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2019 MAC Football Week 1 Game Recap: Ohio rolls Rhode Island, 41-20

Ohio plays well in all three phases to start the season 1-0.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 19 Frisco Bowl - San Diego State v Ohio Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Ohio’s first team units turned in a strong effort in all phases against a good “Rhody” squad.


Ohio’s starting offense scored on seven out of eight drives, with the only non-scoring drive being a one-play QB-kneel at the end of the first-half, winning by a final score of 41-20.

Ohio’s offense mixed the run and the pass well, scoring its first touchdown of the season on a 13-play drive covering 94 yards. QB Nathan Rourke was 6 of 7 for 76 yards on the drive, spreading the ball around to five different receivers. On the day, nine different Ohio players recorded at least one catch.

Ohio’s QB Nathan Rourke looked sharp throughout the contest, completing 73% of his passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

URI kept it a tight game in the first half, led by WR Aaron Parker, who finished the day with 9 receptions for 144 yards and a TD. Parker has NFL-caliber talent and it showed when he made multiple tough catches, several in double coverage.

Ohio came out of halftime with a 17-6 lead and extended it to 24-6 on its first possession, a 10-play, 72-yard drive. The drive was capped on a four-yard fade route to TE Ryan Luehrman for a touchdown.

URI answered quickly to bring the score to 27-13 after Aaron Parker made a great 34 yard TD catch in double coverage.

Ohio went on a 17-0 run in its next three possessions to seal the victory. Following an Ohio FG, Ohio got the ball at URI’s 16 yard line after the Rams punter covered up a bad snap. After a few plays, Ohio scored on a 6-yard run by De’Montre Tuggle-his first carry as a Bobcat.

After another URI punt, Ohio scored again on a 55 yard run by Tuggle. Ohio rushed for 278 yards (a 7.3 yards per carry average) with five different ball carriers getting touches.

Nathan Rourke led all ball carriers with 10 carries for 75 yards and a score.

Ohio’s specialists played well. Michael Farkas was able to help keep URI’s explosive return game in check with well-placed kickoffs, limiting URI to 16.3 yards per kickoff return on the day.

Louie Zervos was 2-2 on FGs and 5-5 on extra points.

Ohio’s pass defense played much better than it did in last year’s opener where Howard passed for 439 yards and 2 touchdowns. URI’s Vito Priore did finish with 291 yards passing and 2 TDs but most of that was due to a rare talent in WR Parker combined with yards at the end of the game against the second-team defense.

Ohio’s Jared Dorsa led the defense with eight tackles, a half-sack, and a QB hurry. Ohio DT Cole Baker had a solid game with 1.5 sacks.

Up next, Ohio takes on the Pitt Panthers on September 7th, at 11 am EST. The game will be broadcast on ACCN.