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Ohio Football Selected to Win 2018 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Coaches Preseason Poll

Ohio Football Selected to Win 2018 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Coaches Preseason Poll

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CLEVELAND, Ohio –  The 2018 Ohio football team has been selected to win the Mid-American Conference East Division in the 2018 MAC Football Coaches Preseason Poll, the league announced on Monday (Aug. 27). The poll was determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches. The Bobcats were also selected to win the 2018 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game, which will be held at Ford Field on Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. ET and televised nationally on ESPN2.

In the East Division, a margin of 11 points separated first-place and second-place. Ohio was selected first with 70 total points followed by second-place Buffalo with 59 points. Miami was selected third followed by Akron, Bowling Green and Kent State.

In the West Division, the margin was also only one point as Northern Illinois was selected in first-place with 61 points followed by second-place Toledo with 60 points. Western Michigan was picked third followed by Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Ball State.

Ohio head coach Frank Solich is in his 14th year in leading the Ohio football program and is the third-winningest coach in MAC history with 97 career victories. Solich and his Bobcats are searching for Ohio's first MAC football championship since 1968. The Bobcats offense will be paced by junior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario), who rushed for 21 touchdowns and 912 yards last season. Ohio will have offensive threats from redshirt senior running back A.J. Ouellette (Covington, Ohio), who added 1,006 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns on his own and redshirt senior playmaker Papi White (Seminole, Okla.), who finished with 631 yards receiving and three scores last year. Defensively, safeties Javon Hagan (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Kylan Nelson (Lexington, Ky.), along with redshirt senior cornerback Jalen Fox (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior linebacker Evan Croutch (Youngstown, Ohio) will lead the Ohio defense.

The Bobcats open the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Howard. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. inside Peden Stadium and can be seen on ESPN+. Click here for ticket information or call 1-800-575-CATS (2287).

The complete poll follows:

2018 MAC Head Football Coaches Preseason Poll

Team (First Place Votes)    Points
MAC East Division      

1.         Ohio (10)                     70
2.         Buffalo (2)                   59
3.         Miami                          42
4.         Akron                          36
5.         Bowling Green              29
6.         Kent State                   16


MAC West Division

1.         Northern Illinois (5)       61
2.         Toledo (3)                     60
3.         Western Michigan (1)    45
4.         Eastern Michigan (1)     35
5.         Central Michigan (1)     33
6.         Ball State (1)               18



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