The defending MAC East Champion Ohio Bobcats enter the 2023 season with high hopes. And if the Ohio season predictions below come true, we’re looking at a historic season that eclipses those high hopes.
Ohio Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the MAC and across the country.
Find Every MAC Season Prediction per team: Ball State | Central Michigan | Eastern Michigan | Northern Illinois | Toledo | Western Michigan | Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami (OH) | Ohio
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Ohio season predictions give lofty expectations for the Bobcats in 2023.
Week 0 – Ohio @ San Diego State: Win, 26-21
Get ready for some Ohio football action ahead of the rest of the schools in the MAC as the Bobcats travel to San Diego for a date with the Aztecs in Week 0. Getting on the board early with a win will be crucial to their success and the game against San Diego State is certainly a winnable contest.
Where Ohio’s biggest struggles were last season — their passing defense — won’t quite be the worrisome issue against a San Diego State offense that lacks an aerial assault. Instead, they can get the new-look defense ready to go early on this season and come away with a victory through their prowess in the air themselves.
Week 1 – Ohio vs. LIU: Win, 47-9
LIU comes to town in Week 1 in Ohio’s home opener. The Bobcats can afford some mistakes in this one and still run away with it as Kurtis Rourke and Co. on offense should surely be enough to put this one on cruise control and prepare for FAU next week.
Week 2 – Ohio @ FAU: Win, 35-28
The second week of the regular season brings Ohio’s third opponent with a trip to Boca Raton. FAU hosts Ohio in a battle of two very interesting teams. Ohio is the staple of consistency, while FAU has been as volatile as any Group of Five team over the past decade.
Casey Thompson is an interesting addition for the Owls but their roster remains challenged in multiple areas. The secondary for FAU has holes and Ohio should be able to fly higher than the Owls in this matchup.
Week 3 – Ohio vs. Iowa State: Loss, 26-32
It was a disastrous day in Ames a year ago but the situation is different in Week 3. The Bobcats have multiple winnable games under their belt at this point, unlike last year, and the difference of being at home is key here.
Expect this to be a much closer game as Iowa State brings in a host of new players and is reliant upon Hunter Dekkers taking that proverbial next step. It’s a closer game as the talent gap has shrunk between these two teams than last year.
Week 4 – Ohio @ Bowling Green: Win, 34-23
Into MAC play the Bobcats go by traveling north to Bowling Green. The Falcons have the key defensive pieces to potentially slow down Ohio. While their offense should be one with high firepower, Ohio’s front four should be able to keep Connor Bazelak on the move and mitigate Bowling Green’s biggest strength.
Ohio’s secondary is improving and BGSU could present problems, but with their additions on the defensive line, the secondary isn’t as big of a concern as last year.
MORE: MAC QB Rankings 2023
Week 6 – Ohio vs. Kent State: Win, 30-22
Seeking revenge for the loss that Kent State served to the Bobcats last year, a bye week is a welcome sight for Ohio as they rest and then attack the Golden Flashes in Week 6.
Kent State was decimated after the loss of head coach Sean Lewis and the transfer portal saw a number of their best players leave for Power Five schools. Still, Kent State has some pieces that make this game interesting to watch but Ohio should be far enough ahead by halftime.
Week 7 – Ohio @ Northern Illinois: Win, 31-26
It’s hard to think that Northern Illinois is just two years removed from their MAC Championship in 2021 but here we are. The Huskies have some offensive pieces in place, but like last year, need an answer at quarterback.
Until they have that answer, they’ll certainly be underdogs — even at home — to a program like Ohio.
Week 8 – Ohio vs. Western Michigan: Win, 33-22
Ohio struggled last year to contain Western Michigan’s pass rushers. However, in 2023, that shouldn’t be the case as WMU has big holes to fill on their defensive front.
Western Michigan also brought in a potential answer at quarterback with Hayden Wolff, something they didn’t have an answer for a season ago. Still, Ohio’s roster, from top to bottom, beats WMU at home in essentially every facet.
Week 9 – Ohio vs. Miami (OH): Win, 34-30
The Battle of the Bricks will always be closer – at least on paper – when you talk about it months ahead of time. Miami returns both their quarterbacks from the past few seasons in Aveon Smith and Brett Gabbert, but neither have reached the levels Rourke and the Bobcats have.
Rourke’s surge to the top is filled with highlight-reel moments and against a Miami secondary lacking playmakers, expect a few more to come from this matchup.
Week 11 – Ohio @ Buffalo: Win, 36-33
Arguably their toughest test in the conference comes after a bye week, which will be a welcome sight ahead of their trip to Buffalo. Cole Snyder and the Bulls host a high-flying set of characters and a unique offense to try and figure out.
Sure, they figured it out a year ago, but this time around, Snyder is further set and more entrenched in his role. It’ll be must-watch TV when these two do battle against one another, but for our money, Rourke comes out on top.
Week 12 – Ohio vs. Central Michigan: Win, 33-17
After a rivalry matchup and a battle of top MAC East teams, the Bobcats return home to start a two-game stretch against beatable opponents. Central Michigan hasn’t been able to regain the form they showcased just a few seasons ago under Jim McElwain and should pose little threat to Ohio’s perfect MAC record.
Week 13 – Ohio @ Akron: Win, 38-21
Finishing their season off with a bang, Ohio heads north to Akron for a showdown with the Zips. The Bobcats hung 55 points last season on Akron and though our predictions are a bit leaner than that, the margin of victory remains about the same.
These two rosters are dramatically different and the difference in trajectory of each program couldn’t be more stark. Ohio is the best team in the MAC and they’re out to prove it with what would amount to an 11-1 record here.