BOISE, Idaho – Coach Frank Solich, quarterback Nathan Rourke and safety Javon Hagan spoke with members of the media ahead of the Bobcats’ appearance in the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where they will play Nevada.
- On Dec. 31, The Post reported that Solich and Ohio reached an agreement on an extension to his contract. The athletic department formally announced the extension on New Year’s Day. Solich’s extension keeps him at Ohio through the end of the 2021 season.
“We have a new AD, Julie Cromer, and she’s been great in terms of visiting with and realizing that her direction and how she wanted to take the program basically matches my direction,” he said. “I feel really good about it.”
- Ohio last played on Nov. 26 and have had a month and change out of in-game experience. This is the first time the program is playing Nevada, and it certainly comes with question marks after Wolf Pack coach Jay Norvell fired three of his defensive coaches, including his defensive coordinator.
“We’ve been given a whole bunch of looks in practice and we’re doing our best to execute against them,” Rourke said. “They could be giving us a completely different defense, or they could be rolling with what they did in the season.”
- Both Rourke and Hagan will be playing in their last game for Ohio as the two are both a senior and redshirt senior respectively. They’ve appeared in a combined 77 games for the Bobcats in the last three seasons and both were First-Team All-Mid-American Conference selections at the end of this season.
“It's about just finishing strong, closing out,” Hagan said. “It's been a terrific season, despite the record and the losses that we had, we had a lot of tough losses, a lot of close losses, but we're the type of ballclub that always looks forward and leaves the past in the past.”
- Ohio (6-6, 5-3 MAC) lost four games by a combined 11 points, including a 24-21 loss against Miami in the de facto MAC East Division championship game.
- This is the Bobcats’ second appearance in the Potato Bowl after a 2011 victory over Utah State. Then-quarterback Tyler Tettleton led Ohio on a two-minute drive and with 13 seconds left in the game, he scored the winning touchdown to give Ohio the 24-23 win.
“I remember sitting in this same spot after the game and feeling pretty good about things,” Solich said. “I think a bowl game is a mixture of what takes place in the three or four days before you’re able to be at the site of the place.”
- Since the 2011 win, the Bobcats have made six bowl appearances with this being their third consecutive. If they win on Friday, it would be the program’s first time winning three consecutive bowl games.
- Ohio ended the season by winning its last two games after it defeated Bowling Green and Akron to become bowl eligible. In those two games, the Bobcats put up a well-combined over 1,000 yards and forced several turnovers.
“I think that all three units played its best football right at the end of the year,” Solich said. “Hopefully we can, as you mentioned, carry that momentum into this next game.”