GAME 13 - OHIO vs. UAB | BAHAMAS BOWL | NASSAU, BAHAMAS |THOMAS A. ROBINSON NATIONAL STADIUM | DEC. 22, 2017 | 12:30 p.m. ET
Venue - Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
Capacity - 15,000
Playing Surface - Grass
Series vs. UAB - 0-0
Last Meeting - NA
Television - ESPN
Talent - Steve Levy, Desmond Howard, Laura Rutledge
Ohio Radio Ohio - IMG Sports Network
Talent - Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius
Websites - OhioBobcats.com, UABsports.com
FIRST AND 10
-With a win over Kent State, Ohio became bowl eligible for the ninth straight year and will make its eighth bowl appearance in that span with a trip to the 2017 Bahamas Bowl to face UAB.
-This marks the first meeting between Ohio and UAB
-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 31-24 loss at Buffalo last week. UAB is coming off a 28-7 win against UTEP in their season finale.
-Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke set the single-season record with 21 rushing touchdowns for the Bobcats.
-Rourke needs one more touchdown to tie the Ohio record for touchdowns responsible for.
-Ohio RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis recorded his 18th pass breakup to tie the Ohio single-season record with T.J. Wright.
-With his four solo tackles against Miami, Ohio RS senior linebacker Quentin Poling became the all-time leader in solo tackles at Ohio. Poling ranks 10th on the Ohio single-season tackle chart with 370 career tackles. He needs 18 more to move into a tie with Scott Zele (1990-92) with 388.
-Ohio has had a 100-plus yard rusher in eight of its last nine games (Rourke vs. CMU, BG, Toledo, Akron - Ouellette vs. UMass, EMU, Kansas - Brown vs. Kent State, Toledo).
-Rourke ranks second in the country in rushing touchdowns and is the top ranked QB on the list. He ranks third nationally with 20 total touchdowns (rushing+receiving)
-RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette needs 20 yards to become the first Ohio rusher to reach 1,000 -yards since Beau Blankenship in 2012.
-Head Coach Frank Solich is third in All-Time career MAC wins with 96. He will need 14- more wins to tie Ohio legend Bill Hess for No. 2 on the list.
-Ohio has 467 total points this season which set the single-season record. The previous record of 427 was set during the 2011 season in 14 games.
-Ohio landed 12 players on the All-MAC list led by RS senior LB Quentin Poling on the first team.
-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 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.
-Poling needs 18 more tackles to move into 9th on the career tackle list.
-Ohio RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette moved into 9th on the career rushing list with 2,505 yards. Ouellette needs 20 more yards to move into a tie with Arnold Welcher (2,525) for eighth. Kalvin McRae holds the Ohio record with 4,398 career rushing yards.
-Ouellette has had nine career 100-yard rushing games, which ranks ninth all-time at Ohio. He needs one more 100-yard rushing games to move into a tie with Chad Brinker and Tim Curtis at seventh.
-Rourke is second in single-season touchdowns responsible for with 37. Ohio's single-season record was set by Tyler Tettleton in 2011 with 38.
-Rourke's 15 passing is seventh all-time at Ohio. Rourke needs three more to move into a tie with Tyler Tettleton and Boo Jackson at fifth.
-RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis has moved into a tie with T.J. Wright for the Ohio record with 18 pass breakups. Ellis also needs two more passes defended (INT+PBU) to tie Wright for first place in that category.
-Ohio RS sophomore kicker Louie Zervos moved into second on the field goals made list with 43. He needs 36 more to tie Matt Weller who holds the career record at Ohio.
-Ohio is averaging 40.3 points per game which is the most productive offense in school history. The current record is 37.6 points per game set in the 1968 season.
-Ohio's 40 rushing touchdowns tied the all-time record at Ohio set by the 1968 team.
-Ohio's total offense of 5,171 ranks fifth all-time. This year's team needs 207 yards to move into a tie for fourth place 5,378
-Ohio's rushing yard total of 2,930 yards ranks sixth on the single-season chart. Ohio needs 124 yards to move into a tie for fifth-place.
Ohio has set a number of records already this season - below are a recap of the team and individual records set
-Most Points Scored in a season (467)
-Best Scoring Average (38.9)
-Average yards per carry (5.60)
-Rushing Touchdowns (40)
-Nathan Rourke - Rushing Touchdowns (21), Most Points Scored In a Season (132), Most Touchdowns Scored (22)
-Quentin Poling - Career Solo Tackles (219), Career Tackles For Loss (44.0)
-Bradd Ellis - Pass Breakups In a season (18)
-With his first rushing touchdown of the game sophomore QB Nathan Rourke set a single-season record with 20 rushing touchdowns at Ohio. Rourke finished with two rushing touchdowns bringing his season total to 21.
-Ohio tied the single-season record with 40 rushing touchdowns.
-Rourke finished the game with 15-30 passing for 265 yards and one passing touchdown.
-Ohio's 92-yard drive in the third quarter was the second-longest scoring drive of the season.
-RS freshman WR Cameron Odom caught a 57-yard touchdown pass, the longest of his career. It was the third touchdown of the season for Odom. Odom finished the game with two catches for 85 yards, leading the WR corps.
-Seeing his first action since Central Michigan, freshman RB Julian Ross led Ohio with a career high 81 rushing yards on 19 carries.
-Ohio had 424 yards of total offense with 159 n the ground and 265 through the air.
-Ohio held Buffalo to 56-yards rushing, it was the fifth time this season Ohio has held an opponent to under 70-yards rushing.
-Buffalo's 24-point first quarter was the most points allowed by Ohio in the opening quarter this season, ties the most allowed in any quarter (Purdue, 24, 2nd).
-Ohio held Buffalo without a scoring drive from their third drive in the first quarter until their third drive in the fourth quarter.
-RS senior cornerback Bradd Ellis led Ohio with six tackles and five solo stops.
-RS junior defensive lineman Kent Berger and RS senior linebacker Quentin Poling each had a sack for Ohio. Poling and junior linebacker Evan Croutch recorded a pass breakup each.
-RS sophomore placekicker Louie Zervos drilled his only field goal attempt for a 44-yard score. Zervos was also 3-3 on PAT.
-RS sophomore punter Michael Farkas had six punts for 231 yards including a long of 51 and two inside the 20-yardline.
Ohio has had at least one 100-yard rusher in eight games this season. RS junior running back A.J. Ouellete has had four games - Kansas (102), EMU (145), UMass (125) and Bowling Green (123). Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has hit 100-yards rushing five times UMass (113), CMU (105), Bowling Green (143), Toledo (115) and Akron (165). RS senior running back Dorian Brown rushed for over 100 twice Kent State (108) and Toledo (142). Ohio has also had three receiving performances above 100-yards with RS junior wide receiver Papi White racking up 103 at Purdue and RS senior wide receiver Brendan Cope picking up 104 against Kansas and 126 against UMass.
SERIES AGAINST UAB
This marks the first meeting between Ohio and UAB.
Ohio is 36-22-6 against the current membership of C-USA having played Marshall the most with a 33-20-6 record against the Thundering Herd. Ohio is 2-0 against North Texas, 0-1 against Southern Miss and 1-1 against Western Kentucky. Ohio has been paired up with a C-USA team three times facing Marshall, Southern Miss and Eastern Carolina. Ohio is 0-3 against the C-USA in bowl appearances including a 37-20 loss to Eastern Carolina at the 2013 Beef O'Brady Bowl.
OHIO BOWL HISTORY
This marks the 11th bowl appearance for the Ohio football program and the ninth under head coach Frank Solich. Ohio is 2-8 in those bowl games with its first bowl win coming in a 24-23 win over Utah State at the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Ohio's last bowl win was in 2012, 45-14, over Louisiana-Monroe at the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl. In last year's bowl Ohio dropped a 28-23 loss to Troy at the 2017 Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Ohio's rushing defense leads the MAC and has held opponents to 111.4 yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns which ranks 10th nationally. Ohio has held its opponents to under 70-yards rushing five times this season. Hampton had 47, EMU had 45, Central Michigan had 68m Toledo had 53 and Buffalo had 56. Opponents are averaging just 3.4 yards per carry against the Bobcats.
RECORD BOOK FOR POLING
Ohio RS senior linebacker Quentin Poling has set two career records this season setting new marks with 219 solo tackles and 45.0 tackles for loss. Polling ranks 10th on the career tackle chart (370) and needs 18 more to move into ninth.
RECORD BOOK FOR ROURKE
Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke set the Ohio single-season record with 21 rushing touchdowns this season. The previous mark was held by Ohio hall of famer Kalvin McRae. Rourke needs one more touchdowns to move into a tie with Tyler Tettleton with 38 touchdowns responsible for.
FINDING THE ENDZONE
Ohio sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has made a habit of finding the end zone with 21 rushing touchdowns and 15 passing TDs this season. Rourke leads the MAC in scoring touchdowns averaging 11.0 points per game. Rourke has rushed for three touchdowns on three different occasions this season including accounting for all six TDs against Miami. He ranks fourth in scoring in the NCAA.
300-PLUS YARDS RUSHING
Ohio has broken the 300-yard rushing barrier three times this season including hitting a season-high of 393 rushing yards against Toledo. Ohio racked up 300-plus rushing yards for two weeks in a row with a 336 against Kent State and 335 against Bowling Green. The Bobcats haven't posted back-to-back 300-plush rushing games since 2015. Ohio is averaging 248.9 rushing yards per game, which ranks second in the Mid-American Conference and 14th in the NCAA.
With their win over Kent State, Ohio became bowl eligible for the ninth straight season which leads the Mid-American Conference. Only 11 teams have longer bowl eligible streaks than Ohio, with Florida State leading the country with 35 years of bowl eligibility.
1. Ohio - 9 years (2008-2017) *
T2. Toledo - 4 years (2014-2017)*
T2. Central Michigan - 4 years (2014-2017)*
T2. Western Michigan - 4 years ( 2014-2017)*
*Bowl Eligible this year
Ohio RS junior running back A.J. Ouellette is on pace to be the Bobcats first 1,000 yard rusher since Beau Blankenship in 2012 (1,604). Ouellette has 980 yards rushing so far this season and is averaging 81.7 yards per game, which ranks sixth in the MAC. Ouellette has already eclipsed his best rushing season to date, when he rushed for 804 yards a true freshman.
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 11 games at corner for the Bobcats. Ellis ranks second in the country and leads the MAC with 20 passes defended (breakups + interceptions) while Fox is sixth in the MAC with 11 passes defended. Ellis has made two pick sixes this season while Fox has two picks for 38 yards returned.
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.
In its first season after shutting down its football program in 2014, the UAB Blazers turned in an 8-4 regular season record with a 6-2 mark in C-USA action. UAB is coming off a 28-7 win over UTEP in its season finale on Nov. 25. Their head coach Bill Clark was named National Coach of the Year by CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and was the C-USA Coach of the Year.
UAB is averaging 29.6 points per game and 364.6 yards of total offense per game including 190.2 on the ground and 174.4 through the air. Freshman running back Spencer Brown has racked up 1,292 yards to lead the Blazers on the ground averaging 5.5 yards on 237 carries this season. He also has 10 rushing touchdowns and is averaging 107.7 yards per game. RS junior quarterback A.J. Erdely has taken most of the snaps for the Blazers this season going 181-293 with four interceptions and 16 touchdowns for 2,077 yards. He is averaging 173.1 yards per game. Erdely's favorite target has been RS junior wide receiver Andre Wilson who has caught 48 passes for 619 yards with six touchdowns and is averaging 12.9 yards per catch and 51.6 yards per game.
UAB is giving up 24.3 points per game and 357.8 yards of total offense to its opponents including 188.0 through the air and 169.8 on the ground. RS senior linebacker Tevin Crews leads the Blazers with 95 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. RS junior cornerback Broderick Thomas is second on the squad with 91 tackles and has a team-high 62 solo stops. RS junior defensive lineman Stacy Keely leads the Blazers with four sacks while RS junior cornerback Mar'Sean Diggs leads the Blazers with five interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
Ohio finished the regular season with a 31-24 loss at Buffalo. The Bobcats are 8-4 and finished with a 5-3 MAC record, which was second in the MAC east.
Ohio is averaging 38.9 points per game, which leads the MAC and Ohio's 430.9 per game total offense ranks third in the league. Ohio is averaging 244.2 yards on the ground and 186.8 through the air. Redshirt junior running back A.J. Ouellette leads Ohio's rushing attack with 980 yards per game and seven touchdowns. Ouellette is averaging 5.3 yards per carry which ranks second in the league. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke has gone 149-274 for 2,018 yards with 15 passing touchdowns, 21 rushing touchdowns and seven 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 35 catches averaging 14.1 per reception and has 494 yards and four receiving touchdowns. RS junior wideout Papi White has racked up 525 yards to lead Ohio with two scores and 32 catches.
Ohio is holding its opposition to 25.8 points per game and 373.2 yards of total offense per game including 111.4 on the ground and 261.8 through the air. Redshirt senior linebacker Quentin Poling leads the Bobcats with 102 tackles and 47 solo stops so far this season. Poling has 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on the season with three forced fumbles. RS sophomore safety Javon Hagan is second on he team with 76 tackles including 39 solo stops. Hagan has five pass breakups, a fumble recovery and an interception. Ellis has 18 pass breakups and two interceptions while Fox has nine pass breakups with one interception.
AN OHIO WIN WOULD...
-Give head coach Frank Solich his 97th win at Ohio (97-71) and 155th career win (155-90)
-Give Ohio its first bowl win since 2011.
-Move Ohio to 1-0 over UAB.
-Give Ohio nine wins under Solich for the fifth time.
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 54 of its 59 trips (92%) inside the 20, including 47 touchdowns (80%). That percentage sits atop the Mid-American Conference and ranks the Bobcats 10th nationally. 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 54 punts for 2,179 yards and has pinned 20 punts inside the 20-yardline with 20 fair catches and just two touchback. Farkas also pulled off a fake punt at Purdue and picked up a first down on a 16-yard rush. Farkas is averaging 40.4 yards per punt with a long of 57. 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
Ohio head football coach Frank Solich announced March 3 the addition of three key staff members who have joined the Bobcats program.
Solich announced the addition of De'Angelo Smith (cornerbacks) and Pete Germano (defensive line) as assistant coaches and the appointment of Ryan Bainbridge as Director of Player Personnel and High School Relations.
SOLICH MOVES INTO THIRD IN MAC CAREER WINS
Head coach Frank Solich moved into third in MAC Career Head Coaching Victories. Solich needs 12 more wins to move into a tie with Bill Hess for second all-time in MAC Career Coaching wins.
Most MAC Head Coaching Wins, Career
1. 110, Herb Deromedi, Central Michigan, 1978-93
2. 108, Bill Hess, Ohio, 1958-77
3. 96, Frank Solich, Ohio, 2005-present
AMONG THE BEST IN THE MAC
Ohio's 91 wins since 2006 are the second most victories by any school in the Mid-American Conference during that period. Northern Illinois is the only school that has more wins.
1. Northern Illinois - 97
2. Ohio - 91
3. Central Michigan - 83