[Ethan Sargeant | WOUB]

Ohio remains unbeaten at home with 24-17 win over Northern Illinois

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – It was a beautiful day for football Saturday as Ohio (5-3, 3-1 MAC) took down Northern Illinois (2-6, 1-3 MAC) on its home turf, 24-17.

Both senior day and the official dedication for Frank Solich Field at Peden Stadium made for an exciting and special afternoon for the Bobcats.

“I am so happy for those guys to get a Saturday game in the crowd and to get the win for those guys, the program of course and Coach Solich’s dedication to the field, very emotional for a lot of people.” head coach Tim Albin said.  

The Bobcats keep unbeaten streak at home

Frank Solich Field at Peden Stadium is the place to be. 

The Bobcats have won all four home games this season, continuing to impress in front of the Bobcat faithful and Saturday proved to be no different.

James Bostic goes for a catch against Northern Illinois
James Bostic reaches to catch the ball against Northern Illinois [Max Correa | WOUB]
During halftime longtime Ohio head coach Frank Solich was honored through a name dedication ceremony. The moment was a special one for the winningest coach in MAC history and those who surrounded him. 

“I heard the guys on defense talking about it, we don’t lose on the Frank,” head coach Tim Albin said. “The guys have been talking about it all week, we don’t lose on the Frank.”

Seniors take the field one last time on a Saturday

Many seniors were honored before the game for their time with the Bobcats. Players like Kai Caesar, Tariq Drake and Bryce Houston, among others who have meant a lot to the program, were celebrated. 

A huge leader and captain for the Bobcats, Caesar has put in his time and along the way has built a close relationship with Albin. 

“I got a big hug from him,” Albin said. “I’m happy for him, all those guys, they deserve today.”

The Bobcats have four games left as they try to make a push for the MAC title game and this group of seniors is all for making it there. 

Defense holds Northern Illinois to 17 points

For the second straight week, Ohio has held its opponents to under 20 points. It’s been an opposite story for a majority of the season where the least amount of points allowed was 31 against Kent State. 

Ohio’s defense stopped Northern Illinois multiple times in the red zone, forcing it to kick three field goals. The Huskies only touchdown was to tie the game at 17 along with a two-point conversion attempt that was good.

Ohio goes after the Northern Illinois running back
Ohio’s defense gets all over the ball against Northern Illinois [Max Correa | WOUB]
A big time deflection from Kai Caesar in the fourth quarter helped led the Bobcats to later get the victory.

Sam Wiglusz stands out in crucial moments

The graduate student took two big trips to the end zone in crucial moments for the Bobcats. One came on the first drive of the game when Kurtis Rourke found Wiglusz in the end zone for an 8-yard score. 

The other was to regain the lead with 7:00 minutes remaining. Rourke connected with Wiglusz for a 22-yard catch in the end zone that may have been bobbled around, but it was called a fair catch.  

For Albin, he wants to give Wiglusz the ball more. 

“His play is really, really impressive,” Albin said. “We’ve got to find ways to get him involved in the game plan.”

Wiglusz continued to prove this season why he is an important aspect of the wide receiver room for Ohio.

What’s next?

With the huge victory against the defending MAC champions, the Bobcats have an 5-3 overall record and are 3-1 in MAC play.

The Bobcats get a small break before they begin midweek gameplay. They’re back in action on Nov. 1 against Buffalo at 7:30 from Frank Solich Field at Peden Stadium.