GAME 8 - OHIO VS. KENT STATE | ATHENS, OHIO | PEDEN STADIUM | OCT. 21, 2017 | 2 P.M. ET
Venue Peden - Stadium
Capacity - 24,000
Playing Surface - Turf
Series vs. Kent State - 42-25-2
Last Meeting - W, 14-10 - Oct. 22, 2016
Television - ESPN3
Talent - Dave Weekley (PBP), John Gregory (Color)
Ohio Radio - Ohio IMG Sports Network
Talent - Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius
Websites - OhioBobcats.com, KentStateSports.com
FIRST AND 10
-Ohio begins a three-game homestand hosting Kent State Saturday.
-The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 with Dave Weekly and John Gregory calling the action.
-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 is coming off a 48-30 win at Bowling Green last Saturday.
-Kent State picked up a 17-14 win at home against Miami to improve to 2-5 with a 1-2 MAC record.
-Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke rushed for three touchdowns and led Ohio with 143 rushing yards against Bowling Green, earning MAC East Offensive Player of the Week Honors.
-Ohio RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis recorded his second pick-six of the season, had a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry. He was named MAC Defender of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
-Ohio has had a 100-plus yard rusher in the last five straight games (Rourke vs. CMU, BG - Ouellette vs. Umass, EMU, Kansas).
-Rourke ranks second in the country in rushing touchdowns and is the top-ranked QB on the list. He ranks seventh nationally with 19 total touchdowns.
-Head Coach Frank Solich is third in All-Time career MAC wins with 93. He will need 16 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.
-Ohio improved to 5-2 for the third time under head coach Frank Solich.
-Ohio is now 27-40-2 all-time against Bowling Green.
-It was Ohio's first win at Bowling Green since 2011.
-Head Coach Frank Solich is now 151-88 and 93-69 at Ohio. He is now 6-7 against Bowling Green.
-First time this season Ohio has not scored in the opening quarter.
-Ohio had a season-high 335 rushing yards and a season-low 105 passing yards. It was the most rushing yards since Ohio put up 329 at Kansas last season.
-Ohio's 21 points in the second quarter was the most points scored in a second quarter this season by the Bobcats.
-Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke had a career-long rush of 75 yards for his second touchdown score. The first was a seven-yard TD score.
-Rourke finished with three rushing touchdowns for the third game this season.
-Rourke now ranks 7th on Ohio's single-season chart with 12 rushing touchdowns, he has 19 total touchdowns.
-Rourke led Ohio with 143 rushing yards, a career high. It was the third straight game Rourke has had 100+ yards rushing and the fifth-straight game Ohio has had a 100+ yard rusher.
-Ohio had two 100-plus yard rushers for the second time this season, RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette had 123 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
-RS junior wide receiver Andrew Meyer caught a career-long 40-yard reception to set up Ohio's fifth score. Meyer finished with three catches for 84 yards and one touchdown.
-RS senior linebacker Chad Moore had his first forced fumble of the season which was recovered by RS senior linebacker Quentin Poling, his first recovery of the season.
-RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis had his second interception return for a touchdown this season, which he returned for Ohio's second score of the game.
-Poling also had a forced fumble which Ellis recovered in the fourth quarter. It was the third forced fumble for Poling this season and the first fumble recovery of the season for Ellis.
-Junior linebacker Evan Croutch and RS sophomore safety Javon Hagan led the team with 11 tackles each including eight solo stops, apiece.
-Poling and RS junior defensive lineman Andrew Payne each had one sack.
-RS freshman linebacker Dylan Conner had his first career interception late in the fourth quarter.
-RS sophomore punter Michael Farkas had eight punts for 324 yards including a long of 57 and pinned two inside the 20-yardline with no touchbacks.
-Ohio did not kick a field goal for the second time this season.
-RS sophomore placekicker Louie Zervos was 6-6 on PAT kicks.
OCT 22, 2016 OHIO vs. KENT STATE
-Dorian Brown had a career-long rush to score Ohio's first touchdown, 49-yards.
-Maleek Irons had a career-long rush of 60-yards.
-Quinton Maxwell made his first start at quarterback for Ohio throwing for 127 yards, including a career-long 27 yards while completing 11-19 passes.
-Brown led Ohio with 110 rushing yards, which was the second time he has surpassed 100-yards rushing. It marked the third time this season, Ohio has had a 100-plus yard rusher.
-Sebastian Smith led Ohio's receivers with 58 yards on four catches, including a long of 34.
-Smith is now tied for fourth in career receptions at Ohio with 144.
-Tarell Basham moved into fifth on the single-season sack leaderboard with 7.5 on the season.
-Basham finished the game with a sack, two tackles for loss and a career-high nine tackles.
-Grant Cunningham picked up his first career forced fumble. Kevin Robbins also had a forced fumble.
-Blair Brown and Toran Davis also had nine tackles to lead Ohio.
-Ohio finished the game with eight tackles for loss, Robbins and Basham had two each.
-Ohio's defense held Kent State to 6 of 19 on third down conversions and 1 of 3 on fourth.
-Michael Farkas had seven punts for 303 yards averaging 43.3 per punt with a long of 51 and pinned Kent State inside the 20, twice.
RS junior running back A.J. Ouellete has hit 100-yards for four out of the last five weeks with rushing performances of 102 - Kansas, 140 - Eastern Michigan, 125 - UMass and 123 - Bowling Green. Ouellette now leads the Mid-American Conference with 656 rushing yards. Ouellette has five rushing touchdowns and is averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has hit 100-yards rushing the last three games with 118 yards at UMass ,105 against CMU and led Ohio with 143 yards rushing at Bowling Green. Rourke is ranked atop the MAC with 12 rushing touchdowns, which ranks second nationally and first among QBs. Rourke had a career long rush of 75 yards for a score at Bowling Green.
6th - 4th Down Conversion PCT (0.833)
11th - Red Zone Offense (0.943)
13th - Kickoff Return Defense (16.97)
16th - Scoring Offense (39.7)
19th - 3rd Down Conversion PCT (0.467)
21st - Rushing Offense (230.1)
2nd - Rushing Touchdowns - Nathan Rourke (12)
3rd - Total Touchdowns - Nathan Rourke (12)
3rd - Total Points Scored - Nathan Rourke (72)
5th - Passes Defended - Bradd Ellis (1.7)
7th - Forced Fumbles - Quentin Poling (0.43)
7th - Points Responsible For - Nathan Rourke (120)
11th - Scoring - Nathan Rourke - 10.2
16th - Points Responsible For Per Game - Nathan Rourke - 17.1
20th - Rushing Yards - A.J. Ouellette - 656
Ohio's rushing defense ranks second in the MAC and has held opponents to 129.6 yards per game and eight rushing touchdowns. Ohio has held its opponents to under 70-yards rushing three times this season. Hampton had 47, EMU had 45 and Central Michigan had 68. Opponents are averaging just 3.6 yards per carry against the Bobcats.
FINDING THE ENDZONE
Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has made a habit of finding the end zone with 12 rushing touchdowns and eight passing TDs this season. Rourke leads the MAC in scoring touchdowns averaging 10.3 per game. Rourke has rushed for three touchdowns on three different occasions this season and accounted for four total touchdowns at Bowling Green.
GETTING IT DONE ON THE GROUND
Ohio racked up a season-high 335 rushing yards at Bowling Green last week, it marked the most rushing yards since Ohio put up 329 at Kansas on Sept. 10, 2016. It marked the second time this season that Ohio had two 100-plus yard rushers with Rourke leading the way with 143 and Ouellette adding 123. Ohio also had five rushing touchdowns in the outing.
Ohio has had some solid play this season out of its two starting corners - RS senior Bradd Ellis and RS junior Jalen Fox have started all seven games at corner for the Bobcats. Ellis ranks fifth in the country and leads the MAC with 12 passes defended (breakups + interceptions) while Fox is 50th in the country and fourth in the MAC with seven passes defended. Ellis has made two pick sixes this season including one against Bowling Green in the last outing.
CAREER DAY FOR POLING
Poling had a career day with 19 tackles against UMass while also hitting a career-high nine solo stops. Poling was one of two players with double-digit tackles as Chad Moore also had 12 tackles.
SCOUTING KENT STATE
Kent State is coming off its second win of the season a 17-14 win at home against Miami last weekend. Paul Haynes is in his fifth season as head coach at Kent State and owns a 14-40 record at the helm of the Golden Flashes program.
Kent is averaging 11.0 points per game and 261.6 yards of total offense per game including 155.3 on the ground and 106.3 through the air. Junior quarterback George Bollas has played in five games for the Golden Flashes and is averaging 79.3 yards per game and has thrown two touchdown passes. He has also rushed for 50 yards. Freshman quarterback Dustin Crum drew the start against Miami and rushed for 34 total yards on a team-high 14 carries. He completed one pass for seven yards. Crum has racked up 160 yards on 57 attempts rushing and has throw eight passes for 75 yards. Sophomore running back Justin Rankin has caught 17 passes for 135 total yards and has rushed 56 times for 197 net yards with two receiving touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Trey Harrell leads the team with 219 receiving yards on 12 catches.
Kent state has allowed opponents to score 30.7 points on average per game and has allowed 427.9 yards per game of total offense including 223.6 through the air and 204.3 on the ground. They have given up 151 first downs to its opponents so far this season. Junior linebacker Jim Jones leads the Golden Flashes with 58 total tackles and 28 solo hit. He has 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack on the season. Sophomore safety Mandela Lawrence-Burke is second on the team with 52 tackles and 23 solo stops, he is second on the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and has one interception. Senior cornerback Demetrius Monday leads the Golden Flashes with four interceptions and also has three pass breakups. Senior linebacker James Alexander has a team-high seven tackles for loss on the season with two sacks and two quarterback hurries.
Ohio is coming off a 48-30 win at Bowling Green on Saturday. Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke rushed for 143 yards and three rushing touchdowns to lead the Bobcats.
Ohio is averaging 39.7 points per game, which leads the MAC and Ohio's 414.7 per game total offense ranks fourth in the MAC. Ohio is averaging 230.1 yards on the ground and 184.6 through the air. Redshirt junior running back A.J. Ouellette leads Ohio's rushing attack with 93.7 yards per game and five touchdowns. Ouellette is averaging 6.0 yards per carry which leads the MAC. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has gone 89-157 for 1,078 yards with eight passing touchdowns, 12 rushing touchdowns and three interceptions. Rourke's rushing touchdown total ranks second in the country and leads the MAC. RS senior wide receiver Brendan Cope is leading the team with 26 catches averaging 13.3 per reception and has 347 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Ohio is holding its opposition to 28.6 points per game and 393.6 yards of total offense per game including 129.6 on the ground and 264.0 through the air. Redshirt senior linebacker Quentin Poling leads the Bobcats with 63 tackles and 28 solo stops so far this season. Poling has 6.0 tackles for loss and one and a half sacks on the season with three forced fumbles. RS senior linebacker Chad Moore is second on the squad with 46 tackles and 26 solo stops. Moore also has one sack and three tackles for loss with two interception and two pass breakups. Ellis has 11 pass breakups and two interception while Fox has six pass breakups with one interception.
AN OHIO WIN WOULD...
-Give head coach Frank Solich his 94th win at Ohio (94-69) and 152 career win (152-88)
-Move Ohio to 43-25-2 against Kent State
-Make Ohio Bowl Eligible for the ninth straight season
-Move Ohio to at least 6-2 for just the third time under head coach Frank Solich
-Move Ohio to 3-1 in MAC Play for the second straight year
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.
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.
IN THE RED ZONE
Ohio has been very successful this season in the red zone scoring on 26 of its 27 trips (96.3%) inside the 20, including 22 touchdowns (85%). That percentage sits atop the Mid-American Conference and ranks the Bobcats 13th 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.
Ohio red shirt sophomore punter Michael Farkas has been solid in the punting game so far this season for Ohio. Farkas has 23 punts for 950 yards and has pinned 10 punts inside the 20-yardline with nine 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 41.3 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.