Ohio University’s running back A.J. Ouellete carries the ball for a rushing touchdown at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio on Saturday Sept 29, 2018. The Bobcats defeated the UMass Minuteman 58-42. (Yukai Peng/WOUB)

Ohio Football Clashes With San Diego State In Frisco Bowl

Posted on:

< < Back to

The 2018 college football bowl season is in full swing and the Ohio Bobcats (8-4, 6-2) are set to battle with The San Diego State Aztecs (7-5, 4-4) in the DXL Frisco Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams and it features two of the most experienced coaches in all of college football. Ohio head coach Frank Solich notched his 100th win as a Bobcat this year and with the retirement of Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, Solich is now the oldest coach in the country at 74. On the other sideline is Rocky Long, who is number four on that list at 69.

The two mainstays are bringing completely different teams into Toyota Stadium both in record and style. Solich and Co. are fresh from a dominant offensive showing down the stretch, winning five of their final six games while scoring 40-plus in every victory. Meanwhile, the Aztecs have fallen flat losing four of their last five games, eclipsing 24 points just once over that stretch following a 6-1 start.

“Number one, they’re a bowl football team so they’re going to be really good. Number two, you just watch from film and when you’ve been in for a while you can get a good feel for what a football team is all about.” Coach Solich said at his end of season press conference. “They play with excitement, they play with energy, they’re fast, they’re tough and so, we’ll get their best shot and we’ll give them our best shot. It should be a heck of a ball game.”

The Aztecs’ offensive output shouldn’t make anyone write them off too soon, especially when taking a peek at that defense. SDSU is ranked 29th nationally in scoring defense (21.9 PPG) and they stifle teams on the ground.

Rocky Long’s defense ranks fourth nationally in rushing yards allowed per game (94.5) including a total of 386 rushing yards given up to the six bowl teams on their schedule. Something’s got to give when they face an Ohio team that boasts the ninth-best rushing attack in the country (262.2 YPG) and tenth ranked scoring offense (41.2 PPG).

“After going in and watching film I have no doubt that they’re a physical football team that will attack you and try to beat you up and wear you down,” coach Solich on the Aztec defense.

The game could come down to the arm of Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke who completed 61.1 percent of his throws for 2,228 yards, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. All of those numbers represent a significant leap from his sophomore campaign, including a school-record 158.3 QB rating.

The Aztecs have never lost to a Mid-American Conference foe, going 13-0-1 all-time. While the Bobcats are trying to capture their fourth bowl game and second back-to-back victory in school history.

Kickoff from Toyota Stadium gets rolling at 8 p.m. on ESPN and WOUB 1340 AM.