Ohio opened its season last weekend on the road against San Diego State in week zero. This week the team will host Long Island University in the home opener at Peden Stadium for week one of college football.
The biggest news heading into the week was once again the health of Quarterback Kurtis Rourke who left last week's game with an apparent injury. Rourke entered week zero in recovery from an ACL injury suffered in November of 2022.
Saturday’s matchup will be the first time in history that Ohio takes on non-conference opponent LIU, here is everything that you need to know.
Ron Cooper took over as LIU’s head coach in 2022 where he led the team to a 4-7 record that included a four-game winning streak to end the season. During the 2021 season, Cooper worked under Nick Saban as an analyst for Alabama’s 2021 national championship team.
LIU lost its top passer last year in Derek Green; however, Luca Stanzi took quality snaps for the Sharks during its end-of-season four-game winning streak. Sophomore Stanzi is expected to start against Ohio this weekend. Stanzi passed for 1,219 yards, 13 touchdowns to only four interceptions in eight games last season.
Pat Bowen is returning as the team's leading rusher from 2022, this year as a junior looking to break out. Bowen rushed for 597-yards and five touchdowns.
Michael Love also returns as the team's leading receiver, the oncoming senior had 702-receiving-yards in 2022 along with three receiving touchdowns.
As an offense, the team scored 26.7 points per game in 2022.
LIU will return its leader in tackles in junior Larry Elder who had 49 solo tackles in 2022. Victor Nelson, the team's leader in interceptions with six, transferred to Boston College at the conclusion of 2022.
As a defense, LIU surrendered 38 points per game throughout 11 regular season games.
It’s supposed to be a beautiful day in Athens on Saturday. There is no chance of rain in the area and it’s projected to be 81 degrees at kickoff.