What can $420,000 afford? For Ohio, it can front the tab for its biggest embarrassment in recent memory.
A 28-26 disastrous loss to Duquesne has sent Ohio spiraling down the worst possible start to its season imaginable. It hasn’t gone 0-2 to begin a season since 2008, and it hasn’t lost to a Football Championship Subdivision opponent since 2002. Mix those two stats together, and the end product is a concoction of disappointment and failure to execute that Ohio’s loss to Duquesne personified.
Steve Berkowitz said on Twitter that Ohio dished out $420,000 to play Duquesne on Saturday.
Ohio paid beaucoup bucks to lose.
There’s plenty of ways to describe Saturday — a travesty, a tragedy and an embarrassment. The Bobcats were outplayed and outmanned in a game that shouldn’t have been considered a game. The Dukes were blown out by Texas Christian in their season opener, and starting quarterback Joe Mischler was out with a knee injury. Backup Darius Perrantes hadn’t started a game for the Dukes before Saturday.
It should have been an easy win for the Bobcats. Instead, it was a farce.
“I've been here long enough. I know that you know the FCS thing, but you know I'm not trying to blind it,” coach Tim Albin said after the game. “We're going to take steps moving forward to fix the things that we can fix and get these guys mentally ready to go.”
Point the finger at the six defensive penalties in the second half. Point the finger at Ohio’s failure to convert on third downs six times. Point the finger at the defense allowing a backup FCS quarterback to go 23-of-34 with 194 yards and a touchdown.
But one issue is blatant — Ohio was not prepared.
It wasn’t just shown up by an FCS school. Ohio was violated by an FCS school in its own stadium. Its defense looked flimsy at best. The offense appeared far too late to make an impact. Penalties on both sides of the ball kept Duquesne flying downfield while Ohio sputtered to make up for lost yardage.
The final score showed a two-point defeat, but the game put Ohio’s flaws on display. It had to fight to stay afloat against an FCS opponent and failed. Albin said in his weekly press conference that Ohio would be challenged by Duquesne. What wasn’t said was that Ohio would be manhandled on its own turf.
“We're not going to just turn the page. I can assure you that,“ Albin said. “I think that — this is from a staff-wise — we've got some issues and some personnel things that we're going to have to get sewed up.”
The Bobcats are going to need plenty of stitches to patch up after Saturday. It’s a situation that should have been avoided. Now, there is a distinct possibility of the Bobcats being 0-4 heading into Mid-American Conference play. If the Dukes were too much to handle, how will the Bobcats fare in their final two non-conference games?
Duquesne achieved its first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision school in program history. What did Ohio get out of Saturday?
It got robbed — and only has itself to blame.