A homecoming letdown was not in the cards for the Ohio Bobcats, who picked up a victory for the ninth time in the last ten Battle of the Bricks clashes.
A balanced offensive attack was secondary to a motivated Ohio defense who made the RedHawks offense look silly once more this year. Coach Frank Solich's crew relied on a defense that set the tone from the beginning and never allowed the RedHawks offense to sniff anything resembling a rhythm. Seriously, Coach Chuck Martin has to be tearing his hair out after this one.
The 'Cats surrendered just 253 yards of offense, less than 100 yards on the ground (87) and just 12 first downs. A 10% rate of conversion on third downs for the Miami offense was yet another indicator of the Ohio defense's dominance. The bash bro duo of Quentin Poling and Jovon Johnson (Ohio fans plead for his continuing good health) registered big interceptions on each of Miami's first two second half possessions, with Poling returning an interception 25 yards to the house to the delight of the frenzied homecoming hopeful and Johnson getting one and rumbling 43 yards before being dragged down. Ohio also sent a rushed and frantic freshman quarterback in Billy Bahl into a tailspin as the youngin' completed just 8 of 23 passes in his first start as a RedHawk.
To continue to list stats would just show an unchanging trend of dominance in this contest, so how about a few anecdotal examples?
Only one of Ohio's scoring drives featured a play of more 18 yards (a Papi White 39-yard reception). It was a steady dosage of several receivers and backs who contributed offensively. Ohio fans might be interested in taking note of the fact that it seems that A.J. Ouellette is not the main back going forward. Daz'mond Patterson seemed to have that distinction, but Maleek Irons picked up 11 carries for 49 yards to lead the team on this day. Dorian Brown notched his own carries late in the game.
While Ohio seems to have a back by committee situation, it at least knows it has several playmakers in the passing game in Sebastian Smith (9 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown) and Papi White (2 receptions for 75 years with both catches going for 36+ yards). Derrius Vick did what he does and completed 21-33 passes for 243 yards, one score and an INT.
With the win, (and important here, lack of anything resembling a letdown), Ohio continues to show itself to be among the class of the MAC in 2015. The game with Bowling Green on Nov. 4 is looming larger every day for the 5-1 Bobcats.