ATHENS, Ohio -- Every week during the 2017 season, OhioBobcats.com feature writer Pete Nakos will help prepare you for the Bobcats' upcoming game. This week, he gets you ready for Kansas, which kicks off at Noon inside Peden Stadium.
Who is the Starting Quarterback
In his weekly press conference on Monday, head coach Frank Solich said that media and fans would know the Bobcats' starting quarterback for Saturday when Ohio took the field.
The previous two weeks, Quinton Maxwell was named the starter at the beginning of both weeks, but in both games Nathan Rourke was the one finishing games. In the 44-21 loss to Purdue, Maxwell only played for half of the first quarter, just completing one pass.
When Rourke went in, he led the Bobcats to their first score of the game. He finished the game with 16 completions for 224 yards.
"Both of our quarterbacks are capable of throwing the game and are runners," Solich said. "Whether we can have that kind of day, we will see. In running our whole offense, the quarterback plays a vital role."
Recovering from Purdue
After last Friday's contest, which saw the Bobcats defense allow 558 total yards, Solich addressed the team's defensive struggles.
"We took bad angles and that certainly causes problems," he said. "Normally our pursuit angles are good, but there were things that popped up for us that have not been a problem in past games and seasons. That is the part that can get fixed and we need to get it fixed immediately for Kansas. It was more a matter of improper angles that the team took."
The Bobcats allowed 24 points in the second quarter alone, something that hasn't been done to a Solich team in recent memory. His teams are known to play tough and close against opponents, especially power five schools.
"We are a gap oriented defense," Solich said. "We didn't take care of our responsibilities and that will cause big runs to occur. I think physically, we wanted to play, but when you have those breakdowns being physical isn't enough."
Saturday's game will mark Kansas' defensive line coach Jesse Williams first game back in Athens. The former Ohio Bobcats defensive line coach departed this winter to Kansas.
After last year's matchup—a 37-21 thrashing of the Jayhawks— Kansas head coach David Beaty took note of the Bobcats' defensive line play. Ohio held Kansas to just 27 rushing yards in the first half.
With Casey Sayles at defensive tackle and Tarell Basham at defensive end, Williams line was one of the best in the country. The defense combined for 44 sacks in 2016, the most in program history. Basham was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year before he was a third-round selection in the NFL Draft this spring.
In the press conference, Solich said defensive play calling will be factored in, as Williams knows the personnel.
"Defensively there will be," Solich said. "I will be surprised if Jesse [Williams] knows our offensive signals. That would be the case with all coaches on the other side of the ball, but defensively there will be some things that will need to get done."