Depleted Receiving Corps Concerns Solich< < Back to
The Ohio Bobcats’ receiving corps is banged up heading into this Saturday’s game against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, it will be the first MAC game of the season for Ohio.
Ohio head coach Frank Solich expressed his concern for the receiving corps in his weekly press conference on Monday.
“Tyler Futrell, I think, is a question mark going into this next game. So, with the loss of Mario and how that all worked, and how Donte has not been fully healthy in the last couple games, it (receiver) is a position that we are starting to get a little bit concerned about,” said Solich.
Redshirt senior receiver Ryan Clark, a converted cornerback, has been a nice addition to Ohio’s receiving corps this year after transitioning from the defensive side of the ball. If it wasn't for Clark, Ohio would be in some real trouble at the receiver spot. Clark is a good return man, but due to the depleted receving corps, Solich has decided to relieve him of his returning duties.
“We took [Ryan Clark] off the kickoff return team because he was getting a lot of snaps as a receiver and we’re banged up at the receiver spot. So not having [Clark] return kickoffs gives him a little bit of a break,” said Solich.
Freshman running back Daz Patterson and redshirt freshman running back Kyle Hammonds have been returning kicks in Clark's place.
While Ohio is banged up, the Bobcats do have other capable options to step up and make plays at tight end and receiver.
Redshirt senior tight end Jordan Thompson has been playing well this season. Thompson’s fellow tight end, redshirt sophomore Derek Roback, is a big target who can make plays. Redshirt junior Troy Hill, another tight end for Ohio, had a big game against Marshall, scoring his first touchdown of the year.
There have been other receivers playing well this year, sophomore receiver Landon Smith has made a few huge plays; he has two touchdown receptions of at least 40 yards. Redshirt senior receiver Bakari Bussey has shown the ability to make plays this year; his workload will increase if Futrell misses the UMass game.
Redshirt sophomore receiver Chase Cochran will also need to step up if Futrell is to miss time. Cochran has shown some promise for Ohio, but has yet to break out in a game.
To sum up the injury problems for Ohio receivers, Tyler Futrell is questionable for the game against the Minutemen with an unspecified injury. Redshirt junior receiver Donte Foster has been playing with a torn ligament in his thumb all season and redshirt junior receiver Mario Dovell was ruled out for the season last week with a leg injury.
Foster's injury, however, does not seem to be a big concern. He had two touchdowns in the Norfolk State game with the injury.
So far this season, Ohio's offense has been rolling on all cylinders. Derrius Vick stepped in against Norfolk State and led the offense with poise. The Bobcats seem to know how to adjust.
The injuries at receiver are an obstacle for Ohio, if Futrell can't play this weekend, the Bobcats will need to find someone to step up in his place.