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First Week of Football Winding Down

First Week of Football Winding Down

Aug. 10, 2006

ATHENS, Ohio - The Bobcat football team held its fourth practice of the 2006 season on Thursday. Ohio has one more day in the NCAA-mandated acclimatization period before the squad begins two-a-days on Saturday.

The Bobcat offense relied heavily on the rush last season led by running back Kalvin McRae's 1,153 yards, the third-best single-season total in school history. McRae was one of only three backs in the nation last season to boast at least three games with at least 200 yards rushing. McRae's breakout sophomore campaign has earned him numerous preseason accolades heading into his junior season.

"I really try not pay attention to the press I'm getting," McRae said. "When I'm on the field, there's 10 other people out there. We all play our part in the offense and try to do what we can. I'm trying to build on what I did last year, but I like to say I'm trying to forget about last year because it's over with and there's nothing I can do about it."

Offensive Coordinator Tim Albin
On the quarterback competition:
"I think it's been going very well. With each and every practice, the guys are competing. They're trying to make the most of every rep they're getting.

On the offense's progress:
"Through four days, the guys have really done a great job running the offense. We're so much further ahead than we were a year ago at this time. We're getting places easier, things are coming easier. The terminology is not new. Getting in and out of the huddle, we're a lot smoother with things. We're looking forward to getting this thing kicked off."

On the running back depth:
"Voncarie Owens is back, and we have Josh Abrams, who is coming off a really good spring. I think there's some depth there. The problem would be that you can't play all three I-backs. In the I-formation, there's only one out there. I think there's competition there even though that Kalvin had a really good year last year and is getting a lot of attention coming into this season."

On developing offensive balance:
"We hope to be a little more balanced than we were a year ago. That's definitely going to be our goal. I don't say balanced in the fact that we have to be 50-50. It's not a run or pass number. It's being able to do what we want to do when we want to do it. If we want to call a pass, we need to be more efficient in our passing game. Not that we're going to throw it 50 times a game, but we've got to be more efficient when we throw the football."

On how the running game can set up the pass:
"When you've got a strong running game, you're going to have some really good play-action pass opportunities. We're looking to build off that."

Junior running back Kalvin McRae
On how practices are going:
"They're going pretty good. I think we've gotten some things done well offensively. We're focusing on getting more balance as an offense, being able to pass the ball as well as we run the ball. I think the quarterbacks and receivers are doing a great job of that. They're working together and completing passes. The offensive line is doing a great job picking up blitzes and blocking."

On what he expects from opposing defenses this year:
"With the rushing season we had last year, a lot of teams are going to come in and expect us to run the ball. Defenses will stack the box to try and stop the run which will really open up the pass on play action. The way we ran the ball last year should really help our passing game this year."

On being a receiving option out of the backfield:
"Anytime you can get the ball in your hands as a running back, you're happy with it. I really pride myself on being able to catch the ball out of the backfield. That's one of the things you have to do to be a complete back. You have to run the ball well, catch and pass protect well."

On how much he expects the team to run versus pass:
"I can't really put a percentage on it, but it's obvious that teams will expect us to run the ball. They're thinking if they can stop the run and make us one dimensional passing the ball then they'll have an advantage. If we get more balance, we'll be a really good offense."

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