Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Football Opens Conference Play with Battle of the Bricks

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Ohio will head to other familiar bricks this weekend as they will take on Miami this Saturday in the Battle of the Bricks.

Coach Frank Solich indicated that Ohio will most likely be without five of their featured backs: AJ Ouellette, Dorian Brown, Malik Irons, Papi White and Vinny Emanuele. If this is the case, Bo Hardy will be getting all the carries at running back.

“Bo kind of stands alone right now.” Solich said. “We’ll just see how tough Bo is I guess. He responded very well last game playing both sides of the ball.”

It is important to note that Hardy is also the starting free safety right now for the Bobcats and also plays special teams. Hardy will be carrying an even bigger workload this Saturday now that he is the featured back.

Ohio is a team that likes to establish the run and then air it out. Where ever Solich has been as a head coach his teams always like to run the ball.  However, Ohio’s attack through the air has been pretty good since Sebastian Smith has been back.

Greg Windham is a scrambling quarterback. Even though he likes to stay in the pocket and throw the ball he has the ability to run the ball and at an effective level too. There are designed runs for him, but he might be getting more carries now since Bo Hardy is the only option right now at running back.

“There are those plays that we work on with Greg in practice.” Solich said. “He is capable of being an actual runner and we do have designed runs for him. I’m not overly concerned about our quarterbacks being runners, those are the type of guys we try to recruit.”

Sebastian Smith is also a guy who could use this game to keep his hot streak going. The last two games he has played since coming back from injury he has surpassed 100 yards and had a career game against Gardner-Webb.

He had two touchdowns for the first time in his career and had a catch in the right corner of the end zone where he caught the ball over the cornerback’s head and helped Quinton Maxwell get his first touchdown in his collegiate career. Smith might be even more of an option this weekend with the running back position thin.

“It’s difficult to get him too much more involved.” Solich said. “As you know he was hurt for a while and he is getting there health wise and he is not 100 percent. He hasn’t had the opportunity to practice to get his conditioning up. He is a threat out there and other teams know that.”

Miami on the season is winless and historically Solich’s football teams own this rivalry. Solich is 9-2 all-time versus Miami and this game could be a good game for Ohio to start off Mid-American Conference  play. Kickoff in Oxford is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.