April 6, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football had its first full scrimmage of the spring practice season on Friday at Peden Stadium. The Bobcat defense did not allow a touchdown during the session, which lasted approximately 70 plays.
"It's obvious we need more contact work on both sides of the ball," Head Coach Frank Solich said. "I thought the defense certainly looked much more consistent and their speed showed at times. Offensively, there were a few plays here and there, but as a unit we weren't able to get much done. We're trying to do quite a bit on offense, and there was not a truly experienced in there operating. Kalvin only played eight snaps, and so there's some reason why we didn't have a few more bigger-type plays."
Ohio's defense picked up four sacks, including two by Jordan Meyers (Harrison, Ohio), one by Taj Henley (Richmond, Va.) and one by Todd Koenig (Nanty-Glo, Pa.). Junior linebacker Errik Ejike (Tyler, Texas) accounted for the only turnover of the day with an interception. The ball popped loose on what appeared to be a 43-yard completion from sophomore quarterback Josh Febus (Dublin, Ohio) senior wideout Chido Nwokocha (Elk Grove, Calif.), and Ejike came over to take the ball out of the air for the pick. The Bobcat defense allowed just six first downs in the scrimmage.
Sophomore linebacker Lee Renfro (Burnside, Ky.) made one of the top defensive plays of the afternoon when he came from behind to break up what would have been a 25-yard completion from Scott to tight end Andrew Mooney (Lubbock, Texas).
"I thought the speed of our linebackers showed," Solich said. "As a whole, the defense has more team speed than what we had last year. If we get to the right spots, we have a chance to better than we were last year on defense."
Offensively, Ohio had 142 yards passing, but was held to 22 yards on the ground. Febus completed 6-of-11 passes for 82 yards and an interception. Febus hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Brandon Peterson (Gaithersburg, Md.) for a 28-yard completion, the Bobcats' longest play from scrimmage.
"They didn't hold anything back on defense," Solich said. "They were blitzing an awful lot, and when you're just trying to put things together offensively for the first scrimmage, it gets a little tough to handle. They'll get better as a group, offensively."
Junior quarterback Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) was 3-for-6 for 45 yards through the air and also accounted for the Bobcats' longest run from scrimmage, a 12-yard scramble. Sophomore Brandon Jones (Marietta, Ga.) completed both of his pass attempts for a total of 14 yards. Redshirt freshman Miles Schlichter (Greenfield, Ohio) was 1-for-3 for one yard. Senior Brad Bower (Burr Ridge, Ill.) did not participate.
"(Theo) has got the ability to scramble and make plays on the run by either throwing it or running. That was good to see. That adds a dimension to our attack that you like to see."
Ten different receivers made at least one reception for the Bobcats. Wide receiver Robert Preston led the squad with two catches for 32 yards. Redshirt freshman running back Jason Brand (Springfield, Va.) also made two receptions for 13 yards. Senior Justin Fitzgerald (Richmond, Va.) had one of the team's three catches of more than 20 yards with a 27-yard catch and run.
Special teams were also a limited part of the scrimmage. Kicker Michael Braunstein (Gilbert, Ariz.) was 3-for4 on field goal tries, connecting on a 47-yarder and two 40-yarders. His only miss was a 55-yard attempt that went just wide right. Braunstein and Matt Schulte (Cincinnati, Ohio) averaged 33.2 yards on four punts. Junior Mark Parson (Richmond, Va.) had two punt returns for 29 yards.
The annual Green & White game will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Ohio Athletics and the Ohio Sports Administration program is teaming up to present the second annual Bobcat Blitz which featured a full day of events surrounding the spring game. For more information, log on to www.BobcatBlitz.com.
Ohio Athletics will also hold its biannual merchandise sale at Pepsi Tail-Great Park.
Information about 2007 Ohio football tickets, including the return of the Bobcat Family Pack, can be found by clicking here.