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Ohio University head coach, Tim Albin, on the sideline of the game against Kent State at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, Oct. 7, 2023.

Football: Tim Albin looks ahead to pivotal Battle of the Bricks matchup

Tim Albin sat down with the press for his weekly press conference ahead of Ohio’s monumental matchup against Miami this weekend. Here is what the Post learned.

Ohio’s running game

One of Ohio's downfalls in its loss against NIU was its inability to run the football well. Against Western Michigan, Ohio seemed to figure it out with 185 yards rushing. Over 100 of those yards came within the fourth quarter, which helped Ohio close out its victory. Ohio head coach Tim Albin mentioned the accomplishment of Ohio’s fourth quarter ground game.

“This is maybe the third or fourth time this year we had a chance to close the game out,” Albin said. “You got to run the ball, they know you’re going to run the ball … we were able to get that first down and take a knee.”

Ohio must play a clean offense

Miami’s defense has rivaled Ohio’s as one of the best units in the Mid-American Conference. Even coming off of a loss to Toledo, Miami had a very solid outing in the 21-17 loss. According to Albin, Ohio must play a clean game on offense.

“We can’t get a bunch of sacks tackles for losses. We’ve got to continue to take care of the ball,” Albin said. “We’ve got to play field position and find a way to have some balance because you’re not going to be able to pound the rock at them because they pride themselves in stopping the run.”

Miami Quarterback

Late in Miami’s game against Toledo, starting Quarterback Brett Gabbert sustained a season-ending injury to his knee. The RedHawks were forced to replace Gabbert with Aveon Smith. Smith completed just three of seven passes in limited playing time against Toledo. Albin admitted that it may be difficult to anticipate exactly what the RedHawks’ offense will look like with the new QB.

“Aveon is very athletic, they may use his legs more, I don’t know, but that’s why we have coach on our shirt, I guess,” Albin said. “We’re going to have to adjust as it comes.”

Different energy in the building

Not only is Ohio taking on its biggest rival on Saturday, but the game will likely be for the right to play in the MAC Championship. In perhaps its biggest game of the season, it would be easy to understand why Ohio might have a heightened sense of urgency in practice before taking on Miami. According to Albin, Ohio can use the increase in energy as a positive.

“I hope not, but there probably is,” Albin said when asked about a potential increase in energy. “It’s Miami … it’s just always been that way and we’re going to embrace it.”


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