Photo credit: Logan Riely

Ohio Football Rolls Over Idaho 45-28

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Ohio chose to play by committee against Idaho, and larger numbers led to a larger score.

Bobcat football (1-0) used its depth to get out in front of the Vandals early, on the way to 45-28, season opener win for the ‘Cats.

The running backs, one of Ohio’s deepest positions, showed up Thursday night. Daz Patterson, the no. 2 back for the ‘Cats, proved he’s ready to finish out his Ohio career on a good note.

Patterson took control on an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter. He was responsible for 52 of those yards and took the ball on the final six plays until he carried the rock into the endzone.

Patterson’s speed and elusiveness have always given opposing defenses trouble, but he ran tougher against the Vandals and wasn’t afraid to charge through anyone.

Two redshirt freshmen, Papi White and Maleek Irons, made impacts for Ohio as well. That’s not to forget about Ohio’s starter AJ Oullette who carried the ball nine time for 48 yards (a nice 5.3 yards per carry).

With so much work on the ground, Derrius Vick gave Bobcat fans plenty to be happy about with his performance. He added 34 yards on the ground, and was an efficient 13 of 16 in the air for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Vick was announced as starter less than a week before the game and rewarded head coach Frank Solich with a great performance.

The quarterback helped the Bobcats jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and spread the ball around to his collection of weapons. Vick fumbled the ball early in the first quarter, but otherwise played smart and eliminated mistakes – a problem for both Ohio quarterbacks last season.

JD Sprague saw some time in the game, and completed a 65-yard pass to Brendon Cope. Cope led Ohio receivers with four catches, 129 yard and a touchdown.

On defense, it was Quentin Poling making the big statement early. Poling broke out against the Vandals as a freshman in 2014 with three interceptions. He had another elite performance against Idaho and finished with a career-high 12 tackles.

He forced a fumble on Idaho’s first offensive drive, giving another opportunity for Vick to get the Bobcats in the end zone, as he found Jordan Reid on a 15-yard touchdown pass.

Poling led a front seven that caused the Vandals problems for the majority of the game. The defense forced three turnovers, including a pick-six by Jovon Johnson.

Johnson injured his right leg in the third quarter, though, and that’s when the Ohio defense began to let up.

On the next Idaho drive, quarterback Matt Linehan, receiver Dezmond Epps and the Vandals offense found a rhythm on an eight-play, 79-yard drive en route to a touchdown that brought the Vandals within 11.

The Bobcats failed to slow the Vandals down in the red zone. At the end of Idaho’s final scoring drive, Linehan found his target open in the back of the end zone on the touchdown and on the ensuing two-point conversion.

Ohio’s defense didn’t have to keep up with the explosive Bobcat offense in this game, but Idaho didn’t execute on offense as well as many of Ohio’s future opponents could.

Next on the schedule for Ohio is a matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd Sept. 12, in the Bobcats’ home opener.