Q&A with Jason Arkley of the The Athens Messenger

Jason Arkley of theThe Athens Messenger agreed to trade Q&As this week heading into the UNT-Ohio game. You can find his work in the paper here and his blog here.

Here is what Jason had to say about this weekend’s game

1. How much is Ohio hurting after being drummed by Louisville and losing a couple of key players?

Tough, tough week for Ohio. The Bobcats had two players arrested last Wednesday (fourth string quarterback Greg Windham and third team CB Larenzo Fisher) on drug charges and both are probably gone for long time. Then add in the ugly loss at Louisville, plus some potential long-term injuries from the game, and Ohio is desperate for some good news. Head coach Frank Solich hoping the team plays like it.

2. How healthy is Ohio heading into this game?

Ohio is relatively healthy, but thin in certain spots. Three starters will be out for North Texas: OG Jon Lechner (shoulder), OG Sam Johnson (knee) and OLB Keith Moore (ankle). Also out for a few more weeks will be OG/C Mark Smith. Questionable are WRs Mario Dovell (knee), WR Landon Smith (shoulder), DB Blake Scipio (ankle) and OLB A.J. Grady (shoulder).

3. Tyler Tettleton didn’t have the best day against Louisville. Do you expect him to bounce back in a big way?

I expect Tyler Tettleton to be back on his game. Louisville was experienced, big and athletic on defense, and applied pressure throughout. Tettleton is a dual-threat guy, accurate and makes good decisions. I have yet to see Tettleton (3-year starter) have back-to-back games where he was below par.

4. Is Ohio better than it looked defensively against Louisville?

The Bobcats like to think they’re better than they showed against the Cardinals, but the proof is on game day. Ohio tried a myriad of schemes and coverages and disguises for Louisville, but it was too much. Instead of confusion Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, Ohio instead played slow and unsure. I expect a simpler, and perhaps faster, approach to the game plan for North Texas.

5. Do you expect a big crowd for the UNT game and just how big a home field advantage does Ohio usually have?

As of Tuesday night, roughly 800 tickets were left. So a sellout (24,000+) is likely. Home crowd support has become more consistent as the team’s success has become a regular feature of Solich’s tenure.

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