2016-17 Football Previews – (MAC) – Bobcats
Looking for 2016 Ohio Bobcats predictions? Bobcats fans have seen some good football in scenic southern Ohio under head coach Frank Solich. The Bobcats have been to three conference title games under the former Nebraska coach and Ohio have a great shot at making that a fourth appearance in 2016. Ohio is quite well-balanced.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Ohio Bobcats
Head Coach: Frank Solich
2015 Record: 8-5
Ohio Bobcats Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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2016 Ohio Bobcats Predictions: Team Strengths
They have experience at the skill positions on offense and a talented defense with several All-MAC representatives.
All of the top four leading receivers from 2015 return, led by rangy senior Sebastian Smith and fellow big man (both over 6″3 and 205 lbs) Jordan Reid.
That will be a big help for QB J.D. Sprague, who gets his first crack at the starting job as a senior. Sprague is a dual-threat option that will take off and run.
Elsewhere, RB A.J. Ouellette will be leaned on in the ground game, he’ll look to improve on his 687 yards and six majors from ’15.
On “D”, the Bobcats are fuelled by LB Quentin Poling, DT Tom Strobel, DE Tarell Basham and LB Blair Brown.
Poling, in particular, had a renaissance-man season in 2015 as he led the team in tackles (69), to go with four sacks and four interceptions.
Basham wasn’t far behind, with 5.5 sacks. Experience in the back four is solely on the shoulders of senior FS Toran Davis, who finished third on Ohio in tackles a year ago.
2016 Ohio Bobcats Predictions: Team Weaknesses
The special teams unit is going through an absolute overhaul, as the kicker and punter will be a couple of redshirt freshmen in K Louie Zervos and P Michael Farkas.
If they can’t carry the mail, true frosh Aidan O’Neill also comes in, able to do both jobs.
The ‘Cats also lose KR Daz’mond Patterson, who doubled as the second-leading rusher on the team.
The offensive line has lost 103 career starts, which will surely take a toll. Senior OT Troy Watson has plenty of savvy, but after that there sure are a lot of greenhorns on the Bobcats O-line.
They need a good performance from JUCO transfer OG Josh Cooper, who is a bowling ball at 6″2, 313 lbs.
Junior TE Troy Mangen is coming off a season-ending ACL tear, so he must show that he’s bounced back from that gnarly knee injury.
Ohio Bobcats 2016 Prediction: 10-3
The MAC East division is winnable this year, and Ohio is lucky to get conference heavies Bowling Green, Buffalo and Akron all at home, in Athens.
Last season, the Bobcats opened the year going 5-1, but injuries reared their ugly head and the ‘Cats limped to an 8-5 finish and a loss to Appalachian State in the Camellia Bowl.
The Bobcats have non-conference matches against Kansas and Tennessee; if they finish 1-1 in that road game stretch, Ohio will be in good shape moving forward.
Indeed, a lot of things line up well for Solich’s crew this season, especially if they can stay healthy. Ohio can hurt you in a variety of ways, and especially if Ohio can beat in-state rival Bowling Green, they should be in prime position to grab the East division crown.
2016 Ohio Bobcats Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. Texas St. 3:30 pm
- 09/10/2016 at Kansas 2:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 at Tennessee Noon
- 09/24/2016 vs. Gardner-Webb TBA
- 10/01/2016 at Miami (OH) 2:30 pm
- 10/08/2016 vs. Bowling Green 2:00 pm
- 10/15/2016 vs. E. Michigan TBA
- 10/22/2016 at Kent St. TBA
- 10/27/2016 at Toledo 7:30 pm
- 11/03/2016 vs. Buffalo 6:00 pm
- 11/12/2016 BYE
- 11/15/2016 at C. Michigan 7:00 pm
- 11/22/2016 vs. Akron 7:00 pm
What do you think about our 2016 Ohio Bobcats predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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