Ohio Football Welcomes Miami for Homecoming

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Everything is coming together for Ohio football just in time for its homecoming matchup with archrival Miami (OH).

Ohio coach Frank Solich felt optimistic about injury situation of key players such as Derrius Vick, Jovon Johnson, Terrell Basham and Casey Sayles. Even with the injury issues, the Bobcats (4-1, 1-0) have made due and found a way to win

The RedHawks (1-4, 0-1) haven’t won a game in the last month and gave up more than 36 points in three of their last four games.

Miami’s struggles will give opportunity to a Bobcat offense that was offbeat in the second half of its game against Akron, as they managed just 47 yards.

Even with struggles, the RedHawks can’t be overlooked. In the Battle of the Bricks, records don’t matter and Solich knows Miami will be ready.

“We need to counter that with our own confidence in ourselves and our ability,” he said. “It should be an excellent matchup.”

But looking at some of the matchups, they seem to be excellent for Ohio.

Ohio is tied for second in the Mid-American Conference with 11 takeaways this season. Miami has thrown away 11 interceptions, third-worst in the nation. And all of those interceptions came in the RedHawks last four games.

With the possible return of Johnson to the linebacker corps, going to the ground game will a tougher option for Miami, too. During Johnson’s absence, though, sophomore Quentin Poling has carried the position group, earning MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice.

Miami may be a young team, but a group of Bobcat sophomores are emerging as the future of the team, with Poling leading the way.

On the offensive side, two of Ohio’s top three rushers this season are sophomores. AJ Oullette broke out last season and is still a consistent bulldozing back, but Papi White is the big surprise this season after redshirting last year.

But he hasn’t been a surprise to Solich.

“It became very evident early on in Papi’s career that he had that explosive ability,” he said. “We expect it to show and to continue to show.”

With new players emerging in leadership roles and restored health, the Bobcats are poised to put on a show for the alumni returning to campus. Kickoff from Peden Stadium is set for 2 p.m.