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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 press conference reactions

Heading into one of Ohio's trickier tests on the road against Northern Illinois, Ohio head coach Tim Albin spoke with the press for his weekly press conference. Here's what The Post learned:

NIU is very experienced at Quarterback

The Huskies quarterback, Rocky Lombardi has led the Huskies since 2022. Although three-year starters have become somewhat regular in college football, Lombardi is in his seventh college season, which is very atypical. Before starting at NIU, Lombardi was enrolled at Michigan State as early as 2017. Albin knows his experience can help the Huskies offense

"The quarterback Lombardi has been there a long time," Albin said. "...He's got to be a coach on the field, as old as he is."

NIU rushing attack

Led by a remarkable performance from Antario Brown (280 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 13 carries against Akron), the Huskies managed to run for 380 yards in their game against Akron. The elite rushing attack helped propel the Huskies to a 55-13 win Saturday. According to Albin, the key to NIU's dominant rushing attack is the depth at the offensive line in addition to the entire unit's physicality.

"It will be very challenging for us defensively to simulate what we're going to see in the game," Albin said. "They're a physical outfit upfront with a wealth of experience, they play three tackles a lot, and the running back is very talented."

Ohio needs to improve on the ground

On paper, Ohio seemed to have a productive game running the football against Akron with 166 rushing yards. However, taking away some late runs by backup quarterback Parker Navarro, the Bobcats struggled to be consistent against Kent State. Albin hopes to see the Bobcats generate quality runs against Northern Illinois.

"The running game is a concern," Albin said. "...We've got to be balanced, but the running piece of it just makes playing Quarterback easier."

Ohio is ready for another big game

Ohio's game against NIU will be its third straight game played on a homecoming (at Bowling Green, vs. Kent State and At NIU). Naturally, the Bobcats will have to be prepared to play on yet another large stage against a motivated opponent. Additionally, as a team that has won five straight games including its first two conference games, opponents will want to pounce on the opportunity to upset a strong opponent. According to Albin, the Bobcats are experienced and prepared to play in big games.

"With the success that we've had last year and where we are now, you know, it's kind of what it is, and I think the guys have earned it," Albin said. "Whether it's homecoming or not, I think everybody's got this game circled."


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