Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Football Prepares for Road Matchup Against Purdue

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The Ohio Bobcats still have a lot to prove after their week one drubbing of the Hampton Pirates. Luckily for them, a nationally televised game against a Power 5 school brings the chance to prove to themselves, and the nation, that they belong.

Ohio travels to West Lafayette, Indiana, to battle Big Ten member Purdue this Friday night at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and it’s the first game under the new lights at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium.

“It’ll be a great atmosphere and I think it is great exposure for our football team, program and Ohio University as a whole,” said Ohio Head Coach Frank Solich when asked about the implications of Friday’s game.

The Bobcats opening game of the season couldn’t have gone any better as they shutout Hampton 59-0. However, critics were quick to point out that the Pirates are a middling FCS team that doesn’t represent the level of competition the Bobcats face in the Mid-American Conference.

“It’s not about who you play, it’s a matter of who you are and how you show up and play. I was pleased with our play” said Solich about the win. Saturday’s game was only the third shutout for Ohio under head coach Frank Solich. The Bobcats are now 12-0 against FCS opponents under Solich.

If Ohio thinks Purdue is a similar challenge to Hampton, they are in for a long night.

The 2017 Boilermakers are a much different squad from Purdue teams of the past, new head coach Jeff Brohm showcased what teams under his leadership are capable of in a hard fought 35-28 week one loss to the 16th ranked Louisville Cardinals.

Purdue showcased some new talent on the outside with redshirt freshman Jackon Anthrop. the wide receiver tallied 82 yards receiving and caught two touchdowns against the Cardinals. If Anthrop is allowed to run rampant it could spell disaster for the Bobcats.

“You have to be smart on how you handle him. He is out of the slot a lot and you are looking at a guy that has quickness, hands and runs great routes” said Solich about Anthrop.

MAC East Offensive Player of the Week Nathan Rourke will not start at quarterback. Instead, Quinton Maxwell is set to begin the game under center with Rourke filling in when Solich sees fit.

“There is no real solid plan on to when we will put Nathan Rourke in. He will go in sometime in the first half and get snaps,” said Solich in Monday’s press conference. “Most likely they will both play in the second half, but we will see.”

Rourke brought an explosive dynamic to the offense against Hampton. Ohio fans should be excited to see how the Canadian performs against a Big Ten opponent.

Ohio is 0-7 versus Purdue all-time but if they can push that record to 1-7, in hostile territory against a Power 5 school; Ohio will have little left to prove.