The Ohio U Bobcats season win total betting line has been set at over or under 7.5 wins for the 2019 college football season. Ohio is also the 2nd betting choice to win the MAC this season at odds of 3 to 1.
Ohio once again came up short on its goal of reaching and winning the MAC title game. It thwarted Buffalo, but the week prior lost to Miami (OH), though still finished with a solid 9-4 overall record.
With a lot of new skill players, the Bobcats may drop off, but they’re still expected to contend at the top of the standings with a senior quarterback.
40 ppg Will Be Tough to Match
This offense ran through its final three games leading to a 27-0 win over San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl, and even with some skill players gone, it’ll be fine. Quarterback Nathan Rourke (22 TDs, 7 INTs, 8.8 ypa) returns to run the show, but this offense lives by the ground game.
The Bobcats averaged 258.5 rushing yards and 6.1 yards per carry last year, resulting in 40.1 points per game. While Rourke is there, it’s hard to see this offense replicating those numbers with new running backs and a couple new members on the line.
Rourke (816 rushing yards, 13 TDs) is the leading returning rusher, but running back is unknown with underclassmen O’Shaan Allison (seven carries) and Julian Ross (seven carries) the expected leaders.
There are similar questions at receiver with freshman Jerome Buckner expected to be the next playmaker, though Cameron Odom (29 receptions) is the top returnee.
The line only returns two full-time starters, but left tackle Austen Pleasants is one of the best in the conference and three others at least have starting experience.
Defense Made Major Strides
Overall, the defense could improve after making major strides in the second half of 2018 en route to allowing 26.7 points per game. Their long-time coordinator is gone, but new DC Ron Collins is plenty familiar with the scheme having been on staff for eight years.
Ohio has pieces at every level starting with what should be an improved line that features ends Amos Ogun-Semore and Will Evans. If those guys can get to the quarterback more frequently, this defense could be one of the best in the MAC since the back end is set.
Linebackers Dylan Conner and Jared Dorsa lead an experienced unit, while safety Javon Hagan and corners Jamal Hudson and Marlin Brooks lead the secondary. All of those guys were key in last year’s second-half turnaround.
Ohio Still a Contender for MAC Title
Ohio had some nice wins last year, but it also barely beat Howard in the opener and beat two-win Kent State by one point. If the offense doesn’t have that same kind of electricity, that could lead to a surprising loss or two.
It doesn’t help that the Bobcats have to travel to both Pitt and Marshall early, which could again lead to a couple non-conference losses.
The trip to Buffalo could decide the East division, yet that may be one of the only conference games in which Ohio is an underdog.
Its other three road games are against weaker MAC teams, including the final two of the season at BGSU and Akron. The Bobcats probably won’t be as explosive, but Rourke is still leading the offense and with a possibly better defense, another eight- or nine-win season is on the table.
Of course, the goal is still to win the MAC, something that has eluded head coach Frank Solich in his 14 seasons in charge.
Ohio is at Pitt September 7th – Read Our 2019 Pitt preview here
2019 Ohio Bobcats Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Rhode Island
Sept. 7 at Pittsburgh
Sept. 14 at Marshall
Sept. 21 vs. Louisiana
Oct. 5 at Buffalo
Oct. 12 vs. Northern Illinois
Oct. 19 vs. Kent State
Oct. 26 at Ball State
Nov. 6 vs. Miami (OH)
Nov. 12 vs. Western Michigan
Nov. 19 at Bowling Green
Nov. 26 at Akron