Ohio Game Notes (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio football team (6-3, 4-1 MAC) will put its three-game winning streak on the line on Wednesday (Nov. 7) when it visits Oxford, Ohio, to face Mid-American Conference East Division archrival Miami (3-6, 3-2 MAC) for the annual Battle of the Bricks. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Yager Stadium.
The Bobcats will be showcased on national television for the third week in a row and will appear on ESPNU for the second-straight week. Matt Barrie and Rocky Boiman will be the call of the contest.
Wednesday's game can also be heard on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 11th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats." Ohio alum Rob Cornelius, who has been a part of the broadcasts for close to two decades, is back in the booth. The 12-station network has an over-the-air coverage area that hits three states. In addition, the broadcasts are available online through OhioBobcats.com and TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats.com. They are also free on the TuneIn app.
• Ohio will be looking to earn its sixth-straight win over Miami, which would match the Bobcats' longest winning streak against the RedHawks in the history of the rivalry, which dates back to 1908. The Bobcats last took six straight meetings from the RedHawks from 1937-42, with World War II pausing the series in 1943 and '44.
• Ohio is 5-1 in its last six games against Miami at Yager Stadium.
• The Bobcats have won 21 of their last 30 MAC games dating back to the end of the 2014 season.
• For the second year in a row, Ohio is putting up video game-type numbers in terms of scoring and offense. The Bobcats lead the MAC in total offense (463.2 yards per game), rushing offense (236.0 yards per game) and pass efficiency (164.6 efficiency rating) while ranking second in scoring offense (40.6 points per game). The Bobcats put up 433.1 yards per game in 2017, which ranks as the third-most in program history. The program record for yards per game is 455.8, which was set in 2011. Ohio set a program record in 2017 with 39.1 points per game in 2017 and are on pace to break that record. The 365 points scored by Ohio this season are already good for the seventh-most in a single season in program history with three regular season games to play. The 2017 squad set the program record with 508 points. Ohio's 27 rushing touchdowns this season lead the MAC and are tied for the eighth-most in a single season in program history. The 2017 squad set the program record with 44 rushing touchdowns.
• Over the last three games, Ohio has simply overwhelmed the opposition. The Bobcats have outscored their opponents 160-42 over the last 12 quarters for an average of 53.3 points per contest for Ohio. Ohio has scored a whopping 59 points off of turnovers the last three games. In the second quarter of the last three games combined, Ohio holds a 76-7 edge in scoring. The Bobcats have scored on 90 percent (19-of-21) of their trips to the red zone. Offensively, Ohio is averaging 523.7 yards per game -- including a jaw-dropping 353 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the Bobcats have held opponents to an average of 14 points over the last three contest and 276.3 total yards per game -- including just 100.3 yards per game on the ground. Ohio's defense has tallied four interceptions while the defense and special teams have combined to recover seven fumbles.
OHIO BEATS WESTERN MICHIGAN IN EMPHATIC FASHION
Junior quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more, and the defense and special teams combined for six takeaways and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown as Ohio rolled to a 59-14 win over MAC West Division foe Western Michigan last Thursday (Nov. 1) at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. The win clinched Ohio's 10th-straight season of bowl eligibility and gave the Bobcats their fourth victory in the last five games. The victory marked Ohio's first over Western Michigan since a 27-20 triumph on Oct. 7, 2006. The Bobcats earned their first win in Kalamazoo since a 37-35 victory on Sept. 26, 1998.
The Bobcats scored 45 first-half points en route to the victory – the most scored in one half during 14th-year head coach Frank Solich's tenure – and matched the high water mark for points scored in a game under Solich with 59. Ohio's offense racked up 420 total yards – including 256 on the ground.
The following is a look back at Ohio's other MAC victories in 2018:
• Ohio racked up 411 rushing yards in a dominant 52-14 victory over MAC West Division foe Ball State on Oct. 25 at Peden Stadium. The Bobcats' 411 yards via the ground game marked the eighth-most in a single game in program history and the most since Ohio piled up 414 rushing yards in a 38-21 win over Ball State on Oct. 22, 2005. Ohio scored six rushing touchdowns, the program's most in a single game since scoring six in a 47-7 rout at Eastern Michigan on Oct. 4, 1997. In all, the Bobcats piled up 554 total yards of offense and scored on eight-straight possessions.
• The performances against Ball State and at Western Michigan marked the first time an Ohio team has scored at least 50 points in back-to-back games since 2002, when the Bobcats beat Eastern Michigan, 55-27, on Oct. 12, then rolled to a 50-0 win at Kent State on Oct. 19.
• Redshirt senior running back A.J. Ouellette broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in the 2018 campaign in the win over the Cardinals, racking up a game-high 135 yards on 13 carries and scoring two touchdowns. He was named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week for the first time this season for his efforts against Ball State. Redshirt senior running back Maleek Irons picked up 102 yards of 16 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. Junior quarterback Nathan Rourke rushed for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns while going 11-of-19 for 127 yards, a touchdown and an interception through the air.
• The Bobcats held Ball State to just 242 total yards of offense -- the lowest output by an Ohio opponent in 2018. Ball State managed just one first down over the second and third quarters.
• Ohio earned a 49-14 Homecoming victory over MAC East Division rival Bowling Green on Oct. 20 at Peden Stadium. Junior quarterback Nathan Rourke accounted for five total touchdowns, throwing a career-high four touchdown passes and adding another on the ground. He completed of 8-of-12 passes for 193 yards and carried the ball 10 times for 101 yards. Redshirt senior wide receiver Papi White caught two touchdown passes and ran for another for his first three-touchdown performance of his career. He finished with a team-high 92 receiving yards. Redshirt senior running back Maleek Irons racked up a game-high 116 rushing yards, marking his second 100-yard rushing performance of the year.
• Ohio has scored 31 first-half points in each of the last three games.
• The Bobcats have won each of their last five home MAC games dating back to the 2017 season. Ohio is closing out the 2018 regular season by playing four of its final six contests at Peden Stadium.
• In its first matchup against a MAC West Division team this season, Ohio suffered its first conference loss, falling to Northern Illinois, 24-21, on Oct. 13 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill. The Huskies scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to earn the victory over the Bobcats.
• Redshirt freshman wide receiver Isiah Cox put together a breakout performance at Northern Illinois, racking up a career-high 147 receiving yards and scoring a career-long 56-yard touchdown. He also recorded a career-long reception of 70 yards in the second quarter. Cox became the third different Ohio wide receiver to achieve a 100-yard receiving performance in 2018.
• Ohio opened up MAC play with a thrilling 27-26 come-from-behind win over East Division rival Kent State on Oct. 6 at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. Ohio trailed 20-7 in the third quarter before storming back to earn the win. Junior quarterback Nathan Rourke kept it himself and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:28 to go, then redshirt senior safety Javon Hagan sealed the win for the Bobcats with 30 seconds left by coming up with an interception. The Bobcats have now won eight-straight MAC openers.
• Ohio's 27-26 win at Kent State marked the first one-point game and victory for Ohio since a 24-23 win on Dec. 17, 2011, over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
• The victory at Kent State gave 14th-year head coach Frank Solich his 100th win at Ohio. Solich is now in the company of Don Peden (1924-46; 121 wins) and Bill Hess (1958-77; 108) as the only coaches in the history of the program to lead the Bobcats to at least 100 victories. The Bobcats have gone 103-74 (.582) during Solich's tenure -- including 68-41 (.6204 in MAC play. Solich has guided Ohio to four MAC East Division titles (2006, '09, '11, '16) and three bowl victories in nine appearances.
CALL IT A COMEBACK
Prior to the dominant performance at Western Michigan, all five of Ohio's previous victories had been of the comeback variety in 2018. The Bobcats trailed Howard 22-10 in the second quarter before rallying for a 38-32 win on Sept. 1 at Peden Stadium. Ohio trailed UMass by a 21-7 score in the first quarter before fighting back for a 58-42 win to close out non-conference play on Sept. 29 at Peden Stadium. Against Bowling Green, the Falcons scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the game before Ohio outscored them 49-14 the rest of the way. Against Ball State, the Cardinals led 7-0 after the first quarter before Ohio exploded for 52 points that went unanswered until Ball State scored a touchdown late touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Fourteenth-year head coach Frank Solich and the Ohio program pride themselves on the motto of 'No Limits', meaning the Bobcats will not put constraints on what can be achieved. That motto is being put to the test late in the season as Ohio is in the middle of a stretch in which it is playing its final six games of the 2018 regular season in a span of 35 days.
Quarterback Nathan Rourke saw his junior campaign get off to a slow start, going 2-of-8 for 44 yards in a quarter of work in the season opener against Howard.
Since that performance, though, Rourke has completed 114 of his 177 pass attempts (64.4 percent) for 1,725 yards and 17 touchdowns with five interceptions. He has also run for a team-high 621 yards and eight touchdowns over the last eight games.
Rourke got the job done with both his arms and his legs in the victory over UMass, rushing for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts. He also passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, going 27-of-32 through the air with one interception. Rourke earned MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors for the fourth time in his career for his performance against the Minutemen. He was also recognized as one of the Davey O'Brien Award's "Great 8" honorees for his efforts against UMass.
Rourke followed up the performance against the Minutemen with another strong outing at Kent State. He completed 18-of-20 passes in the win, setting an Ohio record for completion percentage in a game by connecting on 90 percent of his attempts. He threw for 284 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also added 49 yards on the ground on 15 rushing attempts -- including the game-winning touchdown. He was recognized as the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row for his efforts against the Golden Flashes.
Rourke earned his third MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week nod in the month of October on Oct. 22 for his performance against Bowling Green.
Rourke enters week 11 of the 2018 season ranked fifth in the nation with 15.09 passing yards per completion, fifth with 9.49 passing yards per attempt and eighth with a passing efficiency rating of 167.4, with the latter being on pace to set a new single-season program record. His 267 yards per game of total offense is good for 33rd in the country. Rourke leads Ohio with 637 rushing yards on 87 attempts in 2018, with his average of 70.4 rushing yards per game ranking fourth in the MAC.
Rourke, who entered his junior season with his name appearing on the Manning, Maxwell and O'Brien award watch lists, is ranked third in program history with 34 career passing touchdowns. He needs five more passing touchdowns to pass Boo Jackson (38; 2008-10) for second in program history. Rourke ranks fifth in program history with 3,972 passing yards and ninth with 277 career completions. After his performance at Western Michigan, Rourke has tallied 29 career rushing touchdowns, which is tied with Steveland Hookfin (1995-98) for the third-most in program history. Rourke's 64 career touchdowns responsible for rank as the third-most in the history of the program, and he needs just three more to pass Kareem Wilson (66; 1995-98) for second place.
AIR CANADA (WITH GROUND SUPPORT)
Quarterback Nathan Rourke burst onto the scene for Ohio in 2017, earning All-MAC Second Team honors for his efforts. He etched his name in the program's top-10 for passing yards (2,203; ninth), completions (161; tied-10th), touchdown passes (17; seventh) and passing efficiency (132.9; ninth) in a single season. He threw for the most yards by an Ohio sophomore signal caller since Tyler Tettleton passed for 3,302 yards in 2011.
Rourke proved problematic for opposing defenses not only because of his arm but because of his legs as well. He set the program record for rushing touchdowns in a single season with 21, which tied him for third-most in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in 2017 with Washington running back Myles Gaskin and ranked as the most by a quarterback in the country last season. His 6.66 yards per carry a year ago rank as the fourth-highest in a single season in program history and ranked as the 11th-highest average in the country, finishing just behind former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson (6.90) of Louisville. Rourke tallied five 100-yard games last season, tying him for the 10th-most in a single season in program history.
In all, Rourke accounted for 3,115 total yards of offense (sixth-most in a single season in program history), averaging 7.26 yards per play (second-most in a single season in program history) and 239.6 yards per game (fourth-most in a single season in program history. He set Ohio's single-season scoring record with 132 points (tied for sixth-most in the nation in 2017), 22 touchdowns scored (fifth-most in the nation in 2017) and 39 touchdowns responsible for. His 234 points responsible for tied him for ninth-most in the country last year.
FINDING THE END ZONE
Redshirt senior running back A.J. Ouellette scored his first touchdown of the 2018 in Ohio's 34-30 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 22, running into the end zone from nine yards out. In the win over UMass, he raced 49 yards for a touchdown on Ohio's first drive of
the second half. At Kent State, Ouellette led the Bobcats on the ground with 72 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in the win over the Golden Flashes. At Northern lllinois, Ouellette scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the season. He added two more rushing touchdowns to his total against Ball State, then ran one in from 17 yards out in the third quarter of last Thursday's win at Western Michigan. His eight rushing touchdowns this year are tied with junior quarterback Nathan Rourke for the team lead and are a new personal single-season high for Ouellette. He has now scored 28 rushing touchdowns in his Ohio career, which rank fifth in program history.
Ouellette, who ranks second on the team with 609 rushing yards on a team-high 128 carries through nine games, has moved up into fourth place in school history with 3,087 rushing yards and is one of four backs in the history of the program to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. His 634 career carries also rank as the sixth-most in program history, and his 10 career games with at least 100 yards rushing are tied for the seventh-most in the history of the program.
Redshirt senior running back Maleek Irons scored a pair of one-yard touchdown runs in Ohio's 45-31 loss to Virginia on Sept. 15 in Nashville, Tenn. Irons scored his first touchdown since Nov. 3, 2016, against Buffalo with his one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. With his two rushing touchdowns, he recorded his second career multi-touchdown game and first since Oct. 8, 2016 against Bowling Green. In the victory over UMass, Irons rumbled for a career-high 140 yards and matched his career high with two rushing touchdowns on 13 carries. The win over Ball State marked his third effort of the season with multiple touchdown runs.
Through nine games in 2018, Irons ranks third on the team with a career-high 596 rushing yards on 92 carries. He is also third on the team with a career-high six rushing touchdowns. In the loss at Cincinnati, he hauled in a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter for his first career receiving touchdown.
PAVING THE WAY
Ohio's rushing attack ranks 15th in the nation and first in the MAC with 236.3 yards per game. The solid play of the offensive line is owed a large amount of credit for that success, with redshirt junior right tackle Austen Pleasants, redshirt senior right guard Durrell Wood, sophomore center Brett Kitrell, redshirt senior left guard Joe Anderson and redshirt senior left tackle Joe Lowery paving the way. Junior Steven Hayes filled in at center for an injured Kitrell each of the last two contests.
The offensive line has also done a nice job of keeping the opposition's hands off the quarterback, allowing only 13 sacks so far this year, which is tied with Miami for third-best in the MAC.
MOVING THE CHAINS
Ohio's offense is the best in the MAC in third down conversions, moving the chains 45.2 percent of the time, which is good for 23rd in the country.
Redshirt senior wide receiver Papi White posted his third-straight game with at least 100 yards receiving, hauling in six catches for a team-high 131 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Virginia. The last Bobcat receiver to post three-straight games with over 100 receiving yards was Donte' Foster in 2013.
White enjoyed a career day in the win over Howard, racking up a career-high 154 receiving yards on a career-high eight receptions and hauling in a touchdown. He became the first Bobcat wide receiver to register 150-plus receiving yards since Sebastian Smith achieved the feat on Sept. 17, 2016 against then-No. 15-ranked Tennessee.
White enters Wednesday's matchup at Miami ranked fourth in the MAC with seven receiving touchdowns. His 706 receiving yards rank fourth in the MAC while his 78.4 receiving yards per game also rank fourth in the MAC. In the win over UMass, he caught six passes for 84 yards and set a new career high with two touchdown receptions. White hauled in an eight-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter last Thursday at Western Michigan. He has now caught 17 career touchdown receptions, which is good for fourth all-time in program history. He needs one more touchdown catch to tie LaVon Brazill (18; 2007-11) for third-most in program history. His 141 career receptions are good for sixth-most in program history while his 2,339 career receiving rank as the third-most in the history of the program.
KEEPING IT 100
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Cameron Odom enjoyed a breakout performance at Cincinnati, producing his first career 100-yard receiving game by finishing with a career-high 114 yards on five receptions. Ohio had at least one receiver record at least 100 yards in four-straight games dating back to the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, a streak that ended in the victory over UMass.
Odom has hauled in a career-high 24 receptions this season to rank third on the team and is tied for second on the squad with 370 receiving yards, which is also a career high.
IGNITING THE COMEBACK
Redshirt senior wide receiver Andrew Meyer gained a team-high 90 receiving yards on four receptions and hauled in his third career touchdown in the comeback win at Kent State. With the Bobcats trailing the Golden Flashes 20-7 in the third quarter, Meyer helped ignite Ohio's comeback when he caught a pass from junior quarterback Nathan Rourke in stride and raced 59 yards for a touchdown. The reception marked the longest of Meyer's career. A finance major, Meyer was recognized as the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week on Oct. 10 after his performance against Kent State.
Meyer has caught three touchdowns over the last five games. He hauled in a 24-yard scoring reception in the second quarter against Bowling Green, then snatched a 21-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the first half against Ball State. He ranks second on the team this year with 27 receptions and is tied for second on the squad with 370 receiving yards.
FIRST THING'S FIRST
In the loss to Virginia, redshirt freshman wide receiver Isiah Cox caught his first career pass, which went for 36 yards and a touchdown. Freshman wide receiver Jerome Buckner also hauled in his first two career receptions and finished the game with 44 receiving yards.
Cox pulled in a 10-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of last Thursday's win at Western Michigan -- his third receiving touchdown of the season.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU
In the loss at Northern Illinois, redshirt senior tight end Connor Brown caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Nathan Rourke in the third quarter -- the first touchdown catch of Brown's career.
Redshirt sophomore tight end Adam Luehrman -- a native of Athens -- snagged his first career reception for his first career touchdown off an eight-yard pass from junior quarterback Nathan Rourke in last Thursday's victory at Western Michigan, helping to make it a 38-0 lead for the Bobcats in the second quarter.
Adam moved up to the No. 2 spot at tight end on the depth chart as his twin brother, Ryan Luehrman, sat out with an injury. The Luehrman twins starred for Athens High School, helping to lead the Bulldogs to a 2014 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III State Championship Game alongside current LSU starting quarterback Joe Burrow, who is the son of Ohio's 14th-year defensive coordinator, Jimmy Burrow.
DOUBLE THE FUN
Ohio's roster has the unique distinction of having two sets of identical twins in redshirt sophomore tight ends Adam Luehrman and Ryan Luehrman and redshirt sophomore cornerbacks Ilyaas Motley and Xavior Motley. All four have contributed this season.
MAKING A STAND
Through the first four games of the 2018 season, Ohio's defense allowed the opposition to average 38.2 points and 518 total yards per contest. Since MAC play began, however, the Bobcats have buckled down, surrendering just 18.4 points per game and 340.2 total yards per game.
STUFFING THE RUN
Ohio ranks second in the MAC in rushing defense, allowing 142.4 rushing yards per game.
Redshirt senior defensive lineman Kent Berger is pacing Ohio with four sacks this season, which is a career high. He tallied his fourth of the year on Western Michigan's first drive of the game last Thursday.
Ohio has produced 23 takeaways through the first nine games of the 2018 season, which is good for first in the MAC and second in the country. The Bobcats rank second in the conference with a +9 turnover margin. Perhaps some of the credit for the takeaways can be attributed to the Ohio defense's new sideline prop: The Turnover Belt, which is a WWE-replica championship belt that is awarded to individuals who force the opposition to turn the ball over.
In last Thursday's win at Western Michigan, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Austin Conrad pounced on a fumble in the first quarter -- his first career fumble recovery. Redshirt sophomore safety Jarren Hampton came up with his first career interception in the second quarter while redshirt senior safety Kylan Nelson posted his first interception of the season and second of his career in the third quarter. Ohio came away with another takeaway at the end of the first half when sophomore cornerback Marlin Brooks produced a strip sack that was recovered by redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Will Evans. Brooks leads the Bobcats with three forced fumbles and is tied with Evans for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.
Ohio's special teams also produced two fumble recoveries in the second quarter last Thursday at Western Michigan, with redshirt freshman cornerback Tariq Drake and junior safety Alex Wolff each recording their first career fumble recoveries on back-to-back squandered kickoff return opportunities for the Broncos.
Redshirt junior safety Javon Hagan ranks fifth in the MAC with a team-high two interceptions this year -- both of which sealed wins over UMass and Kent State for the Bobcats. With his second career interception and second of the season in the victory over Bowling Green, senior linebacker Evan Croutch is also tied with Hagan for fifth in the MAC with a team-high two interceptions.
Ohio leads the MAC with 13 fumble recoveries in 2018 and ranks third in the league with 10 passes intercepted. In addition to Hagan and Croutch, Brooks, Hampton, Nelson, redshirt sophomore linebacker Jared Dorsa, redshirt sophomore cornerback Ilyaas Motley and sophomore cornerback Jamal Hudson have all come away with interceptions.
Senior linebacker Evan Croutch lead Ohio with a career-high 40 solo tackles and is tied with redshirt junior safety Javon Hagan for the team lead with 55 total tackles. Croutch leads the squad with a career-high 6.5 tackles for loss and has registered one sack. Croutch is the lone returning starter from the front seven of the 2017 Ohio defense.
Redshirt senior linebacker Tyler Gullett has been impactful for the Ohio defense over the last three contests, leading the Bobcats with 17 total tackles -- including 10 solo stops. He has registered two tackles for loss over the last three games -- including one sack. Gullett is in his third season as a member of Ohio's football program after spending two years as a baseball player at Toledo.
Redshirt junior kicker/punter Michael Farkas is the MAC's top punter, leading the conference with an average of 44. 7 yards per punt. Through nine games in 2018, he has tallied 1,431 punting yards, giving him a career total of 6,678, which ranks as the sixth-most in program history. He has punted 161 times in his career, which ranks sixth in program history. His 41.5 career punting average is second-best in program history.
In the season-opening victory over Howard, Farkas set career highs with eight punts and 368 punting yards in the win.
In the loss to Virginia, Farkas recorded six punts for 282 yards. His longest punt of the day went for 59 yards in the first quarter, and he also produced a 52-yard punt in the first quarter and a 57-yard punt in the fourth quarter, helping him average 47 yards per punt. Three of his six punts ended up inside Virginia's 20 yard line. Farkas also kicked off four times, with all four going for touchbacks for a 65-yard average. He successfully executed an onside kick in the second quarter that was recovered by junior linebacker Eric Popp. Farkas was recognized as the MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against Virginia, earning such honors for the second time in his career and first time since Oct. 3, 2016.
In the loss at Cincinnati, Farkas punted four times for 190 yards, averaging 47.5 yards per punt with a long of 55 yards in the second quarter. The win at Kent State saw Farkas post his highest punting average of the season, averaging his highest punting average of the season with 53 yards per punt -- including one in the first quarter that went for 59 yards and tied his season high. In the loss at Northern Illinois, Farkas punted five times for 199 yards. He matched his long punt of the season once again with another 59-yarder and placed two of his punts inside the opponent 20-yard line. Farkas was once again named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts.
JUST FOR KICKS
Redshirt junior kicker Louie Zervos made all three of his field goal attempts at Cincinnati -- including a season-long 47 yarder in the fourth quarter. He then made three more field goals in the victory over UMass. He is 10-for-13 (76.9 percent) on the season and has made all 47 of his extra points. Zervos ranks second in program history with 54 career field goals made. He is one of just three kickers in the history of the program to make over 100 extra points, leading the way with 143. He passed Matt Weller (120; 2009-12) as the program's all-time leader in extra points made in the loss at Northern Illinois after making his third of the contest.
Zervos was named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 29 after making all seven of his extra point attempts and converting a 23-yard field goal in the victory over Ball State.
SPECIAL, SPECIAL TEAMS
Redshirt junior wide receiver/kick returner DL Knock helped swing the momentum of the contest against Howard in favor of the Bobcats when took the second-half kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown to tie a school record. Ohio was trailing Howard, 22-17, at halftime, but Knock's return sparked a stretch in which it scored two touchdowns in 1:37 to flip the script. Knock became the first Ohio player to bring a kick back 100 yards since Daz' Patterson went 100 yards to the house against Buffalo on Oct. 6, 2012. It marked the first time Ohio returned a kickoff for a touchdown since Nov. 25, 2014 at Miami when Kylan Nelson brought one back 84 yards. Knock finished the game with three kickoff returns for 125 yards. Knock was named the MAC East Division Week One Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 3.
Last Thursday at Western Michigan, Knock blocked a punt by Western Michigan freshman Nick Mihalic in the first quarter, and the loose football was scooped up by redshirt freshman safety Alvin Floyd and returned for a touchdown. Knock's blocked punt marked the first by an Ohio player since Grant Cunningham blocked one against Eastern Illinois in 2014, and Floyd's return of the blocked punt for a touchdown marked the first by a Bobcat since Melvin Payne ran one back 15 yards for a score in 2009 at Akron.
In the loss at Cincinnati, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Will Evans blocked his first career field goal. The Bearcats sent out freshman kicker Cole Smith to attempt a 49-yard field goal before time expired in the first half. His try was blocked by Evans, however, and Ohio took a 24-7 advantage into halftime.
Ohio trails the all-time series with Miami, 52-40-2, but the Bobcats have dominated the RedHawks in the Frank Solich era, winning 11 of the last 13 games in the Battle of the Bricks -- including five in a row. The Bobcats earned a 45-28 win in the last meeting between the two teams, which took place on Oct. 31, 2017, at Peden Stadium. The two teams combined for 891 yards. Quarterback Nathan Rourke was dominant, completing 21 of his 33 pass attempts for 294 yards and three touchdowns and adding 54 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to set a career high with six total touchdowns responsible for. The Bobcats last visited Yager Stadium on Oct. 1, 2016, coming away with a 17-7 triumph. Ohio's last loss to Miami came in Oxford on Oct. 27, 2012, with the RedHawks taking a 23-20 win. The last three games played between Ohio and Miami at Yager Stadium have been decided by 10 points or less.
Chuck Martin is in his fifth season serving as the head coach of the RedHawks. Miami has gone 19-39 during his tenure.
The RedHawks are coming off of their second conference loss of the 2018 season after falling to first-place Buffalo, 51-42, last Tuesday (Oct. 30) in a matchup between MAC East Division rivals at UB Stadium in Buffalo.
Miami ranks eighth among MAC teams in total offense (375.9 yards per game) and fourth in total defense (367.0 yards per game). The RedHawks rank right behind the Bobcats in rushing defense, ranking third in the conference with 151.1 rushing yards allowed per game. Miami boasts the best red zone offense in the league, scoring on 33 of 34 trips with 26 touchdowns and seven made field goals. The RedHawks lead the MAC in kickoff returns (28.0 yards per return).
Redshirt senior quarterback Gus Ragland has completed 180 of his 299 pass attempts for 2,082 yards, 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He ranks third in the MAC in both passing yards and passing yards per game (231.3). He also leads the team with five rushing touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jack Sorenson has hauled in a team-high 39 receptions and has compiled a team-high 593 receiving yards while redshirt senior running back Kenny Young has caught a team-high four touchdown passes. Redshirt senior running back Alonzo Smith has racked up a team-high 405 rushing yards. Defensively, redshirt senior linebacker Brad Koenig has logged a team-high 82 total tackles (45 solo, 37 assisted) to rank eighth in the conference and also leads the RedHawks with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. His team-high 10 tackles for loss are good for fifth in the conference. He is also tied for the team lead with junior defensive lineman Doug Costin with four sacks and ranks second on the team with three quarterback hurries.
Ohio returns to Peden Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 14, to host Buffalo in a showdown between two of the MAC East Division's top teams. The contest will kickoff at either 7 or 8 p.m. (to be announced) and will be nationally televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU (also to be announced). It will be Faculty & Staff Night at Peden Stadium, with Ohio University faculty and staff members receiving free admission to the game.