Yager Stadium -- Oxford, OH
Time Warner SportsChannel/ESPN3
It’s the first week of conference play and MAC teams are likely chomping at the bit to get started. The Ohio Bobcats and Miami RedHawks should be no exception.
For Ohio, it’s time to start its quest for a MAC East title. A preseason MAC media poll indicated the Bobcats should be able to make a run in the division. They bring a 2-2 non-conference play record into this week’s action.
Miami, on the other hand, is still looking for its first win of the season. Conference play is an opportunity to regroup and face some familiar foes.
They don’t get much more familiar than Miami and Ohio, who . . .
Despite its struggles in recent years, Miami has managed to play better against the Bobcats during meetings in Oxford. MU’s last series win was over No. 24 Ohio, 23-20, in Oxford during the 2012 season. Two years later, again in Oxford, Josiah Yazdani kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give Ohio a 24-21 victory.
OHIO BOBCATS (2-2, 0-0 MAC)
► The Bobcats got off to a rocky start this year when they lost a triple overtime game at home, 56-54. After bouncing back with a 37-21 win at Kansas, OU fell, 28-19, at No. 15 Tennessee.
► Ohio exploded for a 30-7 halftime lead and went on to defeat Gardner Webb last week.
► Senior QB Greg Windham is a dual threat. He has completed 84 of 152 of his passes (55.3%) for 933 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. He also leads Ohio rushing with 43 carries for 278 yards (5.6 ypc) and one TD.
► Junior Dorian Brown is averaging 4.5 ypc with 46 rushes for 208 yards, however, he missed last week’s game and is a question mark this week. Papi White, Maleek Irons and Bo Hardy are possibles at the running back spot.
► Senior wideout Sebastian Smith leads Ohio receivers with 18 catches for 297 yards and a pair of TDs.
Jordan Reid has a team-high three TDs among his 16 receptions for 191 yards. White has caught 12 balls for 164 yards and a score.
► Ohio ranks fifth in scoring offense (36.8 ppg) and eighth in scoring defense (31.5 ppg). The Bobcats are get 215.2 ypg via the rush and 275 ypg passing the ball.
► The Bobcats have four interceptions on the season, two by Kylan Nelson.
► Junior LB Quentin Poling leads Ohio defenders with 36 tackles, including 4.0 TFL. Tarell Basham, a 6-4 defensive lineman, owns 4.5 TFL and 4.0 sacks.
► Miami has done itself no favors when it comes to penalties, which have cost the RedHawks dearly in at least two games. MU had 12 penalties against Western Kentucky and lost by seven in Week Three. A dozen more flags came out last week, costing MU 107 yards, in a 27-20 loss at area rival Cincinnati.
► Miami was +1 on turnovers last week, but the two MU turnovers were costly. A pass interception in the UC red zone just before halftime cost Miami at least three points and maybe seven. A fumble when quarterback Billy Bahl was being sacked set up a Bearcat field goal that tied the game.
► Miami sophomore receiver Chris Hudson is out for the year and senior Rokeem Williams has been out recently.
► MU is tied for most sacks (MAC) allowed (15).
► Miami has lost by seven or less points in three of the four losses. The RedHawks fell to No. 17 Iowa, 45-21 in their opener.
► True sophomore Billy Bahl has completed 65 of 116 (56%) for 1,103 yards with eight TDs and two interceptions.
► Bahl has completed a pass for at least 51 yards in each of Miami’s four games this season.
► Miami ranks fourth (MAC) in passing offense (275.8 ypg). However, the RedHawks are last in rushing (115.0 ypg).
► James Gardner leads Miami receiving and has at least one touchdown in each game this season. The sophomore has 18 catches for 324 yards with a long of 70 yards and five scores.
► Miami ranks fifth in pass efficiency and pass defense efficiency.
► Maurice Thomas had a 94 yard kickoff return last week against Cincinnati. However, he pulled up with an injury late in the run. Martin indicated the sophomore would be evaluated later, and he is listed on the two-deep.
► Sophomore kicker Nick Dowd has converted all eight PATs and three of four field goal tries with a long of 35.
► Sophomore Junior McMullen leads MU with 31 tackles. Safety Tony Reed is next with 30 hits. Linebacker Brad Koenig owns 4.0 TFL among his 26 stops, and defensive lineman J.T. Jones has 2.0 sacks.