Ohio’s Greg Windham runs the ball down the field during a game against Miami at Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio, on Saturday.
Ohio defeated Miami in Oxford 17-7 on Saturday, but it was perhaps the team’s most unpolished win of the season.
With the offense not looking sharp in part because of a lack of running back depth — four of Ohio’s running backs were out with injury — and the defense having to carry the team to a win, Ohio has a problem that needs to be addressed as it continues conference play: who will be a consistent playmaker?
Ohio totaled a season-low 197 yards of offense against Miami, and it only threw for 56 passing yards.
“I think you can go pretty much across the board in terms of not getting what we’re after,” coach Frank Solich said Monday.
Ohio’s running backs, a position that was weak heading into the game, was the team’s best position on offense. Ohio rushed for 141 yards, which accounted for approximately 71 percent of its total yards.
“We came out there and wanted to establish the run,” wide receiver Sebastian Smith said. “We ran the ball a lot, I think we gotta get some more passes called.”
The Bobcats ran the ball 49 times, whereas they only passed 18 times during the game. Heading into Saturday’s game, the Bobcats had more balance on offense, averaging approximately 45 carries per game and 41 passing attempts per game.
Ohio also spread the ball around on offense more; quarterback Greg Windham only connected with four receivers Saturday, and Jordan Reid was the only one who had more than one reception.
Along with the offense struggling to get the ball to its usual playmakers — Smith, a top playmaker, only had one reception for 12 yards — the offensive line faulted against Miami’s pass rush.
The RedHawks sacked Windham four times, a season-high for sacks allowed for the Bobcats.
“Greg was kind of rushed in the pocket a little bit,” Smith said. “He got pressured in the backfield, so they got a few sacks on us.”
Ohio will play Bowling Green this Saturday for its homecoming game. Ohio will look to get its second win in the Mid-American Conference, and Bowling Green (1-4, 0-1 MAC) will look to get its first.
Bowling Green is usually a leader in the MAC East, but this season it has not been as formidable, dropping its first conference game to Eastern Michigan.
“The play calling, I think we’re just going to just go back and we’re just going to try it even out as far as play calling,” Smith said. “Maybe get some more deep balls thrown and then involve the run.”