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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Falcons look to stuff the Bobcats

After winning last week’s homecoming game 70-7 against Temple, you’d think one would be hard pressed to have any complaints.

But that is the job of a coach. And Gregg Brandon saw things that need improvement. Mainly, the Falcons need to run the ball better and stop the opposing team’s running attack, according to Brandon.

“I’m still concerned about our rushing defense,” Brandon said. “I’d like to be running the ball a little bit better, but until we get P.J. [Pope] and B.J. [Lane] 100 percent healthy, we’re going to struggle.”

Thankfully, the Falcons didn’t need much of a running attack against Temple, when they were able to throw the ball virtually at will as indicated by quarterback Omar Jacob’s 87 percent completion percentage.

However, while the Ohio Bobcats aren’t a top 10 defense, they are well ahead of Temple and have displayed a lot of heart, as seen in their nationally televised win against Pittsburgh.

“They’re creating some things. [Byrum] is a very aggressive player, he makes things happen. They’re not a very big defense, but they are very quick and active.”

Although Brandon is concerned about the Ohio defense, he’s very pleased with how his own defense performed against Temple after a tough game against Boise State.

“For us to hold Temple to a touchdown, score on defense, get five turnovers … those are confidence-boosters,” Brandon said.

Jacobs said the defense is much different than the one that struggled against Boise State.

“I saw guys flying around and having fun and you didn’t see that last week when we played Boise – that wasn’t Falcon football, that wasn’t us. But you could see it on Saturday, it was just guys having fun playing football.”

Ted Piepkow, senior, thought the energy of the home crowd helped the defense get some key stops.

“We were able to play with a little more energy and emotion. We were able to feed off of the great crowd. We were finally making [stops on] third and five, third and two, making the big plays and getting off the field,” he said. “This is what we need to do for the rest of the season.”

While the Falcons are riding high on confidence after such a decisive win, Ohio coach Frank Solich knows that to stop the Falcons you have to stop Omar Jacobs.

He’s just not sure how to do it.

“He not only has the ability to make big plays, but he’s a very accurate thrower,” Solich said of the Falcon quarterback. “We’re used to seeing good quarterbacks, but we don’t have anybody that matches his statistics.”

So far the Bearcats have faced off against the likes of Pittsburgh’s Tyler Palko, Northwestern’s Brett Basanez and Virginia Tech’s Marcus Vick.

“You don’t want to get into a scoring match with them,” Solich said. “They put points on the board very easily… I think they’re almost impossible to stop.”


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