2022 Ohio Bobcats Preview
2021-22 Season Record 3-9 (3-5 MAC East) - 5-7-0 ATS - 4-8-0 O/U
Offense - 6
Defense - 9
Ohio football was never a thing. Two bowl games, none since 1968, and the program made a big move and hired Frank Solich in 2005 after being fired at Nebraska despite a 58-19 record. He remained a Bobcat until the end of a 2-1 COVID 2020 season and all he did was give Ohio what great coaches do and that is he put them on the map and they responded. He put together 13 winning seasons in his 15 full years there while taking the Bobcats to 11 bowl games. Current head coach Tim Albin was unable to keep the momentum rolling despite 16 starters back as the Bobcats went 3-9 but it all cannot be put on him as playing just three games the previous season does any team no good moving forward and it showed with an 0-4 start which was unrecoverable. They have one fewer starter back this season but have a ton of experience as they are ranked No. 48 in returning production.
The offense averaged 34.3 ppg in the three victories but only 18.7 ppg in their nine losses and overall, the Bobcats finished No. 88 in total offense and No. 105 in scoring offense. They did not turn the ball over much, just 15 times, but they were awful on third down, converting at a 36.1 percent clip which was No. 92 in the nation and that has to improve. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke cut his teeth last season after playing just the three games in 2020 and another full season should see him get much better by taking more shots downfield as his accuracy is his strength. His receiving corps is down two of the top three yardage guys from last season so Ty Walton will be his go to after 380 receiving yards last season. The running game was the strength but the two top backs are gone and O'Shaan Allison takes over but has to improve his 3.9 ypc. Three starters are back on the offensive line.
The defense could not make up for a lack of offense as Ohio was No. 105 in total defense and No. 95 in scoring defense and the unit should be much better with the return of nine starters. While the offense did not give it away, the defense could not take it away as the Bobcats were tied for No. 127 with only eight turnovers gained so clearly that has to increase to at the very least, get them off the field and let the offense do its thing. The biggest improvement has to come up front as they were ranked No. 107 in rushing defense and the pass rush was nonexistent with the exception of Will Evans who is gone. The middle is in great shape as linebackers Bryce Houston and Cannon Blauser both return after combining for 190 tackles. The secondary needs to make more plays on the ball as six interceptions is not going to get it done again but three starters do return in the backfield.
2022 Season Outlook
Even though it is only his second season, it is a big one for Albin to see where his team stands. Last year can be chalked up as an aberration but anything close to a repeat will create some buzz and not in a good way. The pieces are in place but the Bobcats cannot withstand another 0-4 start which will not be the case but they are staring at a possible 1-3 record the first third of the season. It all starts with a big home game against Florida Atlantic and a victory there can go a long way. Ohio then has to travel to Penn St. and Iowa St. before closing nonconference action at home against Fordham. The MAC slate opens in their favor against Kent St., Akron and Western Michigan but two of those are on the road. Northern Illinois is at home and Miami Ohio is on the road and Toledo is avoided among the three big guns. The O/U win total is 5.5 and it looks to be a no play either way.
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