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Ohio Football: Bobcats wrap-up first scrimmage of 2018

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*NOTE: any stats used are unofficial*

ATHENS, OH — Ohio Football is one step closer to opening week after completing it’s first scrimmage of the 2018 season.

The scrimmage featured most of Ohio’s second and third-string players with the exception of starting quarterback Nathan Rourke. The Junior captain was 14-of-19. 11 different receivers caught a pass from Rourke, with no one catching more than two passes.

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke talks about his thoughts on the team’s first scrimmage of the season.
Photo credit: Thomas Garverick

Even though the offense was moving the ball up-and-down the field consistently with Rourke under center, he and the rest of the team remain hungry for better results.

“A lot to still work on,” Rourke said. “I’m excited where we’re at, but we’re still far away from where we need to be.”

Rourke himself looked like a quarterback recently deserving of being named to the Manning Watch list – The Canadian completed nearly 75 percent of his passes, but Rourke felt like he left a couple throws out there.

“I had a few balls that I didn’t put in the place that I wanted them to end up to,” Rourke said. “I think the rest of the offense felt like we didn’t put our best effort. I have no doubt that we will come out and improve the things that we messed up on.”

The offense didn’t have that extra gear that Bobcat fans are accustomed to seeing. The Bobcats were without most of their starting position players.

Red shirt senior running back A.J. Ouellette, Wide Receivers Papi White and Andrew Meyer did not suit up for OHIO. During the very first stages of camp, projected starting receiver Elijah Ball went down with what would be later confirmed as a career-ending knee injury.

With three of his top-four guys sidelined, Rourke was spreading the wealth to the bodies that were out there catching balls. Coming in to camp, the receiving group faced a lot of questions talent wise, but Rourke feels otherwise.

“Receiver wise, we’re very deep,” Rourke said. “We have some really talented young guys. We just have to bring them along and get their heads in the playbook.”

The Bobcats offense last year led the Mid-American Conference in scoring offense at 39.1 points-per-game – while Rourke thinks the offense can approve upon that impressive number, he thinks the defense will rise up the rankings as well.

“The sky’s the limit for this team,” Rourke said. “I think both sides of the ball are ready to capitalize on any opportunity that we are given. We have big expectations for this team internally.”

The Bobcats wrap-up their final week of camp next week. They’re back at Peden Stadium Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. All practices remain open to the public.

The team’s first game is Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. when they host Howard at Peden Stadium.

Follow @Bobcatshowcase on Twitter for OHIO sports coverage all season long and Sports Director Thomas Garverick @Tommygarv1