Don’t Be Fooled, Ohio Can Play; Will Challenge Rutgers
Added by Gregg Snyder on September 21, 2011.
While the idea has some what changed recently, many still think of the teams in the MAC as lower competition. That’s not necessarily the case. Many of the team are still very beatable and should be beaten by BCS caliber programs. However, the Ohio University football team may not be one of those teams. This team can play!
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host the Ohio Bobcats Saturday at 2pm at High Point Solutions Stadium. Head coach Greg Schiano better have his team focused and ready to play. Ohio will give Rutgers all it can handle and fight until the final whistle. This is not a team that should be taken lightly.
Defensively, Rutgers has played very well this season. Ohio is a different type of challenge however. So far this year, Rutgers has faced two very different offenses and held their own. North Carolina Central ran a spread offense but just did not have enough talent to really push the Knights. In the second game of the year, Rutgers faced more of a pro style team in North Carolina. The defense generally played well, aside from giving up a couple big plays.
On Saturday, Rutgers will see an Ohio team that plays a quick style. The Bobcats, coached by former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich, bring a variety of looks. Rutgers will see some option plays, some play action passing, as well as some of the pistol offense. Talk about confusing!
Ohio ranks 22nd nationally in scoring, averaging 39.3 points per game. They are 23rd in total offense, averaging 467.3 yards per game. The Bobcats are coming off an impressive 44-7 route over Marshall.
Tyler Tettleton is a dual threat quarterback. The Sophomore has a 62% completion percentage so far this year while throwing for 577 yards and seven touchdowns, in three games. Tettleton also has 97 rushing yards and three scores on the ground.
He is not the only weapon however. Tettleton targets a handful of receivers and the team uses a running back by committee approach. The Bobcats have plenty of bodies to throw at Rutgers.
Rutgers has had two weeks to prepare. Schiano made some changes on the offensive side of the ball. Some youngsters will see their playing time increase dramatically. True freshman Kaleb Johnson and redshirt frosh Betim Bujari are expected to see more time on the offensive line, with at least one getting a start. Also, true freshman phenom Savon Huggins was moved up on the depth chart and will be the featured running back.
Johnson, Bujari, and the rest of the Rutgers offensive line will need to provide some running lanes and enough push to spring Huggins. As dangerous as they are offensively, Ohio can also play some tough defense. The Bobcats rank 13th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 11.3 points per game. They have forced six turnovers through the first three games.
I expect the game to come down to how well Rutgers plays defensively. Can they handle the fast pace from Ohio? Being a Big East school going up against a MAC opponent, Rutgers should and does have more talent. If Rutgers defense can’t hold down Ohio, it could become a shootout. One thing that could help Rutgers is their speed on defense.
Rutgers fans may be expecting their team to come out on top by three scores, but I want to caution everyone. This Ohio team is very good. They have a coach that’s been around the block and is pretty darn good. They also have enough talent and a game plan that can give anyone fits if not prepared.
It should be one entertaining contest.