OXFORD, Ohio — On a night when Sam Wiglusz, Ohio’s star receiver who has garnered national attention over the last few weeks, has just four catches for four yards, you might think that Ohio wouldn’t be able to put up 37 points on one of the best defenses in the Mid-American Conference.
You would be wrong.
Wiglusz wasn’t at his best, or anything close to it, Tuesday in Ohio’s 37-21 win over Miami, but he didn’t have to be. When Wiglusz finally faltered and had an off night, James Bostic, Miles Cross and Jacoby Jones were there to pick up the slack.
Bostic had five receptions for 83 yards, Cross had six for 133 and Jones had four for 78 and two touchdowns, including an absurd catch in the back corner of the end zone to put Ohio out of reach in the fourth quarter.
“(Having so many dynamic receivers) helps me to build my confidence and trust in these guys,” quarterback Kurtis Rourke said. “I’ve been working with Jacoby since he got here. We’ve known he was special for a long time. He may have taken a back seat in a couple other games but everyone on the team knows what he’s capable of.”
Ohio now has four receivers who rank in the top 20 in the MAC in receiving yards: Wiglusz, Bostic, Jones and Cross. And though Rourke has had a phenomenal season, he has spent plenty of time this year giving credit to the weapons he has around him.
The players on the field may be the ones putting up the numbers and getting the recognition, but a big part of Ohio’s dynamic receiving corps hasn’t set foot on the field this season.
Dwayne Dixon, Ohio’s receivers coach, has held the position since 2007 following two years at NC State and 15 years as the wide receivers coach under Steve Spurrier at Florida, his alma mater.
Dixon has coached 22 receivers who have signed contracts in the NFL, and it would be no surprise if he was coaching a couple more this season.
“You gotta start with Dwayne Dixon,” Ohio coach Tim Albin said. “He’s put more guys in the league than anybody on planet Earth.”
Whoever is catching the most passes for Ohio on a given night, one thing has proven to be true this season: there is no passing attack in the MAC that is better than Ohio’s
The Bobcats currently lead the conference in passing yards, yards per play, yards per game and touchdowns, and while they have played one more game than half the conference, there is only one team within 800 yards of the Bobcats.
The RedHawks put an emphasis on stopping Wiglusz Tuesday, and altough they achieved that goal, they missed the Bobcats’ other receivers running right by them. That is the challenge that every opponent of the Bobcats faces, and if the RedHawks weren’t up to the challenge, there might not be anyone in the MAC who will be.