Ohio is still a long way from success.
Its 49-14 loss to Louisiana raised more questions than it answered. Ohio allowed a season-high 562 total yards Thursday while managing just 250 of its own. Its dual-quarterback system is a mixed bag, and the offense is still struggling to find a groove.
Ohio has a long road ahead of it, and there are plenty of issues to clean up. However, there have also been flashes of what Ohio can become given the proper work. Here’s a handful of the notable performances — for better or worse — from Ohio’s loss to Louisiana:
Rogers saw more time on the field Thursday than any other game this season, and he took full advantage of that time. The redshirt fifth year went 4-for-6 Thursday, triple his passing attempts from Ohio’s first two games combined.
But Rogers isn’t known for his passing. His rushing ability carried his performance Thursday. He led the Bobcats with 58 rushing yards on seven carries. In his first two games this season, Rogers lost four yards in two rush attempts.
Regardless of Ohio’s sluggish offense Thursday, Rogers kept them moving downfield while he was under center. It wasn’t a knockout performance, but Rogers still deserves credit.
Special teams has been Ohio’s most consistent group through three games. Punter Jonah Wieland exemplified that Thursday. The redshirt fifth year punted four times for 165 yards, and two of those punts were placed inside the 20-yard line. He also matched his season-high with a 46-yard punt in the fourth quarter.
That’s not a performance to shy away from and even warrants merit. Wieland was named the Mid-American Conference East Special Teams Player of the Week for his game against Louisiana. Wieland’s progress has been steady since the season began, and he’s trending upward.
Ohio’s offensive line limped into Thursday without starters Kurt Danneker and Hagen Meservy, and it seemed noticeably off-tempo. It allowed quarterback Kurtis Rourke to be sacked in the fourth quarter, which killed Ohio’s drive as soon as it began.
To make matters worse, redshirt senior Brody Rodgers exited the game due to injury. The Bobcats pulled up their younger players to fill the gaps, but working without three of their most experienced linemen hampered them Thursday.
Ohio spent Thursday trying to hold Louisiana back and failing. The problem only exacerbated after halftime. Ohio allowed 319 total yards in the second half, and a lack of late-game stops helped Louisiana score a touchdown on its three final drives of the game. Those 21 points are the most allowed in the fourth quarter by Ohio since it last played Louisiana on Sept. 21, 2019.
Ohio won’t find much relief against Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats have scored 40 of their 68 points in the second half this season. Ohio has to find a way to keep its defense from burning out late, or else Saturday may be a case of deja vu.