should be ready to step in at right tackle if needed. He
only saw a wee bit of time in three games last year, but that makes him
the dean among the backups. He's a smart blocker who needs to prove he
can be steady in pass protection.
Watch Out For ... the left guard situation. If
Schussler's foot isn't okay, it's uh-oh time. While the line was fine
without him for most of last year, if he's not ready to go, the depth
goes from barren to completely non-existent.
Strength: The starting five. If everyone is healthy and if
everyone can play, the Bobcats have a nice starting five that should do
a little of everything well. There's plenty of experience, good
athleticism for the overall size, and enough talent to be a plus for the
offense. However ...
Weakness: Depth. There isn't any. It'll be up to a bunch of
unknowns and redshirt freshmen to provide any sort of backup plan and
rotation. It's going to take a while to find the right combination among
Outlook: The line wasn't great last year, but it
was good enough to get by. This year's line should be far better with
most of the key parts returning to the starting five, but there's no
room whatsoever for any sort of an injury issue. If the starters are
healthy, the offense can run normally, but more likely than not, the
concerns up front will mean more of an emphasis on the passing game.