Football coaches don’t usually worry about cancelling games, but for Frank Solich, the possibility of cancelling the Bobcats’ second-straight game is an issue worth monitoring.
Ohio canceled last Tuesday’s rivalry game against Miami because of COVID-19 contact tracing issues. The team was able to return to practice that same day by making sure the team followed quarantine guidelines. As the Bobcats’ Saturday game against Bowling Green approaches, Solich wants to make sure the Bobcats handle the situation wisely.
“Bouncing back from a situation like that even if you’re ready to play a game does not mean you’re just moving forward as usual as if nothing happened,” Solich said.
Saturday is a long way away for the Bobcats. Anything could happen, but Ohio is making sure to take care of its players — while still preparing for the Falcons.
On paper, Bowling Green’s record (0-3) is nothing to gawk at. The Falcons are bad this season, and they have three double-digit losses to prove it. Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson ran for 301 yards and four touchdowns against the Falcons last Wednesday, and Ohio smoked the Falcons last season 66-24.
Ohio’s offense has sputtered in both of its contests, and a big week against Bowling Green could be what it needs. Solich isn’t convinced that other teams’ successes mean his own team will prevail, however.
“I see (Bowling Green) with very, very quick running backs and big, strong physical linemen,” Solich said. “They really like to run the football, so it’s going to be one of those games where it’s a very physical football game.”
The running backs that Solich alluded to go by Terion Stewart and Andrew Clair. Stewart is the prominent back in Scot Loeffler’s offense. He’s scored four touchdowns this season and racked up 204 yards on just 23 carries.
Ohio has struggled containing the run game this season. Central Michigan’s Kobe Lewis and Akron’s Teon Dollard both gave the Bobcats the work. Those problems could be put to rest with the return of defensive tackle Kai Caesar.
Despite only playing five games instead of six, Ohio’s odds to make the Mid-American Conference Championship game are still intact, if not better. Avoiding the defending MAC champs sets Ohio up with a clear path to Detroit.
All it has to do is win out.
“We’ve only played a few games, so they’re revved up to play again,” Solich said.