QB Fred Ray

2002 Statistics

Coach: Brian Knorr
5-18, 2 years
2002 Record: 4-8
at Pittsburgh LOST 14-27
at Florida LOST 6-34
at Connecticut LOST 19-37
at Bowling Green LOST 21-72
at Kent State WON 50-0
at Miami OH LOST 20-38
at UCF LOST 32-42

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

It isn't easy to see silver linings in the clouds that surround Ohio's 2003 football pursuits. No matter how talented many individual positions may be, the skeptical lines on both sides mean further injuries against Iowa State (away), Minnesota (home), and at Kentucky are almost certain. The DL is small, and the OL is already suffering from ailing giants. No matter how good the LBs and safeties play, there are formulas to beat the Bobcats if opposing OCs just try. Allowing 47 TDs in 2002 tells all. The offense will likely score as many TDs (36), so 2003's D has to cut that number by a third to give Ohio a chance at .500-ball.

Close losses at 2002's end to MAC rivals Marshall and UCF (by a combined 12 points), along with wins in 4-of-6 prior tilts, give this squad mental cumin for the tough slate to come. But they will need everything they can get to remain a 4-win team. HC Brian Knorr did improve in his sophomore season over his opening campaign of one win, but don't look for much more in the left column in 2003. Athens' fans will have to wait another year to contend in the MAC, so look for sparks this year of what can be if developed (alumni includes Smithsonian-archived photographer Herman Leonard - a bad pun, sorry), and healthy.

Projected 2003 record: 2-10
FS Chip Cox
QB - 1.5 DL - 2
RB - 2 LB - 3
WR - 2 DB - 1.5
OL - 1.5 ..

Passing: Fred Ray, 100-56-2, 712 yds., 5 TD

Rushing: Stafford Owens, 62 att., 371 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Stafford Owens, 17 rec., 259 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Fred Ray, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: none

Tackles: Dennis Chukwuemeka, 116 tot., 60 solo

Sacks: Dennis Chukwuemeka, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Rob Stover, 2 for 77 yds.

Kickoff returns: Dion Byrum, 26 ret., 20.8 avg.

Punt returns: Stafford Owens, 27 ret., 10.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Joe Mohler-WR, Chris Jackson-OT, Paul Stanko-OG, Doug Wooten-C, Erik Grahovac-OT, Randy Pennington-TE, Dontrell Jackson-QB, Chad Brinker-FB, Jason Caesar-WR, Kevin Kerr-K/P
DEFENSE: Lamar Martin-NG, Bop White-CB, Joe Sellers-SS

written by Dave Hershorin

This is an option-oriented team. Straight up, this makes senior QB Fred Ray the center of most things offensive (football speaking, that is). He will battle junior transfer Ryan Hawk until the first snap August 28th, but the job is Ray's to lose. Ray stepped in to start after five games, a status he respectfully kept as Ohio turned their 0-4 start into a 4-8 finish. Ray has the speed (faster than Hawk) and decision making (2 INTs) to both run and pass effectively (128.3 pass efficiency), with his ultimate ability being the possibility of either to keep defenses guessing. Defenses will be thinking pass more often with Hawk rotating in when needed. His Miami (just up the road) roots make him a bonified air threat. They are different enough that defenses had better mark which is which, or be burned accordingly.

The running game will rebuild en mass. The vacancies left will have ample fillers battling for week-to-week starters' roles. Look for sophs Brad Young and Phillip Fountain as rotating fullbacks, though neither has the size to truly claim the spot on physicality alone. There will be lots of carries for whoever can block better. Junior HB Ray Huston will be a featured back, with fellow junior Justin Roush pushing him for face time. Most anticipated, though, is slotback junior Stafford Owens' return as both their leading rusher and pass catcher. His leadership will be just as important as his point production (six TDs rushing, two receiving). He averaged five carries a game and 6.0 yards -per-carry, so defenses have little excuse for not spying him every down. Ray is the other big running threat, meaning rovers and LBs will have their hands full if this offense clicks.

Receivers abound, but will they be utilized is the real question. Besides Owens, senior Keyon Ingram and sophomore Anthony Hackett headline a list of underachievers (not by choice). At Ohio, you had better have some blocking skills to remain in the game - this crew can at least do that. Our thinking is that 2002's 160 pass attempts should easily rise over 200, establishing this air-variable so opposing defenses can remain as the Bobcat's offense last left them - on their heels.

The worst news on this side of the ball is the Bobcat's linemen. Too many injuries and under-developed rehabilitations leave Ohio lacking in the trenches. Senior Brian Brown, if healthy by season's start, will likely have his RG position back. Junior LG Dennis Thompson is still trying to bounce back from a bad leg-break in 2002's week 2, but he is looking like his old self as summer wears on. Former-TE Derek Gandy, a senior, will get the vaunted left tackle spot with his solid spring play. But Gandy will head a list of first-timers looking to help wherever needed. Look for the same 2002 levels of play (team #s: 4.4 yards-per-carry, 11 sacks allowed) not to be reached until mid-season. This area could have the most impact - unfortunately negative - on Ohio's offense.


SB Stafford Owens


Returning Starters in bold
QB Fred Ray-Sr Ryan Hawk-Jr
FB Brad Young-So Phillip Fountain-So
HB Ray Huston-Jr Justin Roush-Jr
WR Keyon Ingram-Sr Ahmona Maxwell-Fr
WR Anthony Hackett-So Justin Halada-Sr
SB Stafford Owens-Jr Chris Jackson-Fr
TE Ryan Antle-Jr D.T. Boon-Sr
OT Cole Wesley-So Steve Lawrence-Sr
OG Dennis Thompson-Jr Aaron Bryant-Fr
C Ralph Bracamonte-Jr Troy Denerson-Jr
OG Brian Brown-Sr Mike Nelson-So
OT Cole Wesley-So Steve Lawrence-Sr
K Greg DiMarino-So ..



written by Dave Hershorin

Ostensibly, the defensive run-stopping scheme is for the linemen to engage the opposition's linemen so Ohio's LBs can then take care of business. The 3-4 defense Ohio runs returns two senior linemen, but they, along with the other depth here, lack size. Senior NG Eli Kiener is the biggest starter (listed at 267-lbs), with only two reserves who are any bigger. Kiener steps in for the recovering Andre Parker, who, if healthy, can impact the line's overall quality. End Garrett Bush is the same story, but don't look for either to return soon to top form. The mere 4.5 sacks amongst the projected starting three (Kiener with DTs Kevin Carberry and (senior) Keith Adamson) don't tell of how big they can play - 17 combined TFLs give hope for this area to improve over 2002's DL play. But none should garner double-teams too often, making for matchup problems elsewhere with which Ohio will have to deal many times.

The 2003 LBs are a really strong crew. Junior Dennis Chukwuemeka is a monster, deserving more national recognition than he gets. His smallish size means he is unlikely to get his due props, but opposing offenses need to either mark him or suffer. Spencer Tatum and senior Demetri Taylor round out an inside game that should stand up, despite more size mis-matchups. Outside LBs don't look much bigger, so speed will make or break this corps. Junior converted-LB Rob Stover is their eighth-man in the box. He has the speed to recover, so watch Stover's success as a barometer - if offenses can exploit him, the defense will suffer overall since he is such an important cog.

Junior Chip Cox is ahead of classmate Rasheed Butler at free safety on depth charts, but look for both to show up weekly at an almost interchangeable statistical rate. Cox is better instinctually against the pass (13 pass break-ups), but both can play and will be needed when things get past the overmatched front-seven versus the bigger non-cons. Corner is a position-in-progress. The depth here is almost nonexistent, so look for this area to be an early-season problem often exploited for singeing results. Sophomore Dion Byrum is looking good after spring, but real-game speed will tell all.


LB Dennis Chukwuemeka


Returning Starters in bold
DE Keith Adamson-Sr Chris Collins-Jr
NG Eli Kiener-Sr Andre Parker-Jr
DE Kevin Carberry-Jr Garrett Bush-Jr
LB Hugh Grant-Sr Rich Constantine-Sr
LB Dennis Chukwuemeka-Jr Pete Brately-Jr
LB Spencer Tatum-So Demetri Taylor-Sr
LB Charles Terry-Sr Tyler Russ-Fr
CB Dion Byrum-So Marcquis Parham-Fr
CB Andre Bradford-Jr Thomas Wright-Fr
SS Rob Stover-Jr Bo Lebherz-Sr
FS Chip Cox-Jr Rashad Butler-Jr
P Matthew Miller-So ..




Kicker Greg DiMarino has the leg to make 40+-yard FGs, from wherest his predecessor couldn't (K. Kerr was 1-of-5 from 40+). Punter Matthew Miller has the leg, too. He should easily live up to Kerr's 41.1-yard punting average, and can kickoff as well. But both are unproven, so numbers mean little until results back them up. Look out, opponents - Miller was a sprinter in prep. Return men Owens (punts) and Byrum (kicks) should make the Bobcats weak only in the coverage games on special teams.