On a picture-perfect day in the Bahamas, the Ohio University Bobcats (8-4, 5-3 MAC) and UAB Blazers (8-4, 6-2 CUSA) squared off in the Bahamas Bowl. After a notoriously exciting game, the Ohio emerged victorious 41-6.
Ohio entered the game for their ninth consecutive bowl-eligible season, appearing in their fourth consecutive bowl. Coming off of two years without a football game, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was able to re-enter the college football scene with a tremendous 8-4 season.
Nathan Rourke took the primary passing role for the Bobcats. Rourke passed 18 times, completing 12 passes for 185 yards. He finished with two passing touchdowns and no interceptions. Nathan Rourke also received a key pass from Andrew Meyer for 15 yards. DL Knock and Papi White each recorded receiving touchdowns. Quinton Maxwell replaced Rourke in the fourth quarter to give the explosive Canadian a break. Maxwell finished 1-for-3 and 10 yards. Papi White led the Bobcats in receiving with 106 yards on four receptions, including this 56-yard touchdown reception:
As expected, the Bobcat rushing attack dominated the Blazers. Dorian Brown led the rushers with 152 yards on 12 carries. Nathan Rourke also put up 30 yards on his own three carries. As a team, Ohio gained 249 rushing yards. Before leaving due to injury, A.J. Ouellette racked up 26 yards on eight carries. Ohio’s success on the ground set up the pass beautifully.
Louie Zervos performed Ohio’s kicking duties, making fivee of his six extra points and did not attempt any field goals. Michael Farkas punted four times, averaging 43 yards per punt. Papi White and Kylan Nelson took on the task of punt returning for Ohio, earning 23- and 34-yard returns, respectively.
A.J. Erdely faced heavy defensive pressure as UAB’s quarterback. Erdely managed to go 24-for-45 and 254 yards, primarily on high-completion passes. He finished with no interceptions. Ronnie Turner Jr. led the team with 67 receiving yards on four catches. Nobody scored any touchdowns on the stout Ohio defense.
Ordinarily, UAB is used to spreading the ball around in the running back position. Today, Spencer Brown took the bulk of the carries. Brown earned 37 yards on 13 carries. James Noble III was th most efficient rusher, earning 32 yards on only five carries. UAB earned 99 yards on 25 carries as a team.
Joel Dixon averaged 42 yards per punt through the Blazers’ five punts. Nick Vogel attempted three field goals, connecting from 34 and 25 yards away, but having the first attempt blocked. Vogel was not afforded an opportunity to try any extra points.
Ohio scored first on a two-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Rourke to DL Knock. Papi White scored again for the Bobcats on a wide-open 56-yard touchdown reception from Rourke. Louie Zervos missed the extra point wide left, leaving the score 13-0. UAB attempted a 38-yard field goal from Nick Vogel, but Ohio was able to block it at the line.
Early in the second quarter, Dorian Brown scored on a 74-yard touchdown run. A series of big plays for the Blazers set them up for a 34-yard field goal from Nick Vogel. Dorian Brown stepped in for Ohio when AJ Ouellette left with a re-injured shoulder. Brown scored again shortly after that on a nine-yard touchdown run. Despite an excellent kickoff return, the Blazers were unable to score again before halftime.
After the break, the Blazers came out with renewed energy en route to 25-yard field goal from Vogel. An athletic punt return from Kylan Nelson set up Dorian Brown for a 25-yard Bobcat touchdown. An Ohio trick play set up Dorian Brown with another touchdown run, from 14 yards away.
Without working scoreboards or visible play clocks, Ohio easily ran down the game clock in the fourth quarter. UAB had an opportunity to score on their final drive, but elected to return home without any additional injuries.
Ohio showed dominance all game long, winning 41-6. With the win, Ohio will finish 9-4 after another successfully coached season by Frank Solich. UAB will finish 8-5, which is still very good for not playing any games in 2015 or 2016.