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1. A Joey Potter season
Nothing makes me roll my eyes faster than when someone on a television show leaves town to "find themselves." Typically, the person doing this is a college-age female who ends up in San Francisco (or thereabouts) taking art classes, drinking coffee, and getting scorned by a certain type of artsy male that I'm pretty sure doesn't exist.
My first experience came among a group of dorm rats who got together to watch Dawson's Creek and yell at the television. The show was awkward and cheesy, and the person who began the series as the grounded personality to balance the selfish characters ended up being maybe the silliest of all: Joey Potter. Joey left awkward circumstances to "find herself" three times per season, it seemed. Those words still remind me of this stupid show about 15 years after I stopped watching it. I can't remember the name of the town, and I can't name a character outside the main four, but those two words still make me angry.
(And yes, Pete Holby's watch-every-episode-of-this-awful-show-for-charity series gave me too many flashbacks.)
The Ohio Bobcats had a Joey Potter year in 2014. After leaning on an identity mastered by quarterback Tyler Tettleton and running back Beau Blankenship, Frank Solich's squad set out to figure out what it might become, and with mixed results. By the end, two quarterbacks had thrown at least 160 passes, two running backs had carried at least 86 times, eight players had been targeted at least 23 times, nine offensive linemen had started at least one career game, eight defensive linemen had logged at least 11 tackles, and seven defensive backs had logged at least 26. Last season was one of new roles.
It was also a year of regression, Ohio's third straight. Since peaking in 2011 with a 10-4 record and No. 61 F/+ ranking, the Bobcats toppled in each of the next two seasons, to 9-4 and 77th, then 7-6 and 100th. But while those slips were disappointing, this one is easily explained.
And in theory, with the amount of experience Ohio boasts this fall, it can be overcome, too. Solich has plenty of personnel decisions, especially at quarterback, where JD Sprague and Derrius Vick more or less battled to a draw. But the Bobcats have depth of experience and a host of young athletes hoping to overtake more seasoned options.
So maybe, unlike characters in TV shows, Ohio actually did find itself.
2014 Schedule & Results
|Record: 6-6 | Adj. Record: 4-8 | Final F/+ Rk: 106|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Percentile
|30-Aug||at Kent State||107||17-14||W||33%||-10.2||49%|
|4-Oct||at Central Michigan||85||10-28||L||8%||-32.7||0%|
|25-Oct||at Western Michigan||56||21-42||L||10%||-29.7||0%|
|25-Nov||at Miami (Ohio)||103||24-21||W||35%||-8.7||57%|
|Points Per Game||20.5||114||24.8||41|
2. Athens, sweet Athens
In last week's UMass preview, I talked about home-road splits. For Eastern Michigan, the difference in average percentile performance between home and road games was 15 percent (23 percent at home, eight on the road). For Buffalo, it was 16 percent (32 and 16, respectively). For Monday previewee Kent State, it was 18 percent (42 and 24). For UMass, it was seven percent (25 and 18).
Ohio was either a much better home team or the Bobcats were a much worse road team.
- Average Percentile Performance (home): 49% (record: 4-2)
- Average Percentile Performance (away): 19% (record: 2-4)
At home, Ohio nearly tripled Buffalo's yardage and outgained conference champion NIU in a tight loss. On the road, the Bobcats saw their yardage nearly tripled by Central Michigan and allowed a combined 1,107 yards to Kentucky and Marshall. Granted, there were outliers -- the BGSU game in Athens was a festival of missed opportunities (two lost fumbles, a missed field goal, four turnovers on downs in BGSU territory), and the end-of-year trip to Miami (Ohio) resulted in a solid win over a decent Redhawks squad. But Ohio's four best performances all came at home while three of the four worst came on the road.
To an extent, this is to be expected of a young team. Experienced squads are less susceptible to outside circumstances. But Ohio will in no way be a young team, so we'll find out whether this was a good home team or a bad road one. Expect the range of home-road splits to shrink, for better or worse.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||38.7%||97||Succ. Rt. +||91.5||103|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||28.3||36||Def. FP+||103.0||33|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||3.4||116||Redzone S&P+||83.8||116|
|Q1 Rk||104||1st Down Rk||83|
|Q2 Rk||120||2nd Down Rk||91|
|Q3 Rk||117||3rd Down Rk||113|
Note: players in bold below are 2015 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|JD Sprague||6'1, 200||Jr.||NR||NR||98||202||1236||3||5||48.5%||11||5.2%||5.4|
|Derrius Vick||6'1, 196||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||94||160||1156||8||4||58.8%||11||6.4%||6.3|
|Greg Windham||6'1, 214||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8069||10||13||82||0||0||76.9%||1||7.1%||5.8|
|Joey Duckworth||6'3, 215||RSFr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8432|
3. So many quarterbacks, no quarterbacks
Derrius Vick looked great against Kent State and terrible against Kentucky, missed some time with injury, and looked bad against Buffalo and good against Miami. JD Sprague looked great against Idaho and terrible against CMU, then threw inefficiently but ran well against Akron. The two combined to complete 53 percent of their passes and average more than 6.5 yards per carry while fumbling too many times. And in the end, neither really separated himself.
Both Vick and Sprague are efficient runners and iffy passers, though Vick appears to have been less mistake-prone: he had fewer fumbles (even while taking a slightly higher percentage of sacks) and a similar interception rate but completed 10 percent more of his passes. Sprague was a little better at producing big plays, but it did come with a cost. When Vick was healthy, he seemed to be the preferred guy, but he didn't have the longest leash in the world.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the quarterback race is that it might not feature two players. Joey Duckworth redshirted but easily has the best recruiting profile of the three. And hell, last year's third-stringer Greg Windham didn't look bad in garbage time against Bowling Green. (Meanwhile, Minnesota transfer Conner Krizancic will join a year from now.)
There is potential, but quarterback was an overall weakness, and we don't know that will change.
|A.J. Ouellette||RB||5'10, 195||So.||NR||NR||160||785||7||4.9||7.1||26.3%||1||0|
|Daz'mond Patterson||RB||5'7, 177||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7792||86||348||1||4.0||4.1||31.4%||6||4|
|Derrius Vick||QB||6'1, 196||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||71||463||1||6.5||3.9||60.6%||2||1|
|JD Sprague||QB||6'1, 200||Jr.||NR||NR||54||360||3||6.7||4.4||59.3%||4||1|
|Dorian Brown||RB||5'11, 196||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7893||22||53||2||2.4||1.6||27.3%||4||3|
|Robbie Walker||WR||5'9, 180||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8126||10||44||0||4.4||1.5||50.0%||1||1|
|Papi White||WR||5'9, 166||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7333||6||23||0||3.8||1.1||50.0%||0||0|
|Greg Windham||QB||6'1, 214||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8069||5||21||0||4.2||2.4||40.0%||1||1|
|Maleek Irons||RB||6'0, 211||RSFr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000|
4. Hold onto the damn ball
The fact that Ohio leaned on a true freshman walk-on running back for stability tells you about both the freshman himself and the instability around him. While Daz'mond Patterson and Dorian Brown combined for 10 fumbles in just 108 carries (Brown had a remarkable four in 22) and the quarterbacks pitched in another six, A.J. Ouellette came out of nowhere to lead the run game.
The quarterbacks provided efficiency, and while Ouellette's 26 percent Opportunity Rate (carries that gain at least five yards) was abysmal, he took advantage of the opportunities he did get. He rushed 72 times for 378 yards and three scores over the final three games, and more importantly, he held onto the ball. He was also a steady check-down option for a pair of quarterbacks who needed one, catching nearly every pass thrown his way (and not getting particularly far).
Ouellette isn't an All-America-caliber runner, and his efficiency numbers will need to improve if he is to threaten all-conference, but he was a pleasant surprise. And if Patterson and Brown can hold onto the ball, the three could combine with two mobile quarterbacks to field an even more efficient attack. The line returns nine players with starting experience (100 career starts) and plenty of size, and while the quarterbacks were the only reason for last year's solid efficiency numbers, the pure number of options here is exciting.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Targets||Catches||Yards||Catch Rate||Target
|Sebastian Smith||WR-X||6'3, 183||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8512||54||31||385||57.4%||15.1%||66.7%||7.1||2||6.7||36.2|
|Jordan Reid||WR-Z||6'3, 198||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7100||42||24||326||57.1%||11.7%||45.2%||7.8||29||7.6||30.6|
|Troy Mangen||TE||6'5, 252||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7300||32||19||147||59.4%||8.9%||62.5%||4.6||-86||4.6||13.8|
|Brendan Cope||WR-X||6'2, 189||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7000||29||17||303||58.6%||8.1%||62.1%||10.4||94||10.0||28.5|
|A.J. Ouellette||RB||5'10, 195||So.||NR||NR||25||21||133||84.0%||7.0%||60.0%||5.3||-110||5.5||12.5|
|Daz'mond Patterson||RB||5'7, 177||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7792||23||12||116||52.2%||6.4%||30.4%||5.0||-35||6.4||10.9|
|Robbie Walker||WR||5'9, 180||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8126||13||6||76||46.2%||3.6%||69.2%||5.8||-2||5.3||7.1|
|Herman Brunis||WR||6'0, 170||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7433||11||5||57||45.5%||3.1%||54.5%||5.2||-8||5.4||5.4|
|Ian Dixon||WR||5'7, 167||Sr.||NR||NR||5||5||100||100.0%||1.4%||80.0%||20.0||44||18.3||9.4|
|Kawmae Sawyer||WR||6'0, 192||Sr.||NR||NR||4||2||18||50.0%||1.1%||50.0%||4.5||-7||4.2||1.7|
|Dorian Brown||RB||5'11, 196||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7893||3||2||9||66.7%||0.8%||100.0%||3.0||-15||N/A||0.8|
|Mason Morgan||TE||6'6, 259||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7926|
|Brennan Boland||TE||6'5, 255||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7611|
|Connor Brown||TE||6'6, 245||RSFr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7983|
|Elijah Ball||WR||6'1, 185||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8330|
5. One more big-play guy
Longtime contributor Chase Cochran had a confusing senior season; after catching 59 passes and averaging more than 18 yards per catch in his career, Cochran one-upped himself by averaging 21.1 in 2014. He also caught more than two passes in a game only twice and topped 80 receiving yards in a game once (four for 110 against WMU). His opportunity to become a go-to threat went by the wayside as he caught only 42 percent of the passes thrown his way.
Cochran's performance didn't help (and wasn't helped by) the quarterbacks' inconsistency, but it did open the door for other potential targets. Sebastian Smith had a decent year, while Jordan Reid (six catches, 84 yards against BGSU) and Brendan Cope (10 for 186 in the first four games) had their moments.
If everybody undergoes typical year-to-year improvement, that could make for an interesting receiving corps, especially ifquarterback also sees a marginal upgrade. But in Cochran, Ohio does lose an interesting deep threat, someone who distracted safeties even if he didn't make a ton of plays. Smith, Reed, and Cope all have solid size and decent speed, as does incoming star recruit Elijah Ball; can the Bobcats stretch the field?
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Career Starts||Honors/Notes|
|Lucas Powell||C||6'3, 296||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.7000||24|
|Mike Lucas||LG||6'4, 313||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7000||23|
|Mike McQueen||LT||6'6, 287||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||19|
|Troy Watson||RT||6'6, 293||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7768||16|
|Jake Pruehs||RG||6'2, 285||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7583||11|
|Durrell Wood||RG||6'2, 306||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7200||3|
|Nick Gibbons||RG||6'5, 303||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.7833||2|
|Jared McCray||RT||6'5, 320||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8395||1|
|Joe Lowery||LT||6'6, 290||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8217||1|
|Zach Adams||LG||6'4, 272||So.||NR||NR||0|
|Zack Murdock||OL||6'6, 267||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8100||0|
|Josh Cooper||OL||6'2, 309||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||N/A|
|Joe Anderson||OL||6'6, 320||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7200|
|Marques Grimes||OL||6'5, 319||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7633|
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||42.3%||80||Succ. Rt. +||95.6||86|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||29.1||92||Off. FP+||97.0||99|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||4.6||83||Redzone S&P+||96.7||76|
|Q1 Rk||93||1st Down Rk||55|
|Q2 Rk||50||2nd Down Rk||31|
|Q3 Rk||67||3rd Down Rk||47|
6. The second level didn't exist
"Bend-don't-break" is often an insult, but it can be the mantra of an effective defense if you indeed limit big-play opportunities and force your opponent to work down the field four to six yards at a time. At some point, a college offense is going to make a mistake, and if you take advantage, you keep points off of the scoreboard even while allowing yards.
Ohio was severely in the bend-don't-break column on defense, and it often worked. The Bobcats were reasonably effective in the red zone and closed out drives on passing downs. They also eradicated big plays on the ground, allowing only 50 rushes of 10-plus yards (18th in the country), 11 of 20-plus (16th), and two of 40-plus. Combined with some aggressiveness at cornerback (Devin Bass and Ian Wells combined for 20 passes defensed), you've got the framework for a solid defense.
The Bobcats still needed work in the efficiency department. And for the aggressive plays that Bass and Wells made, they also suffered breakdowns. Avoiding big plays on the ground is great, but the Bobcats need shoring up in most other areas. We'll see how easy that is to do with a unit that is experienced everywhere but defensive tackle.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Tarell Basham||DE||6'4, 250||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||12||21.5||3.3%||5.5||4.0||0||2||1||0|
|Kurt Laseak||DE||6'4, 236||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7896||12||15.5||2.4%||4.0||3.0||0||0||0||0|
|Watson Tautuiaki||NG||6'2, 304||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||N/A||12||14.5||2.3%||1.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Casey Sayles||DE||6'3, 268||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7793||12||13.0||2.0%||2.0||0.5||0||0||0||0|
|Brandon Purdum||DT||6'3, 270||Sr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7000||10||11.5||1.8%||0.0||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Trent Smart||DE||6'3, 249||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7400||7||2.0||0.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Tony Porter||DT||6'1, 289||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7800|
|Kent Berger||DE||6'4, 249||RSFr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7633|
|Kyle Kuhar||DT||6'5, 275||RSFr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7726|
|Keith Key||DE||6'3, 221||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7400|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Quentin Poling||MLB||6'0, 219||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7600||12||72.0||11.2%||7.5||5.0||3||3||0||0|
|Jovon Johnson||SLB||6'0, 215||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||12||54.5||8.5%||10.5||3.5||2||6||1||1|
|Blair Brown||WLB||6'0, 230||Jr.||NR||NR||11||42.0||6.5%||4.0||1.0||0||2||1||0|
|Chad Moore||WLB||6'0, 193||So.||NR||NR||12||21.5||3.3%||2.0||0.5||0||2||0||0|
|Travis Daugherty||SLB||6'1, 202||So.||NR||NR||9||14.0||2.2%||1.0||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Cody Grilliot||MLB||6'0, 214||So.||NR||NR||12||14.0||2.2%||2.0||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|Leon Alexander||SLB||6'2, 192||So.||NR||0.7733||8||4.0||0.6%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|London Cloud||LB||5'11, 233||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8058|
|Clayton Glasco||LB||6'0, 225||Fr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.8124|
7. The tackles need to hold up
Ohio's front wasn't spectacular, but it was deep and healthy. Eight linemen averaged at least one tackle per game, and seven played in all 12 contests. This unit didn't make a lot of plays -- Tarell Basham and Kurt Laseak were solid pass rushers, but these top eight linemen made only 7.5 non-sack tackles for loss -- but they kept blockers off of a strong linebacking corps.
Last year's depth could pay off. Basham and Laseak are back, but both starting tackles are gone. Seniors Watson Tautuiaki and Brandon Purdum did see plenty of rotation time, but if either struggles or gets hurt, defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow might have to dip into a well of freshmen and redshirt freshmen. And if the tackles struggle, everybody behind them could, too.
But if linebackers Quentin Poling and Jovon Johnson have room to operate, they proved they could do nasty things. The two not only combined for nearly 20 percent of Ohio's tackles but also made plenty of disruptive plays: 18 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 14 passes defensed. I mentioned on Monday that Kent State might have the MAC's best linebackers, but Ohio's could have plenty to say about that. But they have to get help up front.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Devin Bass||CB||5'9, 190||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||11||38.0||5.9%||0||0||1||7||1||0|
|Ian Wells||CB||5'11, 202||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||11||37.0||5.7%||4||1||0||12||1||1|
|Nathan Carpenter (2013)||S||5'9, 200||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7903||13||34.5||4.6%||1||0||0||3||1||0|
|Toran Davis||S||6'0, 206||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||12||30.5||4.7%||1.5||0||1||1||1||0|
|Devin Jones||FS||6'1, 202||Sr.||NR||N/A||8||26.0||4.0%||0.5||0||0||4||0||0|
|Kylan Nelson||CB||5'10, 180||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||10||13.0||2.0%||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Brett Layton||CB||5'11, 180||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||6||12.0||1.9%||1.5||1||2||3||0||0|
|Aaron Macer||S||6'0, 192||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||9||9.5||1.5%||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|Mike Terpin||CB||5'10, 165||Sr.||NR||N/A||11||3.0||0.5%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Curtis Brunson||CB||5'10, 160||So.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7817||5||2.0||0.3%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Blake Scipio||SS||5'11, 187||Jr.||NR||N/A||5||2.0||0.3%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Deontai Williams||S||6'1, 185||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8666|
|Jeff Christian||CB||5'10, 165||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8494|
|Maxwell Howell||CB||6'1, 188||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8020|
|Javon Hagan||S||6'0, 207||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8004|
|Mayne Williams||S||5'11, 175||Fr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.8028|
8. Tons of candidates, few guarantees
The safety positions were in almost as much flux as the quarterback position. Josh Kristoff, 2013's leading safety tackler, missed two games and saw his tackles total nearly cut in half. Nathan Carpenter, the third-leading returning tackler, missed the season with injury and was granted a sixth year of eligibility. Toran Davis moved from bit player to regular. Devin Bass and Ian Wells missed enough time to give Kylan Nelson and Brett Layton a decent number of reps.
The result: lots of contributors ... and bad pass defense numbers (95th in Passing S&P+). Given the option between running and passing on Ohio, opponents frequently chose the pass.
Kristoff and starter Thad Ingol are gone, but the seven other DBs to log at least 9.5 tackles return. Plus, Frank Solich signed what is honestly a spectacular class of defensive backs -- five signees were given three-star designations by the 247Sports Composite, and two in particular (Deontai Williams and Jeff Christian) were among the best MAC signees of February.
Ohio has experience, young athleticism, and a crazy number of options. But somebody will still have to step up to both make plays and prevent them.
|Mitch Bonnstetter||5'11, 187||Sr.||63||41.8||3||14||18||50.8%|
|Josiah Yazdani||5'10, 216||Sr.||53||60.5||18||2||34.0%|
|Josiah Yazdani||5'10, 216||Sr.||27-27||13-16||81.3%||4-10||40.0%|
|Daz'mond Patterson||KR||5'7, 177||Sr.||24||21.9||0|
|Devin Bass||KR||5'9, 190||Sr.||5||21.0||0|
|Daz'mond Patterson||PR||5'7, 177||Sr.||15||9.1||0|
|Special Teams F/+||95|
|Field Goal Efficiency||103|
|Punt Return Efficiency||112|
|Kick Return Efficiency||64|
|Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency||24|
9. Punting is not a problem
According to Brian Fremeau's numbers, Ohio's special teams ranked 41st or better in overall efficiency from 2009-13. It ... did not in 2014.
There were no extreme weaknesses (though Daz Patterson was all-or-nothing on punt returns), but there was also only one particular strength: Mitch Bonnstetter's punting. Despite iffy offensive efficiency, Ohio was able to create decent field position for its defense because of Bonstetter and a pretty good coverage unit. That all the primary players from this unit return isn't automatically a good thing, but getting Bonnstetter back is.
2015 Schedule & Projection Factors
|Date||Opponent||2014 F/+ Rk|
|4-Nov||at Bowling Green||98|
|24-Nov||at Northern Illinois||69|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||-17.3% (94)|
|2- and 5-Year Recruiting Rk||112 / 107|
|2014 TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin*||-4 / -4.8|
|2014 TO Luck/Game||+0.3|
|Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.)||17 (9, 8)|
|2014 Second-order wins (difference)||4.7 (1.3)|
10. Won't be four straight
Regressing for three consecutive years is never a good thing, but after a couple of disappointing seasons, there was a purpose to 2014's step backwards. If you're going to regress, you want it to happen while young players are getting their feet underneath them.
Frank Solich has options, and while there is still plenty of uncertainty at quarterback, receiver, defensive tackle, and safety, he has enough playmakers at his disposal to do some damage. I would be surprised if Ohio took a fourth step backwards. And if the Bobcats can rebound just to the No. 90-100 range, they could find plenty of wins, as eight of 12 opponents ranked 91st or worse in F/+ last year.
Ohio has been bowl eligible for six consecutive years and eight of nine, and while the Bobcats will need to perform a bit better on the road -- the October 3 trip to Akron looms especially large -- Solich's track record is strong enough for me to take a leap of faith.