Photo credit: Logan Riely

‘Cats Look to Rebound Against Buffalo This Weekend

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With five wins on the season and tough games remaining on the schedule, the Ohio Bobcats (5-2, 2-1) need to enter Saturday’s matchup in Buffalo with a sense of urgency.

The Buffalo Bulls (2-4, 0-2) have played the tougher of the two schedules thus far, with losses to Penn State, Bowling Green and Central Michigan. Ohio will have its hands full when the Bobcats attempt to go for their sixth win, which would render them bowl eligible for the seventh consecutive season.

With a handful of injuries, four of which coming at the linebacker position, the Ohio offense understands the game against Buffalo may turn into an offense shootout. One junior wide receiver understands his role is evolving as the season progresses.

Sebastian Smith knows that opportunities in the deep passing game are likely to come his way.

“I need to take advantage of every opportunity,” Smith said. “I just got to capitalize and score points.”

Smith and quarterback Derrius Vick are developing a connection this season, and it shows on the stat lines. Smith has hauled in 31 receptions for 418 yards. The 6’3’ receiver has also converted five of those catches into points. One of Smith’s five touchdowns came last week against Western Michigan nearing the end of the first half on a jump ball from Vick.

“Those deep plays are plays that we like to capitalize on and score points off of,” Smith said. “I know [the coaches] are going to come my way.”

Jump balls could be a huge part of the Ohio passing game, as Buffalo’s tallest cornerback is a full three inches shorter than No. 6 in green and white.

As Ohio moves through the schedule, Smith is determined to make sure his game progresses as well.

He wants to establish himself as “the go-to guy on third downs.” Smith says he likes to take pride in converting on the money down.

Against a passing defense in Buffalo that has given up over 300 yards through the air three separate times this season, Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick could be a player to watch on Saturday.

Another player to watch for Ohio will be running back A.J Ouellette. Ouellette has just six touches in the past three games, but has been seen at practice this week taking reps at middle linebacker.

There have been conflicting reports as to the extent of his role this week, but starting on defense is unlikely for Ouellette. Look for the big back to see more touches this week, a game that Ohio will be missing Papi White, arguably the best playmaker on Frank Solich’s squad.

As to the extent of Ouellette’s involvement, the real answers won’t come until the Bulls and Bobcats face off tomorrow.

Kick off from UB Stadium is set for 3:30.