Photo Credit: Keegan Shaw

Ohio Football Prepares to Open Conference Play in Ypsilanti

Posted on:

< < Back to

Ohio Football (2-1) kept their perfect record against Kansas intact with a 42-30 victory over the Jayhawks last Saturday. The Bobcats are now 3-0 all time when playing Kansas.

Now, it’s time for some MACtion.

Ohio begins their Mid-American Conference Schedule on the road this weekend against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-0). The Bobcats are seeking revenge for last year’s 27-20 home defeat at the hands of quarterback Brogan Roback and the Eagles.

Eastern Michigan’s victory snapped a six-game losing streak against the Bobcats and Roback played a big part, The EMU gunslinger threw for a career-high 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. Two of those scores came in the fourth quarter of a game Ohio seemingly had wrapped up.

The Bobcat secondary has plenty to watch out for in Roback and wide receiver Sergio Bailey II. The senior was Roback’s number one option last season and nothing’s changed two games into 2017. Bailey II leads the team with 10 catches for 185 yards but hasn’t found the end zone this season. The Ohio secondary – highlighted by the MAC’s leading pass defender, Bradd Ellis – is the key to victory for the Bobcats. The “bend don’t break mentality” instilled by Ohio against Kansas will be pivotal in a game the oddsmakers have pegged as a virtual pick em’.

On top of the home-field advantage, the Eagles also have time on their side.

head coach Chris Creighton’s team last played on Sept. 9th, a 16-13 road win over Rutgers: the first victory over a Power 5 school in the program’s history. Flash forward two weeks and the only unbeaten teams remaining in the MAC are Toledo and Eastern Michigan.

They’re very physical. I thought they were in all phases of the game.” Ohio head coach Frank Solich talking about EMU during his weekly press conference. “I’ve said it a hundred times in this program if you’re a very physical football team you always have a chance. Their quarterback can hurt you in both running and throwing, he’s really good at both.”

Solich and his staff anticipated the time advantage Eastern Michigan had going into this weekend and planned accordingly.

“We had nine official visits in this weekend so most of those guys left this morning with their families, so it was a busy weekend along those lines,” Solich said on Monday. “Because of that, we weren’t able to have a normal Sunday, in terms of preparation, so we’re playing catch-up right now. We did a lot of work this summer on Eastern knowing this was going to be the case so we feel we have the opportunity to be well prepared.”

This matchup pits two of the top scoring offenses and defenses in the MAC against one another.

The Bobcats 40.7 points and 205.7 yards per game on the ground rank second in the conference thus far and the combination of quarterback Nathan Rourke and running back A.J. Ouellete have played a big part. The two have combined for six rushing scores in the young season, while Rourke’s added three more through the air.

Rourke and his playmakers have to solve an EMU defense that leads the MAC in points allowed at 10 per game. Sophomore defensive back Brody Hoying is the Eagle to watch out for as he leads the team in total tackles (9) and interceptions (2).

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Rynearson Stadium.