Ohio Football Prepares to Defend Solich’s Perfect Record Against Kansas< < Back to
Coming off a disappointing loss at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers, the Ohio Bobcats get another chance against a Power 5 team.
The Bobcats (1-1) take on the Kansas Jayhawks (1-1) Saturday at Peden Stadium.
The Bobcats are licking their wounds after a 44-21 loss to the Purdue Boilermakers last Friday night. Ohio gave up 24 points in the second quarter. That scoring outburst by Purdue was aided by two fumbles from Ohio running backs. AJ Ouellette fumbled for the first time in his career and Dorian Brown coughed up the football on Ohio’s side of the field.
Despite the turnovers, Ohio’s biggest issues came on defense. Purdue running back Tariq Fuller rushed for 142 yards in the game and had over 100 yards at the half.
“We are a gap-oriented defense. We didn’t take care of our gaps, our gap responsibilities and that will cause big runs to occur,” Ohio head coach Frank Solich said. “We wanted to play physical, we tried to play physical, but when you have those breakdowns being physical isn’t enough. That ended up hurting us big time, but those breakdowns came in both the run and pass game, which normally hasn’t been the case for us.”
This weeks opponent, Kansas, averages 110 yards per game on the ground. Dorm Williams leads Kansas running backs with 105 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Ohio is in the middle of a quarterback competition. Quinton Maxwell got the start against Purdue but didn’t come close to proving he’s the guy Ohio needs. In just two series, Maxwell went 1-6 for 12 yards. Nathan Rourke came into the game and played the rest of the way. Rourke threw for 211 yards and rushed for 36.
Solich did not name a starter at his weekly press conference but did say both quarterbacks will play.
“You’ll know a lot of that when it’s time to kick the ball off,” Solich said. “We are going to need two quarterbacks to play for us, there’s no question about that so we are going to prepare both really hard.”
Many around the team expect Rourke to make his first career start as a Bobcat. He got the majority of the first-team reps at practice this week and has been the better player through two games.
On the other sideline, Peyton Bender will be under center for the Jayhawks. Bender averages 343.5 passing yards per game and has four touchdowns and four interceptions. His top target, tight end Ben Johnson, already has 10 catches through two games.
Johnson could cause matchup issues for Ohio if linebackers Quinton Poling and Chad Moore are held out of the contest due to injury. Solich said Poling is “questionable” and Moore did not practice on Wednesday.
Ohio defeated Kansas 37-21 in Lawrence last season. Solich is 7-0 all-time against the Jayhawks and this year marks the 50th anniversary of Ohio’s first victory against Kansas.
Kickoff is set for noon and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.