One of last years heart breakers, and perhaps the one which ended up keeping Buffalo out of the Mid American Conference Championship game, was the overtime loss at home versus Ohio.
Ohio came to Buffalo and took home a win. They got a road win in a division rivalry game that seldom sees the visiting team walk away from a game happy.
This year Buffalo will have to flip that script by going into Athens when they face the Bobcats.
Gone For Ohio:
The Bobcats are going to have to carry on without Nathan Rourke. The dual threat quarterback was taken in the second round of the CFL draft.
Physically, and perhaps schematically, the bigger hit for Ohio is the loss of three offenseive linemen.
On the other side of the Ball Ohio loses Javon Hagan, who was picked up by Tampa Bay after his Senior year. They are returning the bulk of their defensive talent but nobody on the unit was really playing at Hagan’s level.
2020’s Big threats:
O’Shaan Allison was the primary part of a two back committee for Ohio last year, and he’s back and healthy. If the Bobcats manage to find a solid solution at quarterback they have all their offensive skill positions covered.
At quarterback you’re going to see either Drew Keszei or Kurtis Rourke, Nathan’s brother. Given that Keszei was a receiver last your I’d lean towards Rourke 2.0. And at receiver Ohio is returning all of their top threats.
The defense was pretty average last year, but returning eight of your top ten tacklers, including a very solid core of linebackers should mean an upgrade this year, even without Javon Hagan.
The recently released MAC preseason coaches poll put Miami, Buffalo, and Ohio all battling it out for the East, just as it seems to have been for the past couple of years, having this game at Ohio makes for a huge challenge.