Football: Bobcats end regular season in 91st Battle of the Bricks

After falling to Northern Illinois 21-14, the Ohio Bobcats (5-6, 3-4 MAC) are at risk of finishing a season under .500 for the first time in six seasons. At 5-6, Ohio will need a victory and a little luck to receive a bowl invitation.

“A sixth win gets you bowl eligible,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “That’s a step I’d like to see this team make.”

Andrew Hendrix has put up big numbers in his sole season as a RedHawk. (cleveland.com)

Andrew Hendrix has put up big numbers in his sole season as a RedHawk. Photo from cleveland.com.

Miami boasts a pass-heavy offensive attack. Quarterback Andrew Hendrix has thrown for 3,062 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Hendrix, a senior, is playing his first and last season as a RedHawk after transferring from Notre Dame. His average of over 278 passing yards per game ranks second in the MAC, . Hendrix airs it out around 38 times per game.

“It’s a big rivalry game and they’re going to put up a lot of points,” Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick said. “Offensively, we’ll need to be better.”

Vick seeks improvement from the Ohio offense that, despite out-gaining (344-325) and out-posessing (33:28-26:32) Northern Illinois, was only able to put 14 points on the board.

The game against the RedHawks marks the 91st meeting for the “Battle of the Bricks.” Miami leads the all-time series 52-36-2.

About the Opponent: Miami University RedHawks (2-9, 2-5 MAC)

Location: Oxford, Ohio

Established: 1809

Colors: Red & White

Mascot: Swoop The RedHawk

Notable Alumni: 2012 Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, NFL coaching legend Paul Brown, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, collegiate coaching legend Bo Schembechler

Players in the NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Houston Texans guard Brandon Brooks

Previous Bobcat Game: 41-16 Ohio victory on Oct. 26, 2013 at Peden Stadium

Current Matchup: 7 p.m. Tuesday — Yager Stadium

Bobcats to Watch

Offense: RB A.J. Ouellette – Ouellette had another big day against Northern Illinois. The freshman ran for 127 yards on 25 carries and this nifty touchdown. He also had a touchdown reception from Vick. For his performance, Ouellette earned the MAC East Player of the Week for the second time this season. When Ouellette scores, the Bobcats are 4-1. Also, when the former walk-on reaches the end zone, he usually does it twice. He has four multi-score games this season. 

Tarell Basham (left) and Antwan Crutcher (middle) will look to have a big day against the feeble Miami offensive line. (photo: danielkubus.com

Tarell Basham (left) and Antwan Crutcher (middle) will look to have a big day against the feeble Miami offensive line. Photo from danielkubus.com.

Defense: Ohio’s defensive line – In complete contrast to last week’s opponent, Northern Illinois, Miami has allowed the most sacks in the MAC this season at 39. The RedHawks currently allow over three sacks per game. Miami’s pass-heavy attack will allow for Antwan Crutcher, Tarell Basham, Kendric Smith and company to pin their ears back in pursuit of Hendrix.

RedHawks to Watch

Offense:  WR David Frazier – The leading receiver in the RedHawks air raid offense, Frazier has racked up 901 yards and five touchdown catches in 10 games this season. The senior has four games of more than 100 yards receiving this season. He reeled in five catches for 88 yards and a score against Central Michigan.

Defense: DB Quinten Rollins – If his name rings a bell, it’s because Rollins has been a guard on the RedHawks basketball team for the past four seasons. He decided to take on college football for the first time this season and his decision has paid off. The fifth-year senior leads the team with five of their eight interceptions. Rollins is also fifth on the team in tackles, but his 14 passes defensed make him Miami’s top corner. Not too shabby for a guy who hasn’t played football in four years.

Prediction

Ohio 28, Miami 20 – Miami is going to score, that’s a given. They’ve yet to be held under 10 points this season, but their offense won’t be enough to trump the Bobcats. Big performances from senior receivers Chase Cochran and Landon Smith will lead the Green & White to victory in this rivalry game.

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