Ohio Football’s New Threads

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Ohio football will be playing in new threads Tuesday night when it takes on Northern Illinois in the team’s annual Bobcat Blackout game.

The team revealed its updated blackout uniforms in a video on Saturday.


The new look features changes to all parts of the uniform. The helmet has new striping running along the center. A broad white stripe runs down the middle and a broad green stripe runs along each side. The new stripes match the look of the traditional home white helmet and the road green, which had two white stripes added to it this season.

The helmet also features a brighter, metallic Ohio decal that pops off the black matte finish of the helmet.

Plenty of updates were made to the jersey as well. Most noticeable are white numbers outlined in green. The old jerseys were just the opposite. The new white numbers exhibit faint Attack Cat logos.

Gone are the green sleeves decorated with the white “Ohio” brick design. The new sleeves are all black.

Subtle changes to the jersey include a green collar and a green “Ohio” patch above the front number.

The jersey is made out of C7 fabric, Russell Athletic’s newest material. The lightweight fabric has a shiny finish to it, much like the white brick uniforms that the Bobcats debuted almost a year ago.

Ohio no longer sport last year’s new uniform because the brick-patterned numbers violated a rule the NCAA passed in 2013 that essentially require uniform numbers be completely legible.

The white jerseys were actually released after the rule was put into effect. Ohio’s outfitter, Russell Athletic, clears uniform changes with the NCAA rules committee to avoid mass producing equipment that is in violation of league rules.  According to Ohio equipment manager Matt Morton, the NCAA cleared the uniforms for production, but it has since cracked down on uniforms and number legibility.

“We had fun with it,” Morton said. “We wore [the white uniforms] in the bowl game last year and players received them as part of their post season awards. It was fun it was energizing and it served its purpose.”

Legibility issues were part of the reason for the blackout uniform update. Russell contacted Morton and the team last fall and recommended the update to the uniforms. Morton said Russell notified the team that the dark green numbers on the black uniform didn’t contrast enough and might eventually be considered a legibility issue.  

“The black jerseys were going on year three so it was time for an update [anyway],” Morton said. “The goal here of Jim Schaus and coach Solich is to make sure guys are in the best and make sure that they look a certain way when we play on these national TV games for the school image, recruiting and things like that.”

The Bobcats have seen an influx of new equipment in recent years. The original blackout uniform was released in 2011 for the ‘Cats matchup with Marshall. Ohio then opened up the 2012 season with a win on the road at Penn State in new green helmets. A year ago the Green and White broke out their white brick uniforms against rival Miami.

After a new blackout uniform, what could possibly be next?

Ohio safety Thad Ingol suggests a uniform that incorporates some grey.

“Anything is possible,” Morton said. “Never say never, right? Guys are pushing for [grey]. You never know what we’ve got up our sleeves. There are always more combinations. It just comes down to how crazy we want to get.”