Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Ohio Bobcats season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 9-4 overall, 6-2 in MAC
Head Coach: Frank Solich, 15th year, 106-75
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OHIO OFFENSE
– There’s a whole lot of turnover from the MAC’s best offense. Four starters are back from the attack that came up with 467 yards and 40 points per game and came up with 49 or more six times in the last ten games. Ohio is a machine now when it comes up with putting up big offensive numbers, but after the highest-scoring season in the program’s history, there will be step back. However …
– The offense that was so effective on the ground and so efficient with the passing attack gets back the guy who ran it all. Senior Nathan Rourke is among the nation’s best all-around quarterbacks, but key backup and part-time starter Quinton Maxwell left as a grad transfer to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. It’s now Rourke, and a slew of freshmen.
– Top running back AJ Ouellette is gone after closing out his great career with 1,306 yards and 12 scores. Rourke will be one of the team’s top rushers, but the attack needs more options – three of the top four running backs are gone. Sophomore Julian Ross is a quick option, and 202-pound sophomore Jake Neatherton got in 81 yards in his little bit of time.
– The top two receivers – Papi White and Andrew Meyer – are done, but 6-1 junior Cameron Odom is back after finishing third on the team with 30 catches with 418 yards and three scores, and 6-0 sophomore Isiah Cox returns after averaging over 28 yards per catch. The tight ends aren’t used too much in the passing game, but 6-5, 240-pound Ryan Luehrman can block.
– Three starters are gone off the offensive line – all of them all-stars – but junior Brett Kittrell and senior tackle Austin Pleasants are back. They’re good parts to start with, and the other three spots aren’t starting from scratch. There’s some shuffling to be done, but there was depth last year, and now it’s shining through.