Kaleb Carter of SB Nation's MAC site, Hustle Belt, was nice enough to conduct a Q&A with A Sea of Blue in advance of Saturday's game between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and The Ohio University Bobcats. Give Kaleb (@Kaleb_M_Carter) and Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) a follow for Ohio football news this week. ASoB's answers to Kaleb's questions will be appearing at Hustle Belt in the near future so stay tuned for that.
Thanks to Kaleb for taking the time to answer the following questions. Without further ado:
Ohio seems to have lost quite a bit of offensive production from last season, but returns eight defensive starters. From a general perspective, how did Bobcat fans see this season playing out?
Ohio is without last season's starting QB and running back, but on Saturday the new mobile quarterback Darrius Vick performed well. The running backs appeared to be much more of a mixed bag last Saturday, but an unheralded running back made a huge difference late in the game. Meanwhile, the offensive line only gave up one sack against Kent St. and looks talented in the interior. What position would you say is the strength of this offense?
A glance at the roster tells me Ohio has some pretty big receivers. Which one do you think UK's secondary is preparing the hardest for this week? Are these receivers more of the lengthy possession variety, speedsters, or both?
As previously mentioned, Ohio returns eight starters on defense, and I noticed Ohio had several tackles for loss and quarterback sacks last Saturday. They also defended the run well against Kent St. The roster shows the defense has good size at most positions. Which Ohio defenders should UK fans be aware of on Saturday?
UK will look to establish tempo early with a balanced run/pass ratio. Do HC Frank Solich and DC Jimmy Burrow-led defenses have experience defending up-tempo offenses regularly in the MAC?
Ohio seems to have very good special teams. Kicker Josiah Yadzani hit a clutch field goal for the win Saturday, while return man Devin Bass was named first-team All-MAC kick returner. Plus, Ohio's JUCO transfer punter was All-American at the JUCO level last year. Has solid special teams play always been a staple of Frank Solich teams? How did Bass and the punter Mitch Bonnstetter look last Saturday?
Predict the winner and the score. Who do you think will be the difference-maker(s) in the game?
As critical as I have been of Ohio in answering these questions, this is always the way I am about teams I cover. I think Ohio can and will hang with the Wildcats, but that UK will prevail in the beautiful Bluegrass. Kentucky wins 38-18.