Ohio Bobcats (6-6) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5)
Friday, January 3, 2020, 3:30 PM ET on ESPN (Albertsons Stadium)
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Boise, Idaho
Line: Bobcats -360 Wolf Pack +290
Spread: Bobcats -9.5 Total: 61
The Ohio Bobcats face off against the Nevada Wolfpack in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise. The Bobcats became bowl-eligible after winning their last two games scoring 50 or more points. Nevada finished their regular season 7-5 after losing their last game 33-30 against UNLV.
Ohio’s record was 4-6 until they won their last two games in blowout victories against Akron and Bowling Green, The Bobcats are now looking for their third striaght victory and a bowl victory against the Wolf Pack.
The Bobcats are led by senior QB Nathan Rourke who passed for 2.676 yards with a TD to INT ratio of 20:5 and in his last four games of the season had 10 TD and was not picked off. Ohio has three players that rushed for at least 547 yards and O’Shaan Allison and Rourke combined for 1,603 yards and 20 TD. Allison rushed for 71 yards in the season-ending 52-3 beat-down on Akron after rushing for 175 yards in his previous game and Rourke only rushed for 62 yards in the last two games while rushing for 309 yards in the previous three games. Isiah Cox led the Bobcats with 590 receiving yards on the season and the teams 2nd and 4th leading WR’s in Shane Hooks (515 yards) and Jerome Buckner (326 yards) ate each listed as questionable for this bowl game due to injury.
Nevada Going for Fourth Win in Five Games
Nevada will be making its second consecutive bowl appearance after missing out on the past two years. The Wolf Pack had a three-game winning streak snapped by UNLV and will try to bounce back from the loss with a win over the Bobcats, which will give them their fourth win in their last five games.
QB Carson Strong leads the Wolfpack, passing for 1,933 yards with 10 TD and seven INT. In the last game of the season in the loss to UNLV, he passed for 351 yards with a TD and was not picked off. However, he will have to do most of the work, as Nevada only ranks 117th in the nation in rushing yards per game.
Toa Taua led the team in rushing with 759 yards on the season and in his last five games he only rushed for over 43 yards once and in those four games he failed to rush for an average of over 2.9 yards in any of them and in three of them even failed to rush for an average of over two yards. Elijah Cooks and Romeo Doubs are Strong’s top targets and on the season they combined for 1,378 yards with 11 TD, but Doubs is questionable for this game with a shoulder injury. Ohio’s defense ranked 61st in the nation against the pass and 82nd against the run.
Ohio ended the season on with two straight blowout wins to become bowl eligible while Nevada did not end the season well and lost their season finale. The Bobcats are a more balanced team and they will have a good game on the offensive side of the ball. Ohio will cover the spread in this bowl game and can win as well.