Rourke goes down with injury, Ohio drops Week Zero game at San Diego State 20-13

Posted on:

< < Back to

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (WOUB) – Ohio fell short 20-13 against San Diego State in its Week Zero game to kick off the 2023 season. 

The Bobcats kept things close with the Aztecs to open up the game. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke started for them for the first time following his ACL tear that occurred in November. 

Rourke completed 8-of-10 passes for 75 yards before going down with an injury during the first quarter, but Ohio coach Tim Albin didn’t seem worried. 

“Kurtis wanted to go back in, we’re gonna go back to Athens and get him checked out a little bit closer, an x-ray maybe” Albin said. “I’m not too concerned about it at this time.”

Gianni Spetic converted two field goals and that’s the only way Ohio found the scoreboard in the first half.

Right before halftime, the Aztecs intercepted a pass from CJ Harris. Jalen Mayden capitalized off the turnover by connecting with a wide open Mark Redman for a 13-yard touchdown. The Bobcats trailed 10-6 heading into the locker room. 

For a majority of the second half, Ohio’s offense was continuously stopped by a dominant San Diego State defense. That along with struggling to move down the field and three interceptions from Ohio were costly. 

“We can’t have those kind of mistakes in a tight ball game,” Albin said. “We knew that going in their defense, their front seven, really good.”

Despite the offensive struggles, the defense stepped up in big ways. Bryce Houston led the Bobcats with 13 tackles and Keye Thompson had five. 

“I’m happy with Bryce and Keye,” Albin said. “Both those guys are solid. They’re our leaders out there, those two linebackers, their captains, but we played a lot of guys on defense today, particularly the front seven.”

The Aztecs extended their lead when Mayden found Redman for their second touchdown connection of the game to make it 20-6. 

Harris found Miles Cross for a three-yard touchdown pass with just under two minutes remaining to cut the Bobcats deficit 20-13. But shortly after another interception sealed the deal and allowed the Aztecs to run away with the victory. 

Ohio looks to bounce back against LIU in its home opener on Sept. 2 at Peden Stadium.