Location: Athens, OH
Coach: Frank Solich (106-75 @ Ohio, 164-94 overall) 15th Season at Ohio
Stadium: Peden Stadium (Capacity: 24,000)
1st: MAC (1st MAC East)
13th: Group of Five
67rd: Division I
2018 In a Sentence: Ohio won three of its first five games, with losses coming to nonconference foes Virginia and Cincinnati. Ohio had an impressive win over eventual division winner Buffalo but close losses to Northern Illinois and Miami (OH) held the Bobcats out of the MAC champion and had to settle for a Frisco Bowl win over San Diego State to finish up just 9-4 overall (6-2 MAC).
Biggest Shoes to Fill: RB A.J. Ouellette led the MAC in rushing with 1,306 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. He piled up 3,829 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns during his extremely productive college career. He is one of seven starters lost on offense but the biggest one to overcome. Oullette was signed by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns this past spring.
Key Player: QB Nathan Rourke will need to be the senior leader this year given only three other starters return. He has over 6,000 yards of total offense as a dual threat style of signal caller. He has also accounted for 77 touchdowns either running or passing.
Fearless Prediction: The Bobcats’ success will hinge on how quickly the new starters can adapt to their roles but the defense has more experience in a unit that got stronger towards the end of the season. This roster is likely the youngest in the MAC but talent is there. Ohio might start off slow in the non-conference slate especially two road games at Pittsburgh and Marshall in their first three games but this will test them once the MAC schedule comes. Expect the Bobcats to win the MAC for the first time since 1968.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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