By Pete Nakos
OhioBobcats.com Feature Writer
ATHENS, Ohio -- Last week was tough — to say the least. A 37-34 loss at the hands of Akron on a Tuesday night, which helped the Zips reach the Mid-American Conference Championship game since 2005. Now, 10 days removed, Ohio (8-3, 5-2 MAC) won't be making a trip to Detroit for the second straight year. Instead, the goal will be to reach a 10 win season for the fourth time in program history. A good goal, just not the one everyone had on their mind heading into the season.
Along with the loss that left them out of the championship game, the Bobcats seem to feel that they let down their coach. Frank Solich is finishing up his 13th season at Ohio and is still in search of a MAC Championship. The school hasn't won the title since 1968.
Solich has done everything expected of him over his career at Ohio: he's turned around the program, taken the team to multiple bowl game appearances, beaten power five schools and become a perennial power in the MAC.
Just not a MAC Championship, and this year felt like the year. The team was built to do it with an offense averaging 40 points per game and a defense that is capable of shutting down any rushing attack.
"I don't know hot exactly explain it," defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow said. "We just made mistakes that we haven't made in a while. Communication errors that led to big plays and put us in a position to lose the ballgame."
Still, the season isn't over. A Black Friday game against Buffalo and a bowl trip is in store for the final two games of the season.
They will face a Buffalo team on the verge of a bowl game, a win securing a six-win season. With two-straight wins and an offense averaging 439.5 yards per game, Ohio will have its hands full.
A win would give the Bobcats a sense of redemption after last weeks loss. It'd be a win to sweeten the fact they had to travel on Thanksgiving to play Friday's game.
It's a chance to end the season on a high note.
"All we care about is our next football game. We've always been that way in terms of how we look at things, always the next game," Solich said. "We have to do our own job. Our job is to play Buffalo and when that game.
"It is what it is and it's in the past for us. We're going to look and improving where we need to improve and playing to our potential."