FRISCO, Texas -- The Ohio football team took the practice field for the first time since arriving in Texas for 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl. The Bobcats (8-4) are set to compete against San Diego State (7-5) on Wednesday (Dec. 19). Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and the contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.
The Bobcats got some work in on the Toyota Stadium practice fields this morning as they continue to prepare to play the Aztecs.
For redshirt sophomore wide receiver Cameron Odom (Bedford, Ohio), the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl marks his third bowl game experience. He was a redshirt on Ohio's 2016 Dollar General Bowl team, then saw action in the Bobcats' 41-6 victory over UAB in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl.
"It's a fun experience traveling with your team," said Odom of taking part in his third-straight bowl game. "It's my first time here in Texas, so I've been having fun."
The 2018 Frisco Bowl will truly match each teams' strengths against each other. Ohio's rushing offense ranks ninth in the country with an average of 261.9 yards per game, which is good for the sixth-highest average in program history. Meanwhile, San Diego State is holding the opposition to just 94.5 rushing yards per game, which is the fourth-lowest average in the country. The success of Ohio's passing game could play a big factor in who comes out on top in the ballgame.
"I think it's a big game for us as wideouts, to come out here and prove we can come out and catch the ball and make plays," said Odom. "This will be a breakout game for all of us. I'm really excited about it. We've been run blocking well this season, and I feel like this game may come down to us catching the ball."
The ultimate objective of the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl trip is for the Bobcats to bring a fourth bowl trophy back to Athens. The game can also serve as a springboard into the 2019 season, however. Ohio will lose redshirt senior wide receivers Papi White (Seminole, Okla.) and Andrew Meyer (Canal Winchester, Ohio) to graduation. White, a 2018 All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection, became Ohio's all-time leader in career receiving yards this season with 2,530. His career-high 897 receiving yards rank second among MAC players while his nine receiving touchdowns rank third among MAC players and 26th in the country. Meyer ranks second on the team this year with 34 receptions, 445 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Their departures will open the door for players such as Odom, redshirt freshman Isiah Cox (Jasper, Ala.) and freshman Jerome Buckner (Columbus, Ohio) to become focal points in the passing game in 2019.
"Even though it's the end of the season, I still want to set the tone for spring ball and next season," said Odom. "I want to keep the pace going and get the guys ready to come back next year and try to win a MAC Championship."
In addition to practicing this morning, the Bobcats' Sunday schedule also featured an opportunity to give back as well as enjoy the sights North Texas has to offer. Several Ohio players volunteered to partner with Frisco Fastpacs to help feed over 1,025 children in the Frisco community. This evening, Ohio will head to American Airlines Center in Dallas to watch the Dallas Mavericks host the Sacramento Kings.
Today, we partnered with Frisco Fastpacs to help feed over 1,025 children in the Frisco community �� pic.twitter.com/OI3wjMJC5J— Ohio Football �� (@OhioFootball) December 16, 2018
Ohio's bowl experience will continue on Monday (Dec. 17). The Bobcats are scheduled for a morning practice at the Ford Center at The Star, which serves as the practice facility of the Dallas Cowboys. Ohio will return to Toyota Stadium in the evening for the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl dinner.