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Monday, September 11, 2006

Bobcats, Buckeyes put up same offensive numbers vs. NIU

When people talk of the 2-0 Ohio team with the great offense that beat up on the Northern Illinois defense by scoring 35 points, they likely are not talking about the Ohio Bobcats. Well, in a state where anyone other than Ohio State gets very little attention, I'm going to give credit where credit is due.

One of the most surprising games from this past weekend was the Ohio Bobcats upsetting the Northen Illinois Huskies in Dekalb, IL. The Huskies came into the game 14.5 point favorites; not surprising considering the NIU football program under Joe Novak is a perennial MAC title contender.

While Garrett Wolfe got his yards on the ground for NIU, the real surprise was the Ohio offense led by Senior QB Austen Everson. A quick look at the box score shows that Everson passed for 322 yards and 3 TD. At many schools these numbers would not be a big deal, but at a school that ran the triple-option in the late 1990's, that is good for the most passing yards for a Bobcat QB since 1985.

Wolfe rushed for 196 yards and 2 TD averaging 8.2 yards per carry, but the star running back on this day was Ohio's Kalvin McRae. Ohio's offensive playcalling seemed to be a step ahead of the NIU defense the entire day as Everson hit numerous receivers with short passes. McRae led the way with 5 catches for 98 yards and a TD as 9 different receivers had at least one catch for the Bobcats. McRae also rushed for 107 yards and 2 TD to cap off a stellar afternoon by the Junior RB.

While NIU is supposed to be the favorite in the MAC football race in 2006, the Bobcats' next two challenges are both tough out-of-conference road contests. Ohio will play @ Rutgers this Saturday, September 16th and follow that with a trip to Columbia, Missouri to face the Missouri Tigers of the Big XII Conference. While Ohio will not be favored in either of these two contests, the Bobcats will look to add to the national headlines that the Mid-American Conference made this past weekend when the Akron Zips upset the ACC's NC State Wolfpack.

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