With the nonconference slate now complete and Mid-American Conference play just days away, the Bobcats have a few days to reflect on their first four games.
“You obviously, well, hopefully, did some good things in your nonconference play,” coach Frank Solich said. “You don't just abandon those — you keep that and build on it. You see what didn't go well and why it didn't go well. I think the nonconference schedule has been very valuable to us in terms of that identifying what we want to continue to be all about from the first four ball games.
“I personally will look at the statistics and rip them all up, well through the shredder, and we will not look at that anymore. We will start looking at our statistics in MAC play and MAC play only. We can see what we're ranked, how we're doing, what we need to improve on and what is helping us win."
While Ohio is shifting its focus to Kent State preparation, it’s worth taking a look at some team and individual numbers from a wild 2-2 start to the season before Solich shreds them:
Nathan Rourke’s completion percentage through four games. The junior’s one goal this season was to throw with a percentage of more than 70. He’s definitely not on pace at the moment, but he’s a point above last season’s final.
The most glaring stat of the Ohio defense is its third-down conversion rate. It has nothing to do with chunk plays, and everything to do with just stopping football teams. Ranking last place in the country at 129th, Ohio has allowed 31 conversions on 56 attempts, a .554 percentage.
The Bobcats are averaging 39.7 points scored per game, slightly higher than last season’s 39.1 points per game. It’s still early, but Ohio is on track to break program records — set just last season — for both points in a season and points per game.
A season after a suspension forced him to sit on the bench, Maleek Irons is back and better than ever, scoring four touchdowns so far this season. That may be a cliché, but he did run for two touchdowns and his first-ever 100-yard game .
Papi White was hindered last season, sitting out games in the middle of the season. Fully healthy this season, he’s already caught four touchdowns on top of 392 yards. For Ohio to be successful, he needs to constantly be Rourke’s top receiver.
Having one of the best red zone offenses in the country is something the Bobcats take a lot of pride in, and that’s carried over from last season. In 23 trips to the end zone, Ohio has scored 22 times, 15 of those touchdowns.
If Ohio is going to win in the MAC, it needs to play good defense. And allowing 518 yards per game and relaying on its offense just won’t work.
Everyone knows it. 50 years ago. It’s the last year the Bobcats won a MAC Championship. If we’re talking numbers, it needs to be mentioned.