Ohio Football: Miami Snaps Skid Against Ohio

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Too little. Too late for Ohio.

The Miami Redhawks (4-6, 4-2) rode a red-hot opening half to a 30-28 victory over the Ohio Bobcats (6-4, 4-2) at Yager Stadium. The win snapped Miami’s five-game losing streak against Ohio dating back to 2013.

The Bobcats season hung in the balance late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 28 and the ball on their own one yard line. Nathan Rourke scrambled from pressure two plays later but ran out of room in the back of the end zone.

Safety for Miami, and shattered Mid-American Conference Title hopes for Ohio.

The Bobcats got off to a quick 7-0 lead but Kenny Young, Alonzo Smith and the Redhawk offense were quicker. Miami poured on 28 unanswered points highlighted by a trio of scores from the thunder and lightning duo.

“They played good basic football. Give them a lot of credit I thought they played really well and they made a lot of plays in the first half.” Ohio head coach Frank Solich said postgame. “You know they were 6-for-7 on third down conversions in the first half. Offensively, after the first drive we just seemed completely out of sync.”

Air Canada taxied the runway in the first half as Rourke was held to one yard passing in the first 25 minutes of play, all while finishing 16-of-27 for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Rourke and the offense rebounded in the second half by ripping off 21 unanswered points, including seven from Dylan Conner’s blocked punt touchdown, but it wasn’t the perfect half they needed. A 29-yard field goal miss from Louie Zervos and the safety by Miami were all the Redhawks needed to hold on for a Battle of the Bricks victory.

“We just misfired on a lot of plays today which has not been the case over the past three weeks,” Solich said. “You can’t make those kind of plays and expect that they’ll not come back to haunt you a little bit, our guys battled and came back for a chance to win it and I’m proud of them for that.”

Over the past three weeks Ohio became the seventh team in FBS history to win three games in a row by a 49-14 margin or better. The team crashed down to earth but A.J. Ouellette didn’t get the memo.

The senior rushed for a career-high 168 yards on 15 carries and got things rolling on the first drive of the contest with a 58-yard breakthrough that set Ohio up for the game’s first score.

“Our defense fought back and put our offense in a good situation, we just gotta capitalize next time,” Ouellette said postgame. “Anytime you lose to these rich boys it hurts.”

Up next for Ohio is a red-hot Buffalo team that’s 6-0 in conference. The Bobcats welcome the Bulls into Peden Stadium for a 7 p.m. matchup next Wednesday.