Things have not gone Ohio’s way. It’s 0-2 to begin the season for the first time since 2008, and it struggled to contend with Duquesne on Saturday.
Coach Tim Albin made it clear the Bobcats won’t be turning the page following their loss to the Dukes. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but Ohio has to learn from it.
Besides, Ohio needs to focus on what’s ahead. Specifically, it has its first road game of the season against Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday. Louisiana is undoubtedly Ohio’s toughest opponent thus far. It was ranked No. 23 in the Week 1 AP Poll before dropping out after its loss to then-No. 21 Texas.
Albin addressed the media Monday to discuss Ohio’s upcoming game against Louisiana and how it’s preparing in its limited window of time before Thursday. Here’s what The Post learned from Albin’s weekly press conference:
Penalties being addressed
Ohio was mired in penalties during the second half against Duquesne. Six defensive penalties prevented the defense from getting a meaningful stop. Albin is well aware of the penalties and won’t dismiss them. Ohio didn’t record a defensive penalty against Syracuse in its season opener, and Albin wants that to be the norm going forward.
“That's uncharacteristic of us,” Albin said. “We have shown to be a team in the first game, zero penalties. We can do it. But we're going to continue to play aggressive.”
Limited prep time
Ohio has less than a week to prepare for its game against Louisiana. There’s little, if any, time to waste in such a short window. Ohio needs a focus going into practice or else it’ll be blindsided come Thursday.
It’s a brief turnaround, but the Bobcats are prepared for it. Albin gave the Bobcats a reprieve Sunday morning by going through film. He fully intends to hit the ground running before Thursday.
“The guys need some rest,” Albin said. “And we did some things mentally with them. Just film yesterday, it kept them off their legs. (Monday) we'll be up there. We’ll be up there working.”
Preparing for a deep receiving unit
Louisiana had 11 receivers make at least one reception in its game against Nicholls on Saturday. Six of those receivers only made one reception, but it shows that quarterback Levi Lewis isn’t picky about who he throws to.
Albin noted that the depth of Louisiana’s receiving unit makes it challenging to clamp down on any one receiver in particular.
“They do a good job on their target chart,” Albin said. “They do a nice job with spreading it around, so we're going to have to cover the whole field and mix up where the safety help is … It'll be a nice little chess game between Ron (Collins) and their offensive staff.”
Turnovers still a necessity
Ohio’s defense has yet to produce a turnover this season but not from a lack of trying. It has been a talking point throughout practice, and Albin has hammered home that takeaways are one of the most important things the defense has to focus on.
The Bobcats haven’t had any luck, but they’re working on turning pass breakups into interceptions.
“We had, I think, five or six broken up pass breakups,” Albin said. “We need to turn a couple of those into some interceptions. There were two fumbles on the ground. We didn't get either one of them ... We just didn't get it.”