$restriction.code /sports/fball/2017-18/releases/20170926i74s95

Ohio Football Headed To UMass For Nonconference Tilt

Ohio Football Headed To UMass For Nonconference Tilt

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GAME 5 - OHIO @ UMASS | AMHERST, MASS | Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium | Sept. 30, 2017, | 3:30 p.m. ET

GAME DETAILS
Venue - Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium
Capacity - 17,000
Playing Surface - Turf
Series vs. UMASS - 2-0-0
Last Meeting - Oct. 15, 2017 (L, 27-20)

Television - Eleven Sports
Talent - Eric Frede, Andy Gresh
Ohio Radio Ohio - IMG Sports Network
Talent - Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius
Websites - OhioBobcats.com, UMassathletics.com

FIRST AND 10
-Ohio will play its last regular season non-conference game at UMass on Saturday with kick scheduled for 3:30 p.m. 
-The game will be broadcast on Eleven Sports - elevensportsnetwork.com
-The game can be heard on the Ohio/IMG Sports Network with Russ Eisenstein "The Voice of the Bobcats" calling the action and Rob Cornelius as color-analyst. 
-Ohio opened MAC play with a 27-20 (2OT) win at Eastern Michigan last Saturday, moving to 1-0 in MAC play for the ninth time under Frank Solich and winning its first OT game since 2009. 
-UMass is coming off a 17-13 loss at Tennessee moving to 0-5 on the season. 
-Ohio used one quarterback for the entire game for the first time at EMU. Rourke was 19-31 for 198 yards with two touchdowns, both in overtime, to lead Ohio to its third win. Rourke was named a "Star of the Week" by the Manning Award. 
-Ohio RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette has hit 100+ yards rushing the last two games, earning MAC East Offensive Player of the Week two weeks straight. 
-RS Senior cornerback Bradd Ellis is third in the country averaging 2.0 passes defended per game. He had his first pick six of his career to give Ohio its first touchdown at EMU. 
-Head Coach Frank Solich is third in All-Time career MAC wins with 91. He will need 18 more wins to tie Ohio legend Bill Hess for No. 2 on the list. 
-Head Coach Frank Solich is the third-longest tenured head coach in the NCAA behind Kirk Ferentz (1999, Iowa) and Gary Patterson (2000, TCU). 
-Ohio is the only program in the NCAA to have had the same head coach, offensive and defensive coordinator over the last 12 years. 
-Ohio returns 17 starters for the 2017 season including eight on offense, six on defense and three specialists. 
-Ohio has been bowl eligible the last eight straight seasons making appearances in seven bowls over that span.
-The Bobcats made it back to the Marathon Mid-American Conference Championship game last season for the first time since 2011. Ohio dropped a hard-fought loss to No. 17 Western
Michigan, 29-23. 
-The Bobcats appeared in their seventh bowl game in eight years facing Troy at the 2016 Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Ala. 
-Ohio had five players named to watch lists prior to the season - RS Senior TE Troy Mangen - Mackey Watch List, RS Sophomore Kicker Louie Zervos - Groza Watch List, Senior OL Jake Pruehs - Rimington, Overland Watch Lists, RS Senior DL Cleon Aloese - Polynesian Watch List, RS Senior LB Quentin Poling - Reese Senior Bowl Watch List. \
-Ohio welcomes two new coaches on the sidelines - Assistant Coach Pete Germano - DL and Assistant Coach De'Angelo Smith - CB. 

EMU GAME
-Ohio's first overtime win since North Texas on Sept. 12, 2009 (31-30, 2OT).
-Ohio's first overtime game since opening week last season against Texas State (L, 56-54, 3OT)
-Ohio is 19-12-1 against Eastern Michigan. Ohio has won nine of the last 11 meetings.  
-Ohio has a 1-0 MAC start for the ninth time under Solich and the seventh year in a row
-Solich is 10-3 in MAC openers. 
-Solich got his 91st win at Ohio (91-68) and 149th career win (148-87)
-Ohio's score last season against EMU was a 27-20 loss, with the outcome reversed.
-RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette reached 100-yards rushing for the second straight week with 145. Ouellette averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 26 rushes.
-First time this season Ohio has not recorded a rushing touchdown.
-Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke went 19-32 for 197 and two touchdowns.
-Rourke passed for touchdowns to RS freshman wide receiver Cameron Odom and RS senior wide receiver Brendan Cope.
-It was the first touchdown of the season for Cope and the second for Odom.
-Ohio gave up a season-high four sacks to EMU. 
-RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis recorded his second career interception and returned it for his first career touchdown, 46-yards, to put Ohio up 10-6 with 10-seconds left in the first half. It was the first INT return for a touchdown since Quentin Poling returned one at the Camelia Bowl in 2015. 
-EMU rushed for 45 yards, second time this season Ohio has held an opponent to under 100-yards rushing and was the lowest total rushing yards for an opponent this season.  
-RS junior cornerback Jalen Fox led Ohio with nine tackles and seven solo stops, a career high.
-Ohio had eight passes defended including seven pass breakups. RS junior safety Kylan Nelson had two pass breakups.
-Ohio RS sophomore kicker Louie Zervos hit two field goals at 41 and 44 yards and was 2-3 on his attempts. He hit both PAT.
-RS sophomore punter Michael Farkas had eight punts for 332 yards including one inside the 20, one touchback and two fair catches.

OHIO-UMASS SERIES
Ohio leads UMass 2-0 in the two schools all-time series. Ohio first faced UMass on the road in 2012 and beat the Minute Men 51-23 at home in the two squads last meeting Nov. 29, 2013. 

NOV. 29, 2013 OHIO VS. UMASS
-Ohio's win over Massachusetts gave the Bobcats their seventh win on the year, which secured the Bobcats' fifth-consecutive winning season.
-The Bobcats have now posted back-to-back wins over UMass and lead the all-time series 2-0.
-With the win over UMass, Ohio improves to 24-7 at home dating back to the start of the 2009 season.
-Ohio notched its fifth home win of the year.
-Bobcat head coach Frank Solich logged his 124th career win. The win also handed Solich his 66th career win at Ohio. He is now in a sixth-place tie on the all-time MAC coaching wins list with former Kent State head coach Trevor Rees.
-Prior to kickoff Ohio honored its 19 seniors. Since stepping on campus in 2009, the 19-member senior class has guided the Bobcats to a 43-23 record, two bowl victories and a pair of MAC East championship.
-The Bobcats finished the game with 461 yards of total offense. Ohio has surpassed 450 yards of total offense in three games this season.

100-YARD GAMES
-Ohio RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette had back-to-back 100-plus yard rushing games the last two weeks, hitting 140 at Eastern Michigan. Ouellette is averaging 87.0 yards per game which ranks second in the MAC. 

NATIONAL RANKINGS
Ohio is ranked 14th in the country in kickoff return defense, holding opponents to 16.20 per return average. Ohio is also 19th in the country in red zone offense scoring on 94.4% of its trips and the Bobcats lead the MAC in the category. Ohio's Bradd Ellis is third in the country averaging 2.0 passes defended per game and RS senior linebacker Quentin Poling is 11th in forced fumbles averaging 0.50 per game. 

HAULING IN THE TDS
RS senior tight end Troy Mangen had two receiving touchdowns for the first time in his career against Kansas, catching three passes for 35 yards and two scores. 

SCOUTING UMASS
UMass, an independent FBS competitor,  is coming off a 17-13 at Tennessee and is 0-5 so far this season with home losses to Hawai'i (38-35) and Old Dominion (17-7). Mark Whipple is in his 10th season at the helm of the UMass program. 

OFFENSE
UMass is averaging 20.8 points per game and 385.0 yards of total offense including 99.6 on the ground and 285.4 through the air. They have scored eight rushing and seven passing touchdowns. RS junior QB Andrew Ford has started all five games for the Minutemen going 101-157 with one interception and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 266.6 yards per game with 1,333 total yards. His favorite targets have been tight end Adam Breneman and wide receiver Andy Isabella. Breneman leads the team with 24 catches for 369 yards while Isaella has 23 catches for 352 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and one on the ground. Marquis Young leads the team with 302 yards on 74 carries and has scored four rushing touchdowns. 

DEFENSE
UMass is giving up 27.8 points per game to its opponents and 395.2 yards of total offense including 176.8 on the ground and 218.4 through the air. Linebacker Bryton Barr leads the team with 50 tackles including 24 solo stops. Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers leads the team with one interception and five pass breakups, while logging 27 tackles. Defensive lineman Da'Sean Downey leads the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks on the season. 

SCOUTING OHIO
Ohio is off to a 3-1 start and is coming off a 27-20 double-overtime win at Eastern Michigan to open MAC play. Head Coach Frank Solich is in his 13th season as head coach of the Bobcats, with a win he will earn his 150th career coaching victory. 

OFFENSE
Ohio is averaging 37.2 points per game, which ranks second in the MAC and Ohio's 409.8 per game total offense ranks third in the MAC. Ohio is averaging 198.2 yards on the ground and 211.5 through the air. Red shirt junior running back A.J. Ouellette leads Ohio's rushing attack with 87.0 yards per game with two touchdowns. Ouellette is averaging 5.9 yards per carry which ranks second in the MAC.  Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has gone 52-81 for 632 yards with five passing touchdowns, four rushing touchdowns and has not thrown a pick so far this season.  RS Freshman wide receiver Cameron Odom has caught 13 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the receiving corps. 

DEFENSE
Ohio is holding its opposition to 23.5 points per game and 366.8 yards of total offense per game including 115.8 on the ground and 251.0 through the air. Red shirt senior linebacker Quentin Poling leads the Bobcats with 26 tackles and 12 solo stops so far this season. Poling has 3.5 tackles for loss and a half sack on the season with two forced fumbles. RS sophomore safety Javon Hagan is second on the squad with 21 tackles and 10 solo hits. Red shirt senior cornerback Bradd Ellis has eight pass defenses to lead the squad, which ranks third nationally. 

AN OHIO WIN WOULD...
-Give head coach Frank Solich his 92nd win at Ohio (92-68) and 150th career win (148-87)
-Move Ohio to 3-0 all-time against UMass
-Move Ohio to 4-1 overall for the fifth time under head coach Frank Solich
-Give Ohio a 3-1 non-conference record in the regular season

SMOTHERING DEFENSE 
Ohio's rushing defense ranks second in the MAC and has held opponents to 115.8 yards per game and four rushing touchdowns. Twice this season, Ohio has held its opponents to under 60-yards rushing.  Hampton managed 59-yards against Ohio, while Eastern Michigan had only 45. 

OVERTIME WIN
Ohio's OT win over Eastern Michigan was the first overtime win since Ohio beat North Texas in double-overtime, Sept. 12, 2009, 31-30. It was Ohio's first overtime game since the opener last season, when Ohio dropped a 56-53 triple-overtime thriller to Texas State. 

SINGULAR QB
Ohio used just one quarterback for the first time this season when Nathan Rourke took each snap under center for the Bobcats. Rourke was 19-31 and threw two touchdown passes in OT to lead the Bobcats in the win. Rourke is averaging 158 yards per game passing and has gone 52-81 for 632 yards so far this season. He has also rushed for 74 yards and has 706 yards of total offense this season. 

IN THE RED ZONE
Ohio has been very successful this season in the red zone scoring on 17 of its 18 trips (94.4%) inside the 20, including 16 touchdowns (89%). That percentage sits atop the Mid-American Conference and ranks the Bobcats 19th nationally, with 17 teams log-jammed for the top spot. Last season, Ohio converted on 82% of its trips to the red zone (49-60) and scored touchdowns 45% (27-60) of the time. 

OUELLETTE MAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK-AGAIN
After his second straight week of 100+ yards rushing, Ohio RS junior A.J. Ouellette was named the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week. Ouellette racked up 145 rushing yards at Eastern Michigan last week on 26 rushes, both season-highs. Ouellette is second in the MAC in rushing averaging 87-yards per game. As a team, Ohio is second in rushing offense and second in scoring offense.

PUNTING DEEP
Ohio red shirt sophomore punter Michael Farkas has been solid in the punting game so far this season for Ohio. Farkas has 18 punts for 735 yards and has pinned eight punts inside the 20-yardline with five fair catches and just one touchback. Farkas also pulled off a fake punt at Purdue and picked up a first down on a 16-yard rush. Farkas is averaging 40.8 yards per punt with a long of 52. Farkas also teamed up for a two-point conversion with junior long snapper Jake Hale against Hampton. 

CONSISTENCY AT THE TOP
Head coach Frank Solich begins his 13th season at Ohio University this fall. Solich's 12-year reign as head coach has become a rarity in today's college football landscape. Only three football bowl sub-division coaches have longer tenures with their current team. 

Ohio is the only the team in the country that has kept its head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator in place for the past 13 seasons. 
First years at 
COACH, Team Season school
1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa 1999 18
2. Gary Patterson, TCU 2000 17
3. Frank Solich, Ohio 2005 12
Mike Gundy, Okla. State 2005 12
Kyle Wittingham, Utah 2005 12

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