BOWL GAME PREVIEW: Ohio is favored in today’s Arizona Bowl game with Wyoming, 4:30 pm; Bobcats Game Notes




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Athens, Ohio—The Ohio football team (9-4, 7-1 MAC) is set to travel to Tucson, Ariz. on Dec. 30 for the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl against the Wyoming Cowboys (7-5, 5-3 MWC). Kickoff is set for 4:30 ET/2:30 MST at Arizona Stadium. The game can be seen on Barstool.TV with Jake Marsh, Dave Portnoy and Big Cat on the call; Caleb Pressley and Adam “Rone” Ferrone will be on the sideline.

The Bobcats’ matchup can also be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 15th season as the “Voice of the Bobcats” and will be joined by Ohio alum Rob Cornelius, who has been a part of the broadcasts for two decades.

The Bobcats and the Cowboys met twice in consecutive seasons, 2007 and 2008. 

The Cowboys engineered a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Ohio, 34-33, in 2007. The following year, Ohio opened their season at Wyoming. The Cowboys pulled off another fourth-quarter comeback, defeating the Bobcats 21-20.  

Wyoming enters this matchup with the Bobcats with a 7-5 overall record and 5-3 against MWC opponents. Last time out, they fell to Fresno State, 30-0. 

Wyoming recorded 191 yards of total offense passing for 104 yards and rushing for 87 yards. Wyoming held Fresno State to only 297 yards of offense over 100 yards below their season average and 100 yards below their average yards passing per game at 183 for the night.

The Cowboy defense was paced by Easton Gibbs with 12 tackles, as he went over 100 for the season becoming the 61st player in Wyoming history to record 100-plus tackles in a season. Oluwaseyi Omotosho recorded a career-high eight tackles including a sack.

The Wyoming offense was paced by quarterback Andrew Peasley passing for 104 yards on 12-of-29 passing. Running back Titus Swen rushed for 75 yards going over 1,000 for the season. He is the 12th Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards as that has been done 16 times. Wide receiver Josh Cobbs grabbed four passes for 23 yards. John Michael Gyllenborg recorded a career high three catches for 21 yards.

Fresno State took the lead on the opening drive on a five-play, 66-yard drive ending in a four-yard run from Jordan Mims. Quarterback Jake Haener connected on a pair of passes for 33 yards on the drive to set up the score for the Bulldogs in the opening two minutes of the game.

The Bulldogs took a 14-0 lead with 2:17 left in the first quarter on a Haener touchdown pass to Nikko Remigio from six yards out. The eight-play, 41-yard drive just set up by a partially blocked punt. Haener passed for 38-yards on the drive.

Fresno State got pressure once again and blocked another Clayton Stewart punt this time for a safety to take a 16-0 lead four minutes into the second quarter. Mims would add another touchdown following the free kick and took a 23-0 lead with 8:28 remaining in the opening frame. That would be the score going into halftime, as Wyoming was held to 73 yards of total offense.

Mims would score his third touchdown of the game from two yards out for a 30-0 contest with 7:55 remaining in the third quarter. 

On the season, the Cowboys are averaging 20.8 points per game; their opponents have been averaging 23.4 points per game. 

Wyoming averages 187.8 rushing yards per game, while putting up an average of 127.8 yards per game through the air. 

The Ohio football program fell to the Toledo Rockets in the Mid-American Conference Championship, 17-7. 

In the air, redshirt sophomore quarterback CJ Harris finished the game 17-for-31 on 163 yards. Redshirt freshman running back Sieh Bangura led with four receptions while junior wide receiver Jacoby Jones accumulated 38 yards on three catches. 

Bangura also led the team on the ground, scoring Ohio’s only touchdown. He finished the game with 20 carries on 56 yards. 

Defensively, graduate student cornerback Zack Sanders led with 10 tackles and one tackle for loss while sixth year safety Alvin Floyd had six solo tackles and redshirt senior linebacker Bryce Houston recorded two tackles for loss. 

The Rockets struck on the first drive, taking an early 7-0 lead. With 6:47 remaining in the half, Bangura scored with a two-yard rushing touchdown. Freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos followed with a good kick, tying the game 7-7. Just before halftime, Toledo kicked a 44-yard field goal to take a 10-3 lead. 

After a scoreless third quarter, the Rockets wrapped up a 16-play, 90-yard drive with a passing touchdown, taking a 10-point lead with 10:36 left in the game. Unable to score again, the Bobcats fell at Ford Field, 17-7.

Currently, the Bobcats are 9-4 overall and 7-1 in MAC play. They average 31.92 points, 138.9 rushing yards and 285.31 passing yards per game. 

Quarterback CJ Harris made his first collegiate start against Bowling Green (Nov. 22); on the season, he is 32-for-64 with one touchdown on 393 yards in the air. 

On the ground, Sieh Bangura has net 940 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns, Nolan McCormick has 303 rushing yards on 81 attempts, while Harris has three touchdowns on 116 yards.

Sam Wiglusz leads the receivers with 69 catches and 11 touchdowns on 850 yards. Jacoby Jones has five touchdowns on 732 yards while James Bostic currently has 592 yards, 32 receptions and one touchdown. 

Keye Thompson leads the defense with 96 tackles, 45 of which are solo. He has three pass breakups, five quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Bryce Houston has 72 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and eight quarterback hurries while Alvin Floyd is just behind him with 70 tackles and five pass breakups. 

Jack Wilson has 38 punts on the season, accumulating 1410 yards and averaging 37.11 yards per punt while Jonah Wieland has recorded 621 yards on 16 punts. 

In 81 kickoffs, Tristian Vandenberg has recorded 4,880 yards and 31 touchbacks. 

Nathanial Vakos continues his strong freshman season, going 19-for-23 on field goals and 48-for-49 on PATs. So far this season, he’s scored 105 points. 

The Ohio football team was represented by redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke and graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz on the 2022 Academic All-America® football teams selected by the College Sports Communicators on Dec. 20. 

Both Rourke and Wiglusz earned spots on the 2022 Academic All-America® Second Team.

The Ohio football team placed 18 student-athletes on the 2022 Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, as announced by the league on Dec. 19. 

The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport.

Graduate student wide receiver James Bostic, redshirt junior linebacker Caden Campolieti, redshirt senior wide receiver Philip Cole, redshirt senior offensive lineman Kurt Danneker, graduate student safety Tariq Drake, redshirt senior linebacker Bryce Houston, redshirt junior linebacker Kyle Kelly, redshirt freshman running back Nolan McCormick, redshirt freshman safety John Motton, redshirt sophomore safety Nife Oseni, redshirt senior offensive lineman Bryce Ramer, sixth year offensive lineman Brody Rodgers, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kaden Rogers, redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke, redshirt sophomore linebacker Dylan Stevens, redshirt junior offensive lineman Parker Titsworth, redshirt junior kicker Tristian Vandenberg and sixth year punter Jonah Wieland all earned Academic All-MAC honors.

The Ohio football team was represented by nine student-athletes on the 2022 Phil Steele Mid-American All-Conference Teams. 

Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke, graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz and sixth year offensive lineman Hagen Meservy all earned First Team Offense honors while redshirt freshman running back Sieh Bangura was named to Third Team Offense. Redshirt senior Keye Thompson is representing the Bobcats on Third Team Defense while redshirt senior defensive end Jack McCrory and sixth year safety Tariq Drake earned Fourth Team Defense. Freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos and redshirt junior wide receiver Keegan Wilburn both earned Second Team Special Teams accolades.

The Ohio football team’s Kurtis Rourke was named the 2022 Cornish Trophy runner-up. 

The Mid-American Conference player of the year in 2022 was Ohio Jr. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke of Oakville, Ontario. He was fifth in the nation in passing until sustaining a knee injury in Ohio’s second to last game, finishing with 3,256 yards passing, good for 20th in the NCAA.

This is the second time Ontario natives dominated the voting, as all five finalists hailed from the province.

The Ohio football program is represented by three student-athletes on the 2022 College Football News Freshman All-American Team, as announced on Dec. 6. Redshirt freshman cornerback Torrie Cox, Jr. and freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos both earned CFN Freshman All-American Team Third Team honors while redshirt freshman running back Sieh Bangura earned CFN Freshman All-American Team honorable mention.

Head coach Tim Albin was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 

Albin is in his second year as the Bobcats’ head coach and 17th year with the program. After a 3-9 2021 season, Albin led the Bobcats to a 9-3 finish in the 2022 regular season. Under his guidance, the Bobcats finished the nonconference schedule 2-2, with an opening night victory over Florida Atlantic (Sept. 3) and a record-setting offensive game against Fordham (Sept. 24). After falling in overtime against Kent, the Bobcats bounced back to go on a seven-game winning streak, finishing conference play 7-1. The team is undefeated on the newly-named Frank Solich Field, boasting a 6-0 home record after their 38-14 victory over Bowling Green.

Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, Nov. 30. He also earned the Vern Smith Leadership Award, which is presented to the top player in the MAC. 

Rourke went 244-for-353 on 3,256 passing yards, throwing 25 total touchdowns in 11 games. The redshirt junior made program history against Fordham (Sept. 24), going for 527 yards in the air, breaking a record that was set in 1983. He is also second in program history in passing yards in a season as well as passing touchdowns in a season. On the ground, Rourke net 249 yards on 74 carries and scored four touchdowns. He was named one of the Manning Award “Stars of the Week” twice and was a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist. Rourke was named MAC Offensive Player of the Week three times and earned MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week honors once.

Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke was named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 

Bangura is leading the Bobcats on the ground with 11 touchdowns in 177 attempts and 884 rushing yards. Against Akron (Oct. 8), the redshirt freshman scored four touchdowns, three of which were rushing. In the air, Bangura has scored two touchdowns on 195 yards. He earned MAC Offensive Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks after his performances against Akron and Western Michigan (Oct. 15). 

In addition to the Bobcats winning four of the MAC’s five specialty awards, nine Ohio football student-athletes earned All-MAC honors. 

Kurtis Rourke earned All-MAC First Team Offense recognition along with sixth year offensive lineman Hagen Meservy and graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz. Redshirt junior wide receiver Keegan Wilburn represented the Bobcats on All-MAC First Team Specialists. 

Freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos is representing the Bobcats on the All-MAC Second Team, earning offensive recognition as a placekicker. In addition to his Freshman of the Year title, Bangura also earned All-MAC Third Team Offense recognition. Redshirt senior defensive end Jack McCrory, redshirt senior linebacker Keye Thompson and graduate student safety Tariq Drake earned All-MAC Third Team Defense honors.

With their 38-14 victory over Bowling Green last Tuesday (Nov. 22), Ohio clinched the MAC East title and their spot in the championship game on Dec. 3 against Toledo. 

The Bobcats finished the season 9-3 overall and 7-1 against MAC opponents. They went 6-0 on the newly-named Frank Solich Field. 

The Bobcats’ last trip to the MAC Championship was in 2016 when they took on Western Michigan.

The Broncos struck first, scoring in the first quarter. Ohio put seven points  on the board in the second, but entered halftime trailing 23-7.

They fought back in the third, closing the gap to 26-20 with two touchdowns, but ultimately were only able to score with a 37-yard field goal in the fourth, falling to WMU, 29-23.

The Ohio football program was last crowned the Mid-American Conference Champions in 1968.

Head Coach Bill Hess earned Coach of the Year honors after leading his team to a 10-1 season, going undefeated until their 49-42 loss at the Tangerine Bowl against Richmond on Dec. 28. Oveall, the team had seven First-Team All-MAC and three Second-Team All-MAC honorees. 

Over 50 years later, the 1968 championship team still holds multiple records. To name a few, Todd Snyder claims the first two spots for most receiving yards in a game, with 214 against Richmond and 203 against Dayton. Snyder finished 1968 with 777 receiving yards, tying him for first among the all-time junior class. Cleve Bryant is seventh overall in most yards per game (225.8) as well as touchdowns (22). 

Ken Carmon marks one of four Bobcats to be named First-Team All MAC three times. Syder, Bryant and Carmon all earned All-America accolades. 

In program history, the Bobcats have won five MAC Championships, four of which were under Bill Hess’ guidance. 

Ohio won their first championship in 1953 under Carroll Widdoes. Seven years later, Hess’ team won the first of four championships in 1960. Hess’s squads were also crowned champions in 1963 and 1968 with a first-place tie in 1967.  

Redshirt sophomore quarterback CJ Harris recorded his first collegiate start against Bowling Green (Nov. 22), leading the Bobcats to a 38-14 victory and a MAC East title. 

Harris was 10-for-21 on 196 yards with one passing touchdown. Also a threat on the ground, the redshirt sophomore scored three rushing touchdowns 65 yards. 

His performance earned him MAC East Offensive Player of the Week accolades. 

Ohio football Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording has been named on of 51 nominees for the 2022 Broyles Award, which honors college football’s top assistant coaches, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation announced Nov. 15.

The 51 nominees in this year’s class were selected from approximately 1,500 assistant coaches representing 131 FBS programs across the country. The Broyles Award selection process includes the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), broadcasters, a college football hall-of-fame selection committee, and current college head coaches.

A 43-member selection committee of distinguished former head coaches, broadcasters and a committee representing the FWAA will select 15 semi-finalists, five finalists from the list of nominees, and an overall winner.

Proceeds from the 2022 Broyles Award support the Broyles Foundation’s mission to provide a game plan for Alzheimer’s caregivers through education, support, and resources. 

The Ohio football team has seven student-athletes named to the 2022 Academic All-District® Football Teams, selected by College Sports Communicators, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.

The organization announced today (Nov. 22) that representing Ohio football are redshirt junior offensive lineman Christophe Atkinson, graduate student wide receiver James Bostic, redshirt senior linebacker Bryce Houston, redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke, redshirt junior offensive lineman Parker Titsworth, redshirt junior kicker Tristian Vandenberg and graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz.

After tabulating the results of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee’s ballots as well as social media fan votes courtesy of the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote, the National Quarterback Award semifinalists have been selected.

Representing Ohio is redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke.5The next step in the process will be to select the award’s three finalists based on voting from the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee as well as the second round of the Davey O’Brien Fan Vote, which will take place on the award’s three social media accounts—Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The top five vote getters on each platform will receive bonus committee member ballots which will be added to the votes cast by the National Selection Committee.

To participate in the Fan Vote, fans must like the original Davey O’Brien Award post highlighting the respective quarterback. The three finalists will be tabbed on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The winner will be announced live on Thursday, Dec. 8 on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.

Sophomore wide receiver Miles Cross had a career day against rival Miami, leading the receivers with 133 yards and six catches. This marks his first game with over 100 receiving yards. He also snagged his longest reception as a Bobcat (49 yards). 


Just 88 yards into Tuesday’s game, redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke hit a major career milestone, accumulating 5,000 career passing yards. This puts him among the top five Ohio quarterbacks in program history. 

Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke has been named to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 list for week 10. 

Rourke led the Bobcats to a 45-24 victory over the Buffalo Bulls last Tuesday (Nov. 1). The redshirt junior finished the game 20-for-29 with five passing touchdowns on 317 yards, marking the first Ohio quarterback to throw five touchdowns in a game since 2008. On the ground, Rourke accumulated 45 yards on six carries.

The Davey O’Brien Foundation was created in 1977, and the National Quarterback Award, the oldest and most prestigious college quarterback award, was first issued in 1981. Over its time, the Davey O’Brien Foundation has given away more than $1.2 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life.

Redshirt senior linebacker Keye Thompson has been named Mid-American Conference East Defensive Player of the Week twice this season: once for his performance on Tuesday (Nov. 1) against Buffalo and again for his performance against Bowling Green (Nov. 22). 

Thompson played an integral part in holding the Buffalo defense to just 24 points in the Bobcats’ victory over the Bulls last Tuesday. With 11 tackles, three of which were solo, the redshirt senior led the defense. He also recorded 0.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries. On the season, Thompson leads the Ohio defense with 75 total tackles.

Thompson led the Bobcats’ defense against Bowling Green in their 38-14 victory Tuesday night. The redshirt senior recorded 11 tackles, two of which were solo. He also led the team in assisted tackles (9) and recorded two quarterback hurries.

Sixth year safety Alvin Floyd earned Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week accolades for his performance on Tuesday (Nov. 15) against Ball State. 

Floyd led the Bobcats’ defense in their 32-18 victory over Ball State last Tuesday. He finished the game with five solo tackles and seven assisted tackles as well as the only interception. Floyd also registered 0.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup.

Ohio’s 45-24 victory over Buffalo on Tuesday (Nov. 1) marked their sixth victory of the season, making them bowl eligible. 

The Bobcats’ last bowl was the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, where Ohio defeated Nevada 30-21. 

In the Bobcats’ 45-24 victory over Buffalo, Rourke threw for five touchdowns. He is the first Ohio quarterback to do so since 2008. 

The Bobcats’ victory over Buffalo dethroned the Bulls as the leaders of the MAC East. Bowling Green, Buffalo and Ohio are all 4-1 in the MAC. 

Freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos set a personal record, kicking a 55-yard field goal against Western Michigan. 

The field goal put Vakos in the record book, tying him at third for longest field goal in program history. Kevin Kerr is the only other Bobcat to kick a 55-yard field goal, doing so in 1999 and again in 2001. 

The Bobcats defense put on one of their best performances of the season, finishing the game against the Broncos with five interceptions in the second half.

Redshirt senior Bryce Dugan (Milford, Ohio) recorded one while both graduate student Zack Sanders (Lawrence, Kan.) and redshirt freshman Torrie Cox, Jr. (Miami Gardens, Fla.). 

The last time the defense recorded five interceptions in a game was against Bowling Green in 1985. This marks the fourth time in program history the defense recorded five interceptions, tying them for the second-most interceptions in program history.

College football’s top kicking award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl recognizes top kickers each week from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.” Representing Ohio is freshman kicker Nathanial Vakos

Freshman Nathanial Vakos made four field goals including a career-long 55-yard bomb in Ohio’s 33-14 defeat of Western Michigan in MAC action in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Saturday, the Bobcats first road win of the season. The Avon, Ohio native also scored from 35, 33 and 26 yards out. He was 4-for-5 on the day with the miss being the first of a career that now stands at 10-for-11 on field goals. He made his three extra point attempts for a 15-point game, tied for second among FBS kickers this week. His 56 points for the season lead the team in scoring.

The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

The Bobcats the Mid-American Conference in pass completion percentage (65.6), yards (3,709) and average yards per game (285.3). 

Against Akron, the Bobcats finished the game with two 100+ yard receivers: graduate student Sam Wiglusz and junior Jacoby Jones. This marks the first time Ohio has had two 100-yard receivers in a game since 2013 against Eastern Michigan.

Redshirt freshman running back Sieh Bangura was unstoppable on Saturday’s game against Akron, recording four total touchdowns. 

Bangura led the team on the ground with three rushing touchdowns on 16 attempts, accumulating 90 yards. In the air, he made the most of his one reception, recording a touchdown and 25 receiving yards.

His performance earned him MAC East Offensive Player of the Week honors (Oct. 10). 

Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, has named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke earned this honor twice this season: first, for his perfromance in the Bobcats’ homecoming game against Akron (Oct. 8) and again for his performance against Buffalo (Nov. 1). 

Against Akron, Rourke finished the game 24-for-27 with 427 yards in the air and three passing touchdowns, marking his fourth game over 300 yards.

Against Buffalo, Rourke, who also ran for 45 yards, connected on three first-half touchdowns as the Bobcats build a 24-3 advantage on route to snapping Buffalo’s five-game winning streak in a 45-24 MAC victory.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. Since the Manning Award started recognizing Stars of the Week in 2011, 464 different quarterbacks from 129 schools have been recognized. Sixty-seven players from 66 different schools were honored during the 2021 season.

Graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz cross a milestone in his Bobcat career against Kent State (Oct. 1), recording 115 receiving yards. 

Wiglusz recorded six receptions and one touchdown, setting another personal record with a 71-yard reception. 

Saturday (Sept. 24) was a record-setting night for redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke. Not only did he break his personal career records for pass attempts (50) and pass completions (41) while matching his career high for passing touchdowns (4), the redshirt junior set a new single-game program high with 537 passing yards, breaking a record that was set in 1983. On the ground, Rourke finished the night with 10 carries, 45 yards and one touchdown.

This performance earned Rourke his second MAC East Offensive Player of the Week title.

In addition to Kurtis Rourke’s single-game program best 537 passing yards against Fordham, Ohio’s offense broke the program record for total offensive yards in a single game with 692 yards.

The 2018 Bobcats previously held the title, going for 664 offensive yards against UMass in 2018. 

In addition to the offensive records set against the Fordham Rams (Sept. 24), redshirt sophomore wide receiver Keegan Wilburn made history with the third-longest kickoff return for a touchdown in program history at 98 yards. 

Three Bobcats have recorded 100-yard kickoff returns and one Bobcat recorded a 99-yard kickoff return. 

Junior wide receiver Jacoby Jones closed non-conference play with a milestone, receiving over 100 yards in one game as a Bobcat. He also scored his first Ohio touchdowns. 

Jones, who transferred from Northwest Mississippi Community College, finished the game with 104 receiving yards, six receptions and two touchdowns. 

Kicker Nathanial Vakos has been named MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week twice this season: once for her performance during his collegiate debut against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 3) and again after his 55-yard field goal against Western Michigan (Oct. 15). 

Vakos kicked off his collegiate career with a perfect game against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 3). The freshman was 2-for-2 on field goals, putting Ohio on the board in the first quarter with a 29-yard kick. With 1:24 remaining in the second quarter, Vakos’ second field goal attempt hit its mark, this time from 36 yards. He was also 5-for-5 in his PAT attempts.

Vakos had another successful game for the Bobcats against Western Michigan (Oct. 15), going 3-for-3 on PATs and 4-for-5 on field goals. The freshman’s strong game was highlighted by a 55-yard field goal, marking a personal career high as well as tying him for the third-longest field goal in program history.

Kicker Tristian Vandenberg earned MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week (Oct. 3) after his performance against Kent State. Vandenberg kicked for five kickoff returns, going for 259 yards. He averaged 51.8 yards per kick and recorded one touchback.

Quarterback Kurtis Rourke has been named the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week three times this season: once for his performance against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 3), again for his record-setting outing against Fordham (Sept. 24) and most recently for his performance against Buffalo (Nov. 1).

Rourke led the Bobcats to a 41-38 victory over the Owls (Sept. 3). The redshirt junior hit 345 passing yards and threw four touchdown passes, finishing the game 27-for-34 in the air. On the ground, he net 11 yards on 14 rushing attempts with one touchdown, putting him at five total.

Against Fordham (Sept. 24), not only did Rourke break his personal career records for pass attempts (50) and pass completions (41) while matching his career high for passing touchdowns (4), the redshirt junior set a new single-game program high with 537 passing yards, breaking a record that was set in 1983. On the ground, Rourke finished the night with 10 carries, 45 yards and one touchdown.

Against Buffalo (Nov. 1), Rourke led the Bobcats to a 45-24 victory over the Buffalo Bulls. The redshirt junior finished the game 20-for-29 with five passing touchdowns on 317 yards, marking the first Ohio quarterback to throw five touchdowns in a game since 2008. On the ground, Rourke accumulated 45 yards on six carries.

Running back Sieh Bangura earned MAC East Offensive Player of the Week two consecutive times after his performances during the Bobcats’ homecoming game against Akron (Oct. 8) and during their first road victory of the season against Western Michigan (Oct. 15). 

With four touchdowns, Bangura’s stellar offensive performance led the Bobcats to a 55-34 homecoming victory over Akron. The redshirt freshman led the team on the ground with three rushing touchdowns on 16 attempts, accumulating 90 yards. In the air, he made the most of his one reception, recording a touchdown and 25 receiving yards.

Quarterback CJ Harris earned MAC East Offensive Player of the Week accolades for his performance against Bowling Green (Nov. 22). 

In Harris’ first career start, he lead the Bobcats to a 38-14 victory over Bowling Green, clinching the MAC East title and a spot in the championship game. The redshirt sophomore set personal records in every category, highlighted by passing yards (196), rushing yards (65) and touchdowns (4). Three of Harris’ touchdowns were rushing and one was in the air.

Kicker Nathanial Vakos earned MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week (Sept. 5) after his collegiate debut in the Bobcats’ 2022 season opener. 

The freshman was 2-for-2 on field goals, putting Ohio on the board in the first quarter with a 29-yard kick. With 1:24 remaining in the second quarter, Vakos’ second field goal attempt hit its mark, this time from 36 yards. He was also 5-for-5 in his PAT attempts.

Running back Sieh Bangura kicked off the 2022 season with a milestone, rushing over 100 yards in one game for the first time in his collegiate career. 

The redshirt freshman led the Bobcats with 114 net rushing yards, surpassing his total yards in the four games he played in during the 2021 season (93). 

Rourke led the Bobcats to a 41-38 victory over the Owls (Sept. 3). Rourke also broke multiple personal records, setting two career highs. The redshirt junior hit 345 passing yards, surpassing his 308 yard record and threw four touchdown passes, beating his previous record of three. Overall, Rourke was 27-for-34 in the air. On the ground, he net 11 yards on 14 rushing attempts with one touchdown, putting him at five total.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees agreed to name the football field in Peden Stadium to honor long-time Ohio head coach Frank Solich, as announced by the program on Aug. 18.  

The field will carry the name Frank Solich Field starting at first home game of the 2022 season against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 3), with an official field dedication ceremony to take place on senior night against Northern Illinois (Oct. 22).

Solich owns a career coaching record of 173-101. His 173 overall wins rank as the fourth most among active NCAA FBS head coaches. He is the winningest head coach in Mid-American Conference history with 115 overall victories while his 77 conference-only wins rank second to former Central Michigan head coach Herb Deromedi’s 90. His 16 years of service match Deromedi’s (1978-93) for the most in MAC history. Ohio is 115-82 during the Solich era. His 115 victories are the second-most in program history behind Don Peden (121; 1924-46). Ohio has gone 77-46 in conference play since Solich’s arrival in Athens in 2005.

Ohio has had a run of 12-straight non-losing seasons that has included 11 winning campaigns and six years with at least nine victories — including a 10-win campaign in 2011. The 2012 season began with the Bobcats earning a signature win at Penn State, upsetting the Nittany Lions by a score of 24-14. Ohio captured division titles in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2016. Solich led the Bobcats to 11 of their 13 bowl appearances and the first five bowl victories in program history, with back-to-back wins in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and ’12 Independence Bowl and back-to-back-to-back victories in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, ’18 DXL Frisco Bowl and ’20 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (2019 season).

Tim Albin enters his second season as head coach in 2022 after serving as Ohio’s offensive coordinator for 16 years under Frank Solich. 

The 2021 Bobcats finished the season 3-9 overall and 3-5 against MAC opponents. Ohio opened MAC play with a 34-17 victory over Akron (Oct.2). They secured back-to-back wins over Miami (Nov. 2) and Eastern Michigan (Nov. 9), with 35-33 and 34-26 final scores, respectively. 

Albin joined the Ohio Football coaching staff as offensive coordinator in 2005, reuniting with Frank Solich after four seasons together at Nebraska. The 2021 season will mark Albin’s 17th year in Athens. Since his arrival in Athens, Albin has produced offensive units that have consistently ranked among the top of the Mid-American Conference. He also has directed an offensive attack that has practically rewritten all of Ohio’s rushing, passing records, and scoring records. In the past 10 seasons, Albin’s offensive units rank No. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 on the Ohio all-time Top-10 single season scoring list. The Bobcats 368 points in 2018 rank fourth on the all-time list. 

Albin spent the 2004 season as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at North Dakota State, helping the Bison to an 8-3 record and No. 25 national ranking in their first season at the Division I-AA level. NDSU finished the season averaging 378.5 yards of total offense, including 192.4 on the ground, and had four offensive players named first-team All-Great West Football Conference. Albin served with Solich at Nebraska from 2000 to 2003. He started with the Cornhusker program as a graduate assistant, a position he held for three seasons before being promoted to running backs coach and passing game coordinator for the 2003 season. Prior to his stint at Nebraska, Albin was the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State for three seasons, winning the NAIA national championship in 1999 with a 13-0 record. He was named NAIA Football Coach of the Year by Rawlings and American Football Coach Magazine as the Rangers recorded their first undefeated season in history.

Ohio football head coach Tim Albin announced the addition of Spence NowinskyJohn Hauser and Brian Smith to the 2022 coaching staff. 

Nowinsky is stepping into the defensive coordinator role. Most recently, Nowinsky was co-defensive coordinator with Hauser at Miami. Prior to Miami, Nowinsky spent nine seasons at Illinois State, including four as the defensive coordinator, where he coached two-time All-American Colton Underwood. He also coached at NCAA Division II member Emporia State and his alma mater, Minnesota State, where he was a defensive lineman from 1991-94. 

Hauser is joining the Bobcats’ coaching staff as the safeties coach after spending the last eight seasons with Miami, six of which as the co-defensive coordinator. During his first season with the RedHawks, Hauser coached Quinten Rollins, who earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Prior to Miami, Hauser made appearances at the Citadel, Wayne State, Northern Illinois and his alma mater, Wittenberg. While he was a student-athlete at Wittenberg, Hauser earned all-conference honors three times and was on the NCAA Division III All-American team in 2002. 

Smith is filling the role of running backs coach and passing game coordinator. Most recently, he was the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Washington State before being promoted to associate head coach. Smith had multiple stints at his alma mater Hawaii, where he served as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator (2016-19), running backs coach (2009-11) and offensive line coach (2008) and coached 2020 NFL Draft pick Cole McDonald. Other coaching experience includes California Lutheran (2005, 2012) and Occidental College (2013-15). Smith played for Hawaii from 1998-2001 before signing professional contracts with the Baltimore Ravens (2002) and the Green Bay Packers (2003). 

Ohio finished the 2021 season 3-9 overall. They registered three wins against MAC opponents, highlighted by their Battle of the Bricks victory at Peden against Miami (35-33) on Nov. 2. On the road, they defeated Akron (34-17) on Oct. 2 and Eastern Michigan (34-26) on Nov. 9.

Wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon (16 years) and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording (10 years). Co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Allen Rudolph is in his fourth year at Ohio. Tight ends coach Brian Metz, is in his third year with the Bobcats, however, Metz is no stranger to the Bobcats, having spent time as an intern with the program from 2013-14 and as an offensive graduate assistant from 2016-18. 

The Ohio football team has named seven team captains for the 2022 squad: graduate student defensive tackle Kai Caesar (Cache, Okla.), redshirt senior linebacker Bryce Houston (Lewis Center, Ohio) and redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada).

All three were captains for the 2021 team as well. Caesar and Houston are entering their third year as captains while this season marks Rourke’s second season as captain. 

Caesar played in all 12 games in the 2021 season. He finished with 25 tackles, including seven solo tackles. Caesar also registered two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries.

Houston led the team with 104 tackles, including 53 solo stops and eight tackles for loss, putting him sixth overall in the MAC. He set a career-high mark on Oct. 16 at Buffalo, finishing the game with 15 tackles, including 11 solo and four assisted. 

Rourke went 169-for-259, throwing 11 touchdowns in 1,801 yards. He completed 31-of-38 passes against Kent State (Oct. 23) for a season-high 308 yards. On the ground, Rourke rushed 327 yards on 74 attempts and scored three touchdowns, registering a season-high 75 yards against Bowling Green (Nov. 26).

Rourke Named on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award 2022 Watch List
Redshirt junior quarterback Kurtis Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) was named on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List. 

The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc., along with presenting sponsor A. O. Smith Corporation announce the 2022 class of Golden Arm Award candidates. This is the largest selection of active quarterbacks in the history of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award representing 76 schools around the nation. All 10 FBS conferences as well as a football independent are represented on the list. The Big Ten leads the way with 13 preseason selections. 

The preseason Watch List, semifinalists, finalists, and award recipient are selected by the distinguished Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Selection Committee, a group of prominent college football journalists, commentators, announcers, and former players. The award annually recognizes the top senior or upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with their class. Candidates are chosen based on player performance on-and-off the field as we head into the 2022 college football season.

The Ohio football program welcomed a variety of new student-athletes via the transfer portal. Newcomers include: redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Rayyan Buell, redshirt junior defensive end Dontay Hunter II, junior wide receiver Jacoby Jones, redshirt freshman Parker Navarrograduate student cornerback Zack Sanders and graduate student wide receiver Sam Wiglusz

Buell (Hornell, N.Y.) joins the Bobcats after playing for Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he was recognized as a Distinguished Academic All- MACCC and first team NJCAA All-Academic selection. While playing for Hornell High School, he was named the Section V Defensive Player of the Year twice as well as New York State Sportswriters Association Class B All-State third team as a linebacker and Hornell Sports Night Male Athlete of the Year.

Hunter (Westerville, Ohio) transferred from Purdue. Prior to Purdue, he helped lead the 2018 Westerville Central high school team to the Ohio State playoffs. Hunter finished his senior season with 113 total tackles, 101 solo tackles and 12.0 sacks and was named three-star defensive ends by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN.

Jones (Tunica, Miss.) previously played for Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he had 63 receptions, 929 yards and five touchdowns. Jones was named First Team All-MACCC, Third Team All-MACCC and Third Team Fall All-American. He was a two-time Academic All-MACCC and a two-time First Team NJCAA All-American Academic selection. Prior to playing at Northwest Mississippi Community College, Jones was named Second Team All-State and District Offense MVP at Rosa Fort High School.

Navarro (Temp, Ariz.) joins the Bobcats from University of Central Florida. Prior to college, he captained the Desert Vista High School football team from 2018-20. He also played volleyball and ran track in high school. 

Sanders (Lawrence, Kan.) joins the Bobcats as a graduate transfer after a successful career at Missouri State. He made a name for himself quickly, playing in all 11 games as a true freshman in 2017. Sanders played in the majority of Missouri State’s games in 2018, 2020 and 2021, starting in six of 11 games for the 2021 Bears. He finished the 2021 campaign with 23 total stops, including 15 solos and 4 pass break-ups. 

Wiglusz (Brecksville, Ohio) transferred from Ohio State, where he played in 13 games and was named 2021 Academic All-Big 10 He earned three letters in football at Brecksville High School and captained the 2017 team, finishing his high school career with 37 touchdowns and 3,129 yard. Wiglusz was named Second Team All-Ohio, All-Star and set the school record for yards in a single season in 2017 (1,432).

Five former Bobcats are currently active in the CFL, starting with former QB Nathan Rourke (BC Lions). Running back Maleek Irons and wide receiver Papi White are both with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, while running back AJ Ouellette (Toronto Argonauts) and defensive tackle Casey Sayles (Winnipeg Blue Bombers) are also active.  

Rourke was named Most Outstanding Canadian (Nov. 17). He is the first BC Lions’ quarterback and the third quarterback in CFL history to earn the honor. 

Sayles and Ouellette competed against each other in the 109th Grey Cup on Nov. 20. Ouellette and the Argonauts came out on top, winning 24-23. 

Ohio football alumnus Chip Cox is apart of the 2022 CFL Hall of Fame class, earning the honor in his first year of eligibility. Cox played 13 seasons for the Montreal Alouettes, wrapping up his career with the fourth highest total defensive tackles in CFL history (979). 

Multiple former Ohio football student-athletes are representing the Bobcats at the highest level of the sport. 

Outside linebacker Tarell Basham signed with the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 5. 

After signing as an undrafted free agent in April, former Ohio quarterback Armani Rogers made the Washington Commanders’ 53-man roster as a tight end (Aug. 30).

On Nov. 15, the Carolina Panthers signed cornerback T.J. Carrie to their practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on Dec. 6.

Javon Hagan is currently a free agent. Previously, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent before signing with the Arizona Cardinals.

Former Bobcat Quentin Poling is currently active in the USFL, playing for the Birmingham Stallions. In the USFL’s inaugural championship, Poling and the Stallions defeated the Philadelphia Stars 33-30 at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. 

Former Bobcat De’Montre Tuggle has been drafted by the XFL’s Arlington Renegades (Nov. 16). Previously, he earned an invite to the Chicago Bears minicamp.