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Ohio defenders Vonnie Watkins (17) and Jack McCrory (40) cause Kent Sate quarterback Colin Schlee (19) to fumble the ball during the first half of the game at Dix Statdium on Oct. 1, 2022.

Football: Ohio allows 736 yards in overtime loss

It was another struggle of a night for Ohio’s defense. 

The defense allowed Kent State to earn 736 yards Saturday, resulting in a 31-24 overtime loss. Even though the game wasn’t all bad, the extreme yardage allowed was just too much for Ohio to overcome. 

Of those 736 yards allowed, 338 were on the ground. Rushing defense hasn’t been Ohio’s strongest skill all season, but 338 rushing yards are the most it's allowed. 

Part of the reason for the large amount of rushing yards allowed was Marquez Cooper. The junior has been the Golden Flashes go-to running back for the first five games and couldn’t be contained Saturday. 

In the first four games this season, Cooper ran for 270 yards. Against the Bobcats, he ran for 240. What made Cooper so successful on the ground Saturday was his ability to break tackles. If you want to look at it this way, it was also Ohio’s inability to complete them. 

Defensive tackle Kai Caesar attributed the amount of rushing and total yards allowed Saturday to a lack of communication. Working together as one defense is something Ohio needs to work on for the future. 

“At the end of day we got to communicate,” Caesar said. “We got to be on the same page. All eleven (players) have to be on the same page at all times. That was the problem. We’ll get that fixed.”

Despite the high number of yards allowed, there were some positives for Ohio’s defense in the loss. It made a few key stops, such as a blocked field goal by Caesar to send the game into overtime. 

In addition, the defense only allowed Kent State to score on five of its 14 drives. Between the first and second touchdowns Kent State scored, Ohio allowed 354 yards, but they only amounted to three points for Kent State. 

Although the Bobcats kept it close, the game still ended in their first Mid-American Conference loss this season. If they want to win more than just a couple conference games, the defense will have to neaten up. 

Albin admits there is a lot the defense needs to reflect and work on this week, but also applauded Kent State for a job well done. 

“I am going to give (head coach) Sean (Lewis), the offensive line of credit,” Albin said. There are times they just blocked us.”

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

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