College Football

Ohio Routs San Diego State in DXL Frisco Bowl


FRISCO, Texas – On Wednesday evening, the Ohio Bobcats (9-4) faced San Diego State (7-6) in the second annual DXL Frisco Bowl played at Toyota Stadium. The Bobcats, representing the Mid-American Conference, came out of their locker room snarling, and totally dominated the Aztecs of the Mountain West Conference, by a score of 27-0. Even that score doesn’t fully express how completely Ohio outplayed their opponent. The game was played in dreary conditions, with a drizzle throughout and temperatures in the 50’s. It was nationally televised on ESPN.
Bobcats QB Nathan Rourke was the star of this show, with two rushing touchdowns and a touchdown pass. Tailback A.J. Ouellette also ran for 164 total yards gained for Ohio, against what has proved to be a normally stingy Aztec defense against the run.
Conversely, SDSU was never able to mount any serious offensive threat to Ohio’s dominance. They finished the game with 287 total yards gained. The loss added to the late season woes for the Aztecs. It was the fourth straight loss suffered by SDSU during a season which began with a lot of promise and a 7-2 overall record after nine games, but degenerated into a late season slide.   
Rourke had it all his own way in this one. He rushed for a nine-yard TD to put the Bobcats up 10-0 in the second quarter. He ran for another TD of 11 yards and threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to Andrew Meyer on a flea flicker play in the fourth quarter, putting some icing on their cake. Rourke finished wth 206 yards gained on 10-22 pass completions, and rushed for 44 total yards.
Juwan Washington was a lone bright spot for the Aztecs, rushing for 129 yards. Christian Chapman was the starting QB for SDSU, but due to the ineffectiveness of the Aztecs’ offense, Ryan Agnew replaced him during the first half. Agnew threw for 126 yards on 11-24 pass completions, mostly after the contest had long since been decided. Isaiah Washington had three pass receptions totaling 58 yards for SDSU.
When Bill Snyder resigned as the head coach at Kansas State earlier this season, Ohio coach Frank Solich became the oldest coach in the NCAA’s FBS division at 74. Head coach Rocky Long, at 68 years old, led the Aztecs to their eighth straight bowl appearance. They’ve been to a bowl game during each of the eight seasons of Long’s tenure.
Solich praised his teams’ performance.

“I’m really proud of the guys. They have been special right from the start. We look back and look at spring ball and fall camp, you look at summer conditioning and what they went through and it’s special. I’ve been around really good athletes, dedicated athletes, but as a group of athletes, this is about as good as it gets. Not only [about] what they put out on the field, but the offseason character, the way they do things in terms of leadership. It’s a really special group and it’s tough to see these guys [seniors] go. We do have a structured group coming back that will also be really good for our program.”

Ouelette, playing in his final game for the Bobcats, expressed his thoughts about Ohio’s coaching staff, after being named the Offensive Player of the Game.

“The way the team finished the season is a tribute to our coaches. We have a hard nosed head coach and it showed late in the season, wearing other teams down. You can tell their bodies weren’t used to the all the pounding from the season, but for us to go out this way is a tribute to our seniors.” 

Linebacker Evan Croutch was named the Defensive Player of the Game, with 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks for Ohio.
Ohio place kicker Louie Zervos added field goals of 30 yards in the first quarter and 26 yards in the third quarter to the Bobcats’ scoring total.
Ohio became the first team from the MAC to record a bowl game shutout in the league’s history.

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