LAFAYETTE, La. — Ohio headed into Thursday as the underdog against Louisiana. If it wanted to pull out a win, Ohio needed to make drastic improvements to a struggling defense and an offense that can’t find an identity.
But only so much can happen in five days of preparation.
It’s not a shocking loss. According to ESPN, Ohio had a 9.7 percent chance of victory heading into Thursday’s game. But a loss is still a loss, and it highlighted Ohio’s flaws for audiences to see in prime time.
Here are The Post’s fast reactions to Ohio’s 49-14 loss to Louisiana:
Run defense still faltering
Heading into Thursday night, Louisiana averaged 2.8 yards per carry. Ohio’s nonexistent run defense allowed it to more than double that average and average 6.3 yards per attempt.
If there’s been anything consistent about Ohio’s defense through three games, it’s the inability to halt a rushing attack. Missed tackles and poor communication let the Ragin’ Cajuns run downfield and prevented the Bobcats from recording key stops.
Montrell Johnson ripped through Ohio with ease. The freshman running back rushed for 84 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries.
Dual-quarterback system hard to work around
Ohio leaned into its dual-quarterback system of splitting time between Armani Rogers and Kurtis Rourke far more Thursday than it had in its first two games. Splitting the snaps hasn’t produced the results Ohio hoped for. There were snapshots of impressive plays scattered throughout the game, including two touchdown passes by Rourke. However, the constant shifting between Rourke and Rogers prevented either one from finding a decent foothold.
The result? A middling offense that found the end zone twice.
Rushing attack struggles in second half
Louisiana’s run defense struggled out of the gate, and Ohio was able to take advantage of that. Ohio rushed for 103 yards in the first half, and the duo of Rogers and O’Shaan Allison kept Ohio moving downfield.
However, that was just the first half. Ohio netted four rushing yards after halftime. A deep pool of running backs seemed to disappear in last two quarters and Ohio was left sputtering.