Ohio wide receiver Brenden Cope (85) prepares to catch the football while being guarded by Central MIchigan defensive back Sean Bunting (3) during Ohio University’s homecoming football game against Central Michigan on Saturday. (Austin Janning/WOUB)

Ohio Football Visits Bowling Green For First MAC East Tilt

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The Ohio Bobcats (4-2, 1-1) look to get back on track this weekend when they travel to Bowling Green (1-5, 1-1) to take on the Falcons in their first Mid-American Conference East Division showdown. The Bobcats trended in the right direction two weeks ago, winning a high scoring game against UMass the week prior and returned home for the first time in two weeks for their Homecoming game.

However, homecoming was spoiled by the Central Michigan Chippewa’s as they left Peden Stadium with a 26-23 victory.

“Obviously, a disappointing game for us; a disappointing loss,” head coach Frank Solich said in his weekly press conference.

One of the key factors that led to Ohio’s loss was their four turnovers. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Rourke struggled to hold onto the football against CMU, fumbling the ball three times – twice in Chippewa territory –  along with an interception.

“Not all of those turnovers were his fault. I think he had two ball technique errors. You don’t want to take his scrambling ability away because he’s made an awful lot of big plays scrambling and finding open receivers and hitting them at the last second. He’s made a lot of big plays while scrambling, not seeing a receiver open, and then running,” Solich said.

Rourke is trying to get back on track this weekend against a Bowling Green team that is coming in with some confidence after getting their first victory of the year over the Miami Redhawks. That being said, the Falcons so far this season are allowing teams to score 34 points per game, and are giving up 529 yards per game as well.

Despite giving up a lot of points and yards, this game could be a trap for the Bobcats. Bowling Green has had the Bobcats number in the past, winning four of the last five matchups and are fresh off their first victory of the season.

“They have come alive a little bit. That was a huge win for them against a very good Miami football team, so their confidence is shooting through the roof. So obviously we’re going to be taking that on,” Solich said.

If the Bobcats can keep the turnovers down and exploit Bowling Green’s weak defense, then there is no reason why Ohio can’t come out of Doyt Perry Stadium with a bounce-back victory. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.