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Ohio Football Takes on CMU in Homecoming Clash

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Sitting at 4-1, (1-0 MAC) near the midway point of the season, the Ohio Bobcats seem to be trending in the right direction as they zone in on their Mid-American Conference foes for the rest of the season.

But there’s still a glaring issue on this Bobcat team that could hinder them from defending their MAC East title. On Monday, Bobcats head coach Frank Solich acknowledged the obvious concern with his team so far: The defense.

“I was certainly pleased with the back-to-back road wins,” Solich said of his team’s victories at Eastern Michigan and Umass over the past two weeks. “We put a lot of points on the board, but we allowed [Umass] to put too many points on the board.”

Cliché as it sounds, Solich isn’t dancing around the fact that his defense allowed a winless Minutemen team to put up 50 points in what have should’ve been a tune-up game before shifting their focus to conference play.

Instead, Solich said that he and the coaching staff will be making changes to help out the defense.

“Maybe our coaching staff is throwing too much at our guys,” Solich said. “Maybe it’s just a day of them not executing the way we know they can. We are looking at everything from alignments to coverages, how we coach it to how we call our defensive formations and we will make some changes.”

The Bobcat defense will need to clean up it’s act against a Central Michigan (2-3) (0-1 MAC) team that historically has given Ohio fits. The Chippewas have won 24 of the 29 career meetings between the two schools, including the last three contests.

“I wish I had a good answer,” Solich said of the Chippewas having the Bobcats number. “They’ve been a good, physical football team when we’ve played them. You would think that would be a good matchup, but for some reason, we just have not gotten it done. We have another opportunity this week at home.”

This won’t be the same Chippewa team that the Bobcats are accustomed to seeing. They come in losers of three straight.

Over that three-game stretch, senior starting quarterback Shane Morris and this offense has only been able to generate 39 total points. That’s a recipe for this Bobcat defense to finally get back on track, especially at home.

If the defense does its part, the Bobcats should be able to cap off homecoming week with a bang as long as sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke and redshirt junior running back A.J. Ouellette continue to drive what has been an offensive juggernaut in the first five games of the season.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday at Peden Stadium.