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2017 MAC Football Week 3 Preview: Kansas Jayhawks at Ohio Bobcats

Ohio looks to bounce back from a bad 2nd quarter in the Purdue game

NCAA Football: Ohio at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio Bobcats failed their first real test on the season. Purdue actually looks like a good football team this season and capitalized on a series of Ohio mistakes to beat them, 44-21. While Purdue looks to have stepped up from the suck of years past, the Kansas Jayhawks appear firmly entrenched yet again.

The Jayhawks gave up 45 points against Central Michigan, which just might be the medicine the Bobcats need. The Bobcats defense looks solid again, though Purdue was able to capitalize on Ohio mistakes. Quite a few of Purdue’s points came on Ohio offensive miscues. While Nathan Rourke looks like a star in the making behind center for the Bobcats, the offense still has some ills. A piss-poor defense on a power 5 team might just be the cure.

When the Bobcats have the ball

The Bobcats are looking to break in Nathan Rourke at the QB position. So far this season, he has performed fairly well. The Kansas pass defense may just be a prime spot for him to have a break out performance. The Jayhawks have played two teams this season, Central Michigan and South East Missouri State. For those of you unaware, Cooper Rush is no longer the QB at CMU, and SEMS isn’t a football powerhouse. The Jayhawks pass defense is giving up an average of 318.5 yards per game through the air. Against CMU alone, they gave up 467. CMU managed 253 yards passing against freaking Rhode Island, in triple overtime.

The Kansas pass defense is not good. Their rush defense isn’t much better. Rourke can also run the football. Ohio also has several capable backs, but none have really separated themselves this season. I think this is the game where the Bobcats establish a running back.

To sum up, Ohio should score, and score a lot. I’d put the over under on Ohio points at 38ish. Equally important, I expect Rourke to shine both running and throwing, and at least one Bobcats running back to announce, “I am the MAN!”

When the Jayhawks have the ball

Ohio lost a lot of talent last year on defense. They are still pretty good. Much like the offense, there is work to be done and Kansas provides the perfect opponent to perfect their craft.

Kansas returned 4 starters on the offense line from last season. They only average 110 rushing yards per game this season. Ohio didn’t look particularly good on defense against Purdue but I think a decent part of that was how the turnovers affected the game. I also think Purdue under first year coach Jeff Brohm is vastly improved.

I am very interested in seeing what, if anything, the Jayhawks can do against the Bobcats. I don’t think it will be much.


Kansas hasn’t won a road game in eight years. There is no reason to think that they will break the streak in Athens.

Final score: Ohio 42 Kansas 14

I could see Kansas scoring more, but not more than the Bobcats.