Football: What did we learn from Ohio’s win over Akron?< < Back to
Number Eight Runs Hard(en)
Donte Harden missed two-and-a-half games (the second half of the Marshall game through Kent State) with a leg injury. Although he dressed for the games, Harden never saw action because, as coach Solich said, “he just didn’t have the explosion we’re looking for.”
Harden has gone over the century mark in yards (rushing plus receiving) in each of the last three games, and his performance against Akron was the best of the season. The senior saw a season-high 22 carries for 123 yards. Ohio’s offense ran the ball more out of four wide receiver sets than it has this season, which left the middle of the Zips’ defense wide open. Harden hit the holes fast and with gusto—he seemed to be three yards past the line of scrimmage before any Akron defender was even thinking about tackling him.
Antwan Crutcher is a Freshman, but only in Class
Antwan Crutcher doesn’t look like a freshman; not in stature, not in play. Crutcher has looked comfortable since his insertion into the Ohio defense. He recorded nine tackles in his debut against Ball State, and followed that up with five tackles (two solo, three assisted) this past Saturday at Akron. The concern before number 91 stepped on the field was whether he had the strength to play right away at the college level. Crutcher has answered. Strength doesn't appear to be an issue, as Crutcher has put his 278-pound frame to use—taking on double teams, shedding blocks, and still making the tackle. The absence of Neal Huynh is still apparent, but Crutcher is filling the hole better than expected.
‘Cats still not Tidy
Previewing the Akron game, I said the Bobcats had to tidy up “the little things” – interceptions, fumbles, and negative plays. Those issues still appeared in the win over the Zips. Tyler Tettleton threw an interception on Ohio’s first offensive series of the game that killed a productive Bobcats’ drive. A third quarter fumble recovery and return by Akron set the Zips up inside the Ohio five yard line, which resulted in an Akron touchdown four plays later. Ohio surrendered 17 second-half points; not a good sign if the Bobcats were attempting to put away Temple or Bowling Green instead of the lowly Zips.