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This will be head coach Frank Solich’s 11th year at the OU helm. His Bobcats compiled a 72-56 record over the last 10 campaigns. He took over in 2005 and was MAC Coach of the Year for 2006.
The Bobcats failed to go to a bowl game last year after five straight bowl appearances.
Ohio won two games last season with Josiah Yazdani field goals as time expired. His 28-yard boot to finish the Bobcats finale gave OU a 24-21 road win over rival Miami. It also allowed the ‘Cats to avoid a losing season as they finished 6-6 overall and 4-4 in MAC play.
Ohio will have several tough road contests this year. The biggest may well be against MAC East favorite Bowling Green Nov. 4. In non-conference play, the ‘Cats are probably looking forward to a home matchup against rival Marshall. This has been a close and very hard-fought contest in recent years, but MU steam-rolled Ohio 44-14 last year on the way to a banner season.
Injuries didn’t help as the Bobcats finished 11th among MAC teams in both (conference) scoring (19.9 ppg) and total offense (368.9 ypg). The defense fared better, holding down the fifth spot on scoring defense (23.9 ppg) and second on total defense (346.9 ypg).
OU was seventh among MAC teams in turnover margin (-0.25 MAC play).
Ohio’s run defense was particularly strong, yielding 112.2 ypg on the ground (2nd MAC play).
All linebacker Quintin Poling did with his redshirt freshman season was lead the team in tackles with 89 overall (60 solo). He also recorded five sacks and three interceptions.
Running back A.J. Ouellette picked up 785 rushing yards in 2015. That was the second highest total for a freshman in OU history. Ouellette was sixth among all conference backs in MAC rushing yardage (87.5 ypg).
The Bobcats will have two experienced quarterbacks this year as both Derrius Vick (Sr) and J.D. Sprague (Jr.) both saw considerable action in 2014. Vick was in for 242 snaps over eight games, while Sprague took 267 snaps across 10 contests.
Daz Patterson managed 1,126 all-purpose yards in last year. The senior running back and kick returner is on the 2015 Watch List for the Paul Horning Award (most versatile player in college football).