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Football: What we learned after Tim Albin assessed Ohio’s second scrimmage

The Bobcats held their second and final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday morning at Peden Stadium. Coach Tim Albin originally planned to execute 70 plays but ended up letting Ohio run through 77 in order to let team situations play out.  

“From a numbers standpoint this is the most plays we’ve done in my time,“ Albin said.

Ohio has made significant progress since fall camp began, and there’s still two weeks before it hosts Syracuse to begin the season. Here’s what The Post learned from Tim Albin’s assessment of Ohio’s second scrimmage: 

The Bobcats are ahead of schedule

Albin was happy with both sides of the ball Saturday. The defense shut down the offense down on several plays and dominated during a handful of periods. While he noted the offense’s need to address this issue, Albin is confident that the offense is where it needs to be.

Albin was also pleased with his quarterbacks’ decision making. Quarterbacks Kurtis Rourke and Armani Rogers performed well under pressure and avoided mistakes that might prove costly in a game situation. That growth is bound to pay out for Ohio. 

While Albin wants the Bobcats to improve their conditioning before week one, he believes they are progressing ahead of schedule. Albin praised defensive coordinator Ron Collins and saw solid playbook knowledge from the first and second stringers. 

“We’re mature,” Albin said. “We’ve got a lot of old guys. I think we’ll come ready to go.” 

Two days off 

The Bobcats will have two days off of practice for the first time in fall camp Sunday and Monday. Albin wants his players to adjust for in-person classes being taught in a normal college setting for the first time in over a year. Some of the Bobcats haven’t even had such an experience at college yet. 

“It’s like when a water line breaks,” Albin said. “They fix it, you turn the water back on in the house, and the water, it shoots out, and there’s air in the lines. Hey, there’s air in the lines all over campus because we have not been open.” 

Albin wants his players to take their day off to become adjusted to taking in-person classes again, find out how to get the supplies they need and figure out where important buildings around campus are.  

“It won’t be natural,” Albin said. “That’s why we’re off on Monday.” 

Wide receiver depth a slight concern 

Ohio has several names in the mix in its wide receiver unit, but Albin is concerned about the position’s depth in the coming days. Ohio is still down a few names due to injury, and some players are expected to miss a few more practices before they’re cleared to return. 

“We’re banged up there a little bit,“ Albin said. “We’ll get the guys back but it’s going to be about 10 days probably on a couple of them.”

The good news for the Bobcats is that they are not starving for depth. Albin spoke highly of freshman Miles Cross, who has been making a name for himself at camp. The true freshman made a solid catch over the middle Saturday. 

Quarterback decision might be made

Ohio didn’t have a full-time quarterback in 2020. While Kurtis Rourke started in all three games, he split play time with Armani Rogers throughout the season. Rourke was Ohio’s best passer in 2020 but struggled with scrambling and rushing the ball. Rogers’ playstyle was a near antithesis to Rourke’s. While Rogers excelled at rushing, his passing wasn’t on the level of Rourke’s performance.  

It’s still unknown who will be starting against Syracuse or if Albin wants to stick with the two-quarterback system from last season. He wants to watch more film and evaluate before making a decision. 

“I think I want to watch the film,“ Albin said. “That's looming, that's going to come up. I would think of something by early next week.”

Besides Rourke and Rogers, Albin is also pleased with C.J. Harris’ progression through camp. Harris saw limited playing time last season, only passing once and rushing twice late in a win over Bowling Green.  

@elifeaz   

ef195418@ohio.edu 

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