You can only go upward from a 1-10 season… right?
Teams: Syracuse Orange (0-0, 0-0) vs. Ohio Bobcats (0-0, 0-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, September 4, 7 p.m.
Location: Peden Stadium, Athens, Ohio
Line: The line opened as a pick ‘em, which has fluctuated between Syracuse favored by -1.5 to -2.
TV/Streaming: CBS Sports Network
Ohio Blog: The Hustle Belt
Rivalry: 2-0, Syracuse
Current Streak: 2, Syracuse
First Meeting: Even the college powerhouses of the modern era can struggle to score over 70 points. Syracuse did just that in 1916 with a 73-0 victory over Ohio.
Last Meeting: The Orange and Bobcats ran it back in 1921. It didn’t go much better for Ohio, with a 38-0 win back in Syracuse.
Head Coaches: Syracuse – Dino Babers (sixth year, 24-36) | Ohio – Tim Albin (first year, 0-0)
Coach Bio: Albin played his collegiate ball at Northwestern Oklahoma State in the NAIA. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant and offensive coordinator for Northeastern State. He then went back to Northwestern Oklahoma State to become the offensive coordinator and eventually the head coach. Albin led his team in 1999 to an undefeated record and a NAIA National Championship.
After that season, Albin joined Frank Solich at Nebraska, initially as a graduate assistant and then a running backs coach. Albin left in 2003 when Solich was fired and stopped for a season at North Dakota State. Solich brought Albin back as his offensive coordinator in 2005, where he has remained since. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2019 and took over the head coaching role in July of this year after Solich retired to focus on his health.
Last Year: Due to the unique 2020 season, the MAC didn’t start football until November. As such, Ohio only played three games and went 2-1 in their contests. The Bobcats did have three other games scheduled that were cancelled.
Last Game: The Bobcats easily took care of Dino Babers’ old school in Bowling Green back on November 28, 2020 by a score of 52-10. Ohio gained 130 yards more than Bowling Green in the win.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: De’Montre Tuggle rushed for over 100 yards in both of Ohio’s wins last season, including 185 yards and three touchdowns against Bowling Green. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry in his first season with Ohio in 2019.
If Syracuse Wins: We put the torches and pitchforks away for now.
If Syracuse Loses: We ask Rutgers to borrow their torches and pitchforks as there aren’t enough for everyone in Syracuse.
Fun Fact: You don’t have to look far to find the last time Syracuse opened a football season at a MAC school. The Orange traveled to Western Michigan to open the 2018 season, facing off against former SU offensive coordinator Tim Lester. Syracuse won that game 55-42. Eric Dungey only went 7-of-17 for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the air, but he rushed 15 times for 200 yards and a touchdown in the win.