Each week, we ask five of our sportswriters five questions about Ohio athletics. Their answers may surprise you. This week, we talked to sports editor Alex Hider, contributor Danny Medlock, assistant sports editor Katie Hendershot, hockey writer Josh Yost and field hockey writer Jack Zink.
Was last Saturday’s loss to Central Michigan a fluke for the football team, or is this what we’ll see moving forward?
Alex Hider: Aside from turnovers, Central Michigan exposed another one of Ohio’s weaknesses: rushing defense. If this trend continues, it’s going to be hard to beat teams with star running backs like Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Kent State.
Danny Medlock: The loss speaks to the parity of MAC Football, not much differentiates the top from the bottom. Ohio has been an inconsistent group for awhile now (read my blurb from last week) I think that trend of unpredictability will continue.
Katie Hendershot: I think it was a lot of mistakes, but not necessarily something that will become a trend. I expect the Bobcats to minimize mistakes like that going forward after what could have been a wakeup call.
Josh Yost: Definitely a fluke. It’s not often that you’re going to fumble punt returns, and we can obviously manage the game to give us a chance to win every time.
Jack Zink: I think it was a fluke, mainly because the offense had by far its worst performance of they year (not including the Louisville game). The offense should play better, and I think the defense will continue to come together towards the end of the year.
It’s a huge upcoming weekend for the volleyball team, as they take on the two top teams in the MAC West. How do you think they’ll fair?
Hider: I don’t think they’ll win. I think they’ll dominate. Outside of a road loss to Kent State, Ohio has lost only three games since conference play began. With this weekend’s slate at home, I think they’ll roll through Toledo and Ball State.
Medlock: Ohio hasn’t lost at home since falling 3-2 to No. 24 North Carolina during the Baymont Inn Invitational more than a month ago. Neither Ball State or Toledo is the caliber of the Tar Heels.
Hendershot: Ohio volleyball will face two tough opponents in Toledo and Ball State this weekend, but I think they’re up for the challenge. The team has faired well against many very good out-of-conference teams to prepare them for the biggest challenges in the MAC.
Yost: They’ll win both their games this weekend. I always have irrational confidence, but this doesn’t feel nearly as irrational, this team is great enough to take top teams in the nation to five sets. I think they can handle a MAC West team or two.
Zink: As well as they have played all year, I can see them taking both games. As well as they have played all year, I think they continue their hot streak and make their way to the top of the MAC.
Western Michigan’s soccer team is undefeated in the MAC this season. Does Ohio stand a chance on Sunday?
Hider: It’s unlikely. The soccer team is 1-2-2 in their last five contests, with the only victory coming over a terrible Buffalo squad. It’s been a tough slide of the Bobcats, I just don’t see them getting over it by Sunday.
Medlock: They need to get through Eastern first (one game at a time, Tom Brady voice). They do stand a chance – albeit a small one. Western is comfortable scoring goals on the road against MAC foes scoring five at Bowling Green and four at Toledo. They also squeaked out a road win at Central Michigan, a squad that came into Athens and beat the Bobcats.
Hendershot: I think Western Michigan will present what could be one of Ohio’s biggest challenges of the season. If they beat Eastern Michigan Friday and carry momentum into the game, I think they could have a chance.
Yost: Here comes the real irrational confidence, I think the Bobcats can win it. They have a great team, and at the very least they’ll tie.
Zink: I think as in every sport, nobody ever has won anything on paper, and with that being said, I would not be surprised if they happen to pull off an upset, especially at home.
After a two-game winning streak in Missouri last weekend, is the field hockey team poised for a late-season push?
Hider: They’ve flown under the radar the entire season, but the field hockey team is going to break out in the next few weeks. Three of their final four games are at home, and just about every team in the conference is around the .500 mark. If they continue to get stellar performances from MAC Player of the Week Gomez Teruel, they’re going to make some noise.
Medlock: Ohio is battle tested after facing a difficult non-conference schedule. I’d expect them to get hot here in MAC play.
Hendershot: I do think the field hockey team can get some attention in the final stages of the season. Having their only three home games scheduled in the last four matches of the season could be a major factor.
Yost: Yes. Now that they have a few home games coming up with that new field, it seems that could help give them the extra push they need.
Zink: All year long, the field hockey team has playing some tough teams, all of them being away from home. Now with Pruitt Field finally being ready to play, I definitely think they are ready to take the strides to make a run these last couple of games.
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Hider: In my pants.
Medlock: No comment. (EDITOR’S NOTE: In order to maintain the integrity of Speakeasy Magazine, Medlock has chosen not to reveal the location of Carmen Sandiego without additional sourcing).
Hendershot: I think Carmen Sandiego is somewhere back in my childhood memories that I wish I could relive.
Yost: Shouldn’t you be asking an ACME Detective about this? I’d think by now she’s retired and in Cancun or somewhere nice, though.
Zink: I am the last person that should be answering this question, because I have absolutely no idea where Carmen Sandiego is!