Photo Credit: Keegan Shaw

Ohio Football Looks to Finish Non-Conference Slate on a High Note Against UMass

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Ohio football (3-1,1-0) started conference play on a high note against the Eastern Michigan Eagles last Saturday with a 27-20 double-overtime victory. The Bobcats got revenge against the Eagles for last year’s 27-20 loss in Peden Stadium.

Ohio now travels to Amherst, Massachusetts, to go up against the UMass Minutemen (0-5) in their final non-conference bout of the season.

Besides a victory, there is something else on the line for Bobcats head coach Frank Solich as he goes for his 150th career victory. Solich in his career as a head coach is (149-87) with a .631 win percentage.

“We’re going to be playing UMass now with the second road trip in a row for us. This is an important point in our season to play two very good games on the road,” Solich said in his press conference on Monday.

Solich and the Bobcats look to keep their perfect record against the Minutemen with the hope of taking a 3-0 all-time series lead when the final whistle blows Saturday. The last meeting between these two teams was back in 2013 when the Bobcats blew out the Minutemen 51-23 at Peden Stadium.

The only other matchup between the teams came the year before when the Bobcats traveled to Foxborough and came away with an exciting 37-34 victory.

This will be the first game between the two former conference rivals since UMass left the Mid-American Conference in 2015.

Ohio is primed to rely heavily on the run game once again. The Bobcats average 197 yards per game on the ground this season. Lead running back A.J. Ouellette is coming off another huge game, rushing for 145 yards on 26 carries against EMU, and winning his second consecutive offensive player of the week award.

“He has tremendous energy every time he steps out on the field. The line loves to block for him. He’s coming off a year that was difficult for him and difficult for us, and it’s hard to come off a year like that and play well, but that’s exactly what he’s doing,” Solich said.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium.