First Look: Rested Bobcats Relying on Depth
Like Miami, the 24th-ranked Bobcats are coming off a much-needed bye.
Ohio has been decimated with injuries this season, especially in the secondary, but its younger players have filled in nicely, helping the team remain undefeated at 7-0.
"We gave (our players) quite a bit of time off," Solich said about the bye-week. "I think they earned that and with the physical games we've been playing it made sense to do that. They came back and seemed to be rejuvenated."
Four main contributors in the secondary are out for the season in senior corners Octavius Leftwich and Travis Carrie, along with junior corner Jamil Shaw and junior safety Xavier Hughes.
Offensive lineman Sam Johnson and tight end Jordan Thompson also sustained season-ending injuries earlier in the year.
"The list has been pretty extensive, but it's a case where we do have some depth in our program," Solich said. "We're hanging in there. We are playing fairly well. I think we do need to get better on the defensive end of it because that's where most of our injuries have occurred."
Solich continued, "We'll start off as usual trying to stop the ground game and hopefully play sound defense. We need to start getting some more interceptions. That's been fairly low for us this year and teams have been throwing on us, so we are going to need to step that part of the game up."
The coach did say that senior safety Gerald Moore has a chance to play this week. Moore is listed as a game-time decision. Additionally, senior defensive lineman Carl Jones is listed as "probable" to play Saturday.
While the defense is not at full-strength, the Bobcats' offense hasn't missed a beat. Led by duel-threat junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton, Ohio is ranked 21st in the country in rushing yards and is 28th in points scored, averaging 36.4 per game.
Tettleton has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,343 yards with 12 touchdowns this season.
Junior Beau Blankenship leads the Bobcats' ground attack, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He has rushed for 951 yards and six scores.
Expect a lot of points to be scored by both teams on Saturday. Ohio's defense has given up 28 points or more in its last three games and has allowed an average of 489.3 yards per game to opposing offenses during that span.
The Bobcats have also won their last three games by an average of less than six points. They beat Akron, 34-28, Oct. 13; Buffalo, 38-31, Oct. 6; and UMass, 37-34, Sept. 29.