Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Battles Buffalo at Home

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The Bobcats are looking to control their own destiny now entering the final weeks of the season.

With Ohio winning last week in Toledo for the first time since 1967, they have three games left and all of them are Mid-American Conference foes. Thursday at Peden Stadium Ohio (6-3) will take on Buffalo (2-6), a team that’s lost four of its last five games.

It has been a tough year for Buffalo but at this point of the season, Ohio coach Frank Solich will not  overlook any opponent, especially when a loss this late in the season could cost the Bobcats a bid to the MAC Championship.

“You don’t just show up and win football games.” Solich said. “It’s got to go into preparation and you’ve got to prepare the same way every week. It goes into execution; you’ve got to execute well if you hope to win a football game.”

Buffalo will be planning for quarterback Quinton Maxwell who be starting his third straight game. Greg Windham will be out after suffering an injury in Toledo, but Solich said Windham will most likely be able to recover fairly quickly.

Buffalo will also have to plan around a running attack for Ohio that has been effective as of late. Dorian Brown had 212 yards rushing last game and had a long touchdown run that put Ohio past Toledo.

“I think Dorian is really showing now his ability and it’s because he’s getting a lot of reps.” Solich said. “He’s getting a lot of reps in practice because of health of backs, he’s getting a ton of reps in games.”

Usually when everyone is healthy in the backfield, Ohio runs a committee of guys. Before the season started Solich said that the running back position was one of their deepest positions this year. Guys like Maleek Irons, Papi White and Dorian Brown have stepped up all season after AJ Ouellette got injured again Texas State.

Having a committee of guys at running back is crucial for Ohio because the Bobcats love to run the football. With quarterback play being subpar this year, Ohio’s game plan is focused around a ground and pound running attack. When one guy gets tired, simply just put in someone else and still get affective results.

“I personally like to give a really good running back a ton of carries.” Solich said. “I’m not a committee guy but when you have a lot of really good running backs and they all have their pluses, you want those plusses to be seen on the football field, and the only way you’re able to see those is by putting us in the game.”

Ohio at this point of the season will be playing every game with the idea that it is a must win. With a somewhat thin schedule left, Ohio has a chance to finish the year 9-3 making them bowl eligible once again and giving them a chance at a MAC title.