Friday, September 2, 2011

Scouting the Ohio Bobcats

We take a look at the Aggies' Saturday opponent....

Who: Ohio University

From: Athens, Ohio and the Mid-American Conference

Recent history: The Bobcats have gone to bowl games the past two seasons — the New Orleans Bowl last year and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009. After not going to a bowl game since 1968, the team has been to three since 2006. Head coach Frank Solich enters his seventh season with the team and holds a 58-19 record at Ohio.

What should Aggie fans expect from Ohio?: A gritty football team. Solich followed in the footsteps of legendary coach Tom Osborne at Nebraska before joining Ohio in 2005. The Bobcats will spread the field and have been known to run the option — although that philosophy could change with the emergence of redshirt sophomore Tyler Tettleton at quarterback.

The team is led by a strong offensive line and talent at the receivers and running backs positions.

Defensively, Ohio has questions with just four returning starters from last year back in the fold. The Aggie offense looks to be improved, with more talent and a new coordinator in Doug Martin. Expect points to be scored on both sides of the field in this one.

Familiar faces: Martin was the head coach at Kent State — another Mid-American team — for seven years before joining NMSU this past March. Last year Kent upset Ohio 28-6 in the season finale and Martin's team's notoriously had success against the Bobcats, going 4-3 vs. Ohio during his tenure with the Golden Flashes. Don't be surprised if NMSU attacks Ohio in the downfield passing game, as the Bobcats aren't afraid to go man-to-man on opposing receivers outside.

Ohio has some former Aggie assistants on its coaching staff — co-offensive coordinator Gerry Gdowski and offensive line coach Kevin Lightner. Both worked at NMSU under Tony Samuel — Gdowski from 1997-2004 and Lightner from 2002-03.

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