Ohio Football: Spring practice ends with scrimmage at Peden Stadium

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ATHENS, Ohio — The Ohio football team concluded spring practice at Peden Stadium. The biggest takeaways: The Bobcats are trying to figure out who’s going to be Nathan Rourke’s backup come the first game on August 31st and the defense looks sharp — the turnover belt will be back in 2019.

“There were flashes out there of what we can be,” Ohio football head coach Frank Solich said. “We’re going to need a lot of work in the off-season. We’re going to have to have some interior linemen come through for us. On the defensive line, some guys have to continue to get better and then on the offensive line to have the depth that you’re going to need at those positions. Other than that, I think that we’re pretty solid at where we’re at with talent on the defensive and offensive side of it.”

Quarterback Nathan Rourke only saw 10 snaps today, but he’s the confirmed starter. It’s more about who will be playing behind him: His brother Kurtis Rourke or  Joe Mischler.

” Well, [Nathan Rourke] hasn’t had a lot of snaps this spring,” Solich said. “We’ve been real intent on giving a lot of snaps to his brother Kurtis, and Joe [Mischler] to try and give them a chance to show, and that battle is going to continue into the fall.”

“He’s come along way since Day 1,” Nathan Rourke said of his brother Curtis. “I think he had a phenomenal spring. He’s shown that he has a good grasp of the playbook. I think he’s done a really phenomenal job of stepping up because things have been a lot more complicated then they were in high school. He’s come in and taken it in as it is and gotten better every single day and I think that’s a testament to how hard he works and obviously his talent shows.”

Meanwhile, the defense looked great — they forced four turnovers, including a fumble recovery that ultimately was a scoop and score by Austin Clack.

“I think that was big for us. I think we’re used to it as well. We led the nation in turnovers last year so it;s not new for us,” Clack said. “All of our guys are ball-hawks, so I think that’s something that we can really hang onto and take into the fall.”

Ohio opens their season on Aug. 31st against Rhode Island at Peden Stadium.