Ohio Game Notes (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio football team (1-2) closes out its 2019 non-conference schedule when it hosts Louisiana (2-1) on Saturday (Sept. 21) in a Parents Day weekend contest at Peden Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET. Click here for ticket information.
Saturday's contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+, with Jim Barbar and John Gregory on the call.
Saturday's game can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 12th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats." Ohio Alum Rob Cornelius has been a part of the broadcasts for two decades. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network's flagship.The broadcasts are also available online through TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats and on the TuneIn app.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 | Ohio Bobcats (1-2) vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (1-2) | 2 p.m. ET | Peden Stadium | Athens, Ohio | ESPN+ | Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College | TuneIn | Live Stats
• Ohio dropped its second road contest in as many weeks last Saturday (Sept. 14), suffering a tough 33-31 loss to host Marshall (2-1) in a Battle for the Bell matchup tonight at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W. Va.
Ohio suffered its first loss to Marshall since a 44-14 defeat the hands of the Thundering Herd on Sept. 13, 2014, in the program's last trip to Huntington.
The Bobcats were outgained by the Thundering Herd, 511-438, including 305-223 on the ground.
• Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for three touchdowns and 215 yards and ran for 118 yards, including a 72-yard run for a touchdown, in the loss at Marshall. He was named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts, marking the first time he has been recognized with weekly conference honors and seventh time in his career.
Rourke's three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown brought him to 84 career touchdowns responsible for, breaking the previous school record of 82 set by former quarterback Tyler Tettleton (2009-13). He has now been responsible for at least four touchdowns in a single game nine times. He threw for multiple touchdowns in a game for the 14th time in his career and tallied at least three passing touchdowns for the sixth time. His 45 career passing touchdowns rank second in program history while his 38 career rushing touchdowns rank third. The contest marked just the second time in his career that he threw for at least 200 yards and ran for at least 100 more. He passed Anthony Thornton (5,199; 1987-90) for the third-most career passing yards with 5,217.
• Several of Ohio's pass catchers enjoyed milestone performances at Marshall.
Redshirt freshman wide Shane Hooks, making his first career start in place of injured redshirt junior wide receiver Cameron Odom, caught his first career touchdown on a 20-yard scoring strike in the second quarter.
Junior running back De'Montre Tuggle caught his first receiving touchdown as a Bobcat in the second quarter. It marked his fourth total touchdown in three games, as he had scored three rushing touchdowns over the previous two contests.
Redshirt junior tight end Ryan Luehrman set career highs with four receptions for 60 yards, including a career-long 36-yard reception in the second quarter. He then caught his second touchdown in the last three games and second of his career in the third quarter, hauling in a seven-yard scoring strike.
• Defensively at Marshall, four Bobcats finished with double-digit tackles. Redshirt senior safety Javon Hagan led the way with total tackles while redshirt junior safety Jarren Hampton, redshirt junior linebacker Dylan Conner and redshirt junior linebacker Jared Dorsa all recorded 11. Hampton and Dorsa set career highs while Conner matched his career high.
Four Bobcats rank among the top 10 in total tackles among MAC players, with Conner ranking sixth (28), Hagan ranking seventh (27) and Hampton and Dorsa (25) tying for eighth.
• Ohio took its first loss of the 2019 season on Sept. 7, a 20-10 setback to host Pitt at Heinz Field. Junior running back De'Montre Tuggle scored his third rushing touchdown in two games while redshirt senior kicker Louie Zervos converted a 23-yard field goal.
• Ohio opened up the 2019 season with a 41-20 victory over Rhode Island on Aug. 31 at Peden Stadium as the Bobcats earned a school-record 10th-straight home victory. Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score while redshirt junior running back De'Montre Tuggle put together a breakout performance in his first game as a Bobcat, rumbling for 65 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries -- including a 55-yard scamper in the third quarter. After suffering a knee injury that ended his 2018 season after three games, redshirt junior Tyler Tupa led the way against the Rams with a team-high 49 receiving yards. Both he and redshirt junior tight end Ryan Luehrman hauled in their first career touchdown receptions.
• Redshirt junior linebacker Jared Dorsa was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week for week one of the 2019 season on Sept. 2. Dorsa was recognized with weekly conference honors for the first time in his career after he accumulated seven total tackles (five solo, two assisted) to tie for the team lead in the win over Rhode Island, including a half a sack, and registered a quarterback hurry.
• Ohio is coming off of a 2018 season in which it went 9-4 (6-2 MAC), finishing in a tie for second with Miami in the Mid-American Conference's East Division. The Bobcats earned at least nine wins for the sixth time in 15 years under head coach Frank Solich. Ohio capped off the year by shutting out San Diego State, 27-0, in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl in Frisco, Texas. The Bobcats accounted for the MAC's lone bowl win in 2018 and earned the distinction of being the conference's first team to pitch a shutout in a bowl win.
• Ohio was voted as the preseason favorite to win the MAC. The Bobcats were selected as the unanimous favorite to win the East Division in both the media and coaches polls. The Bobcats earned a league-high 13 votes to win the MAC Championship Game in the media poll.
• The Bobcats went a perfect 6-0 at Peden Stadium in 2018, marking the first time Ohio has won all of its home games since 1968. Ohio went unbeaten at home for the first time since 1988, when the Bobcats finished their home schedule with a record of 3-0-1. Ohio has won its last 10 home games dating back to the 2017 season, which is a school record, and has won 15 of its last 16 games played at Peden Stadium.
• Ohio is tied with Toledo for the most bowl wins (4) among MAC programs since Frank Solich took over as head coach in 2005. With its win over San Diego State in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl that followed a 41-6 triumph over UAB in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, Ohio recorded back-to-back bowl wins for the second time in program history. In 2011, the Bobcats edged Utah State, 24-23, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to pick up their first bowl victory in program history, then rolled to a 45-14 triumph over ULM in the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl.
LIKE A FINE WINE
Frank Solich is the dean of MAC head coaches as he is in his 15th year leading the Bobcats. He is tied with Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy for fourth among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaches in terms of longest tenure with their current school. Only Iowa's Kirk Ferentz (21 years), TCU's Gary Patterson (20 years) and Utah's Kyle Whittingham (16 years) have served as head coach at their respective institutions longer. Prior to arriving in Athens, Solich spent six years as head coach at his alma mater, Nebraska. Solich's 21 years of experience tie him with Ferentz (21 years) for the third-most among active NCAA FBS head coaches, ranking behind only North Carolina's Mack Brown (30 years) and Alabama's Nick Saban.
With the retirement of longtime Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder following the 2018 season, Solich is the leader in life experience among NCAA FBS head coaches at 74 years old. Solich turned 75 on Sept. 8.
CHASING WINS WITH THE GOAT
Frank Solich owns a career coaching record of 165-96. His 165 wins rank as the fourth most among active NCAA FBS head coaches, trailing only North Carolina's Mack Brown (240), Alabama's Nick Saban (240) and TCU's Gary Patterson (168).
Solich is 107-77 during his tenure as head coach of the Bobcats, ranking him third in program history behind Don Peden (121; 1924-46) and Bill Hess (108; 1958-77). With four more wins, Solich will pass Herb Deromedi (110, Central Michigan, 1978-93) for the most by a MAC head coach. Ohio has gone 70-42 in conference play since Solich's arrival in Athens. His 70 MAC wins rank second to Deromedi's 90.
POSTGAME NOTES FROM MARSHALL
• Redshirt senior punter/kickoff specialist Michael Farkas punted five times for 189 yards at Marshall. Farkas moved into third place on Ohio's career punting yards list with 8,173, passing Matthew Miller (8,155; 2002-05).
• Redshirt senior kicker Louie Zervos made a season-long 44-yard field goal in the first quarter.
• Redshirt senior wide receiver/kickoff returner DL Knock set a career high with five kickoff returns for a career-high 136 yards.
• Ohio and Louisiana will meet for the third time, with the Bobcats holding a 2-0 lead in the all-time series. Ohio recorded a 31-23 road win over the Ragin' Cajuns on Sept. 8, 2007, then posted a 38-31 win in the last meeting between the two programs on Oct. 30, 2010, at Peden Stadium.
• The Ragin' Cajuns are off to a 2-1 start to the 2019, bouncing back from a 38-28 loss to Mississippi State on Aug. 31 with a 35-14 victory over Liberty on Sept. 7 and a 77-6 thumping of Texas Southern last Saturday.
• Louisiana is led by second-year head coach Billy Napier. The Ragin' Cajuns have gone 9-8 under his watch.
• The Ragin' Cajuns ranked third nationally with 336.7 rushing yards per game and fourth with 590.3 yards of total offense per game. Louisiana's 14 rushing touchdowns lead the country.
• Redshirt junior running back Trey Ragas has rushed for a team-high 288 yards and three touchdowns in three games while senior running back Raymond Calais has rushed for 220 and two scores. Junior running back Elijah Mitchell leads the squad with four rushing touchdowns.
• Junior quarterback Levi Lewis has completed 65.3 percent (49-of-75) of his passes for 627 yards and five touchdowns.
• Redshirt senior wide receiver Ja'Marcus Bradley leads Louisiana with 15 receptions for a team-high 255 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Following a bye week, Ohio opens MAC play on the road at East Division rival Buffalo on Oct. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.