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Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke (#7) hands off the ball to De'Montre Tuggle (#24) during the Bobcats' game against Syracuse on Saturday, Sep. 4, 2021.

Football: Fast reactions to Ohio's 29-9 loss to Syracuse

Ohio’s season opener ended in disappointment as it lost 29-9 to Syracuse in Peden Stadium on Saturday night. The game was expected to be a close contest but Ohio struggled to hold back Syracuse’s offense and failed to reach the endzone.

Here are The Post’s instant reactions following the Bobcats’ first loss of the season.

Defense cant stop the run

Ohio’s defense struggled with stopping the run last season, allowing an average of 193.7 rushing yards per game. Those problems seem to have bled over to Saturday. 

The Bobcats struggled to contain Syracuse’s rushing attack. Running backs Sean Tucker and Cooper Lutz rushed for a combined 206 yards and quarterback Tommy DeVito managed to haul in a rushing touchdown late in the first quarter. Tucker and Lutz each punched in a touchdown of their own in the second half, and Ohio struggled to respond. 

Rourke still working on scrambling

Kurtis Rourke is known for his arm more than his legs, but the quarterback has made an effort during fall camp to  become quicker on his feet. 

For his effort, not much progress was made. Rourke only rushed for 21 yards Saturday, including a loss of five yards when Ohio was four yards from the end zone. 

Red zone struggles

The Bobcats could drive down the field, what they couldn’t do was follow through. All three times Ohio made it into the red zone Saturday, its offensive production failed and it settled for three field goals. The lack of offensive production in the red zone is bound to become a problem as the season wears on unless it is addressed.

Situational quarterback

Ohio seemed committed to the dual-quarterback system of Rourke and Armani Rogers before Saturday. Although Rourke was designated as the starting quarterback heading into Saturday, Rogers was also expected to get time on the field.

What was unknown is how much time Rogers would get. Rogers was only brought in on occasion and taken out as quickly as he was put in. Rogers was 1-for-2 when passing today and only made one rushing attempt for a five-yard gain. Rogers’ time on the field was brief, and he wasn’t given enough time to make an impact.


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