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Sunday, November 10,2013

Ohio’s hopes for bowl invite may require win over BG

By Steve Uhlmann

Photo Caption: Bobcat football in a file photo from earlier this season.

Failure at some point in life is inevitable. When it happens, people are left with the choice of feeling sorry for themselves or overcoming it by striving for new goals.

The Ohio Bobcats football team is currently at this crossroads. Their top goal of winning the Mid-American Conference is no longer a realistic possibility, following a devastating 30-3 loss to Buffalo last week, but there are still other things the 'Cats can achieve.

The Bobcats (6-3, 3-2 MAC) are now shifting their focus toward making a bowl game, and they can greatly help their cause with a win over the Bowling Green Falcons (6-3, 4-1 MAC) in Bowling Green Tuesday night.

One of the biggest things Ohio is trying not to repeat from last week is how they handled adversity.

"When things aren't going well, when things fall against them, sometimes that shows," Ohio head coach Frank Solich said about his team. "I think that happened this last game. We need to learn how to overcome that as much as anything in terms of X's and O's."

Even though things have gone against Ohio recently, there's still a sense of positive morale among the players. Wide receiver Chase Cochran said the team has turned the page and is ready to shift the focus to a new goal.

"It's a three-game season; we've got to win these three games," he said. "We have other goals. We always have a goal to get to the postseason and win another bowl game for this university. That's still in our hands."

If Ohio wants to get back to a bowl game, they will need to handle a Bowling Green team that embarrassed the Bobcats in Athens a year ago. Like Buffalo, they boast a balanced offensive attack that will test Ohio.

"Excellent offensive line, really excellent running back, a quarterback that is very efficient, you combine that and you've got an offense that can really score points," Solich said.

The Bobcats' defense is still looking for answers stopping the run, as they were again overpowered by Buffalo's rushing attack.

The problem isn't an easy one to solve, as the defensive unit is still trying to figure out what exactly is the issue.

"I don't know," linebacker Ben Russell said. "We either do great or we are beat. It's a sore subject right now."

Ohio must also be careful on offense, as Bowling Green boasts one of the best defensive units in the conference. They rank first in the MAC in fewest points allowed, yards allowed and passing yards allowed.

Knowing that the 'Cats struggled mightily on offense against BG a year ago, Ohio is ready for another shot at beating the Falcons.

"We have a good grasp on them," Cochran said. "We have a healthy bunch, and we feel like when we execute we can beat anybody."

The passing game has been a big focal point after quarterback Tyler Tettleton threw for a career-low 126 yards and leading receiver Donte Foster suffering a back injury against Buffalo.

With Foster's status questionable, the receivers know someone will have to rise to the occasion to make sure the passing game becomes productive again.

"Somebody has to step up," Cochran said. "We've been coached to the point that all guys top to bottom can make plays. We'll get the production we need out of everyone."

Ohio and Bowling Green play Tuesday at Doyt-Perry Stadium with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. It will be streamed live on


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