A look around the MAC

Ohio's spread offense ambushed Kentucky, giving the Bobcats' program a historic victory.

Updated: October 5, 2004, 1:02 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
After a decade of the multiple-option offense, Ohio coach Brian Knorr had, well, only one option left heading into the 2004 season: Change the system.

It proved to be a gutsy decision. Knorr, a former quarterback at Air Force, had mastered the peculiar scheme. But five games into the experiment, Knorr and his players aren't looking back.

Playing without starting QB Ryan Hawk in crunch time, the Ohio offense tallied 28 points in an impressive win at Kentucky. Sophomore Austen Everson led the Bobcats to 14 fourth-quarter points as Ohio won in Lexington for the first time in 33 years.

The Bobcats rank sixth in the MAC in both scoring offense and passing offense, two categories where they struggled in 2003. With a lockdown defense that allows only 18.8 points and 286.4 yards per game, Ohio (3-2) already has surpassed its victory total (two) from a year ago.

"Confidence and believing in things are a lot easier when you have success," Knorr said. "We have a long way to go offensively. Our quarterbacks have adjusted well."