Football: Ohio stresses importance of gaining cohesion after offense struggles in spring game


Ohio coach Frank Solich didn’t exactly know why the offense struggled in its spring game Saturday, but he did offer a possible reason for its woes: an incomplete depth chart.

“In the spring game or in a spring scrimmage, and you’re evaluating everybody, you don’t really have a total first unit in there together,” Solich said after the Bobcats’ offense only scored 18 points Saturday. “All that kind of adds up to it being what you saw out there today.”

The offense had troubles at the line of scrimmage, as the offensive line struggled to open up holes for Ohio’s potential five-pronged rushing attack. On Saturday, the defense totaled three sacks.

The lack of synergy on the offensive end was noticeable. Though the offense showed its potential playmaking ability in practices, it was mostly nonexistent during Saturday’s game.

“I didn’t think offensively we played a physical football game,” Solich said. “Obviously, that’s not what we’re all about, so that has got to change.”

With the offense gaining 193 total yards on 68 plays, it showed signs of struggle particularly in one-on-one situations between the wide receivers and defensive backs. The secondary had five breakups, and the receiving core had eight dropped passes.

The defensive backs have been a relentless core throughout the spring season, intercepting passes in practice and vigorously breaking up plays.

The wide receivers were not a marginal group during practices, either, with veterans such as Sebastian Smith, Jordan Reid and Brendan Cope catching balls with ease.

Those same players had mostly marginal games in the spring game, though. Similar to Solich, wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon didn’t know the reason for the receiving core’s lack of production.

“There’s no excuses for a guy not being able to make the plays when he’s done it time and time again,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the team will give the younger players opportunities if they are better than the upperclassmen.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Elijah Ball had the offense’s sole touchdown in the game, catching three passes for 47 yards.

Dixon said the receiving core needs more players like Ball to step up. With the way the offense performed Saturday, Ohio’s offense will rely on the running game when the fall season comes. But the passing game will be an aspect Ohio looks to improve come September.

“I guess this offseason we need to learn how to work as a team instead as individuals,” running back Dorian Brown said. “Once we all connect as a whole on offense I think we’ll do better.”



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