A Record Setting Offensive Performance Leads Ohio Football to Victory

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Nathan Rourke and the Ohio Bobcats (2-2) offense ensured the non-conference schedule finished on a high note with a commanding 58-42 victory over the Umass Minutemen (2-4) at Peden Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Ohio offense produced 664 yards of total offense, the most in Ohio Bobcats history. Nathan Rourke accounted for 459 yards and 4 total touchdowns, the Canadian gunslinger threw for 270 yards and ran for 189.

“Our level of confidence the entire day was pretty high,” Rourke said. That confidence came even after the first pass attempt of the day for Ohio was a pick six.

Ohio was down 14-0 to the Minutemen after the interception, the offense responded by rattling off six consecutive touchdown drives. Ohio was a perfect 6-of-6 on third down in the first half and led 35-28 at the break.

Despite the positives on offense, Ohio’s defense struggled to contain another passing attack as UMass was able to throw for 410 yards in an attempt to keep pace with Ohio.

Head coach Frank Solich wasn’t happy with the defensive performance, saying it was a “tough ballgame” despite the 16-point victory.

“We weren’t playing very well defensively,” Solich said, “It became a question of was it going to be enough points on the board.”

Ohio allowed over 400 total yards for the fourth time in four games but made some big stops late in the ballgame.

“I think we’re getting better every game (defensively),” Solich said.

Ohio and Umass have combined for 208 points over their last two games, with Ohio scoring 58 in each of the two victories.

“We came out to prove a point,” AJ Ouellette said about the record-setting performance. Ouellette accounted for 70 yards and a touchdown while Maleek Irons powered his way to 140 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Ohio’s offense is averaging 39.3 points per game through the first four games, that number would surpass the record-setting pace of the 2017 Bobcats, the best offense in school history.

Ohio now moves to Mid-American Conference play with a matchup on the road at Kent State next Saturday. Ohio is searching for their first MAC Championship since 1968.