Ohio received a tough blow two weeks ago as they fell 45-25 to Louisiana. One thing holding Ohio back was the mediocre play of QB Nathan Rourke, who did not have his best game; despite one touchdown, he threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball once with a passing completion percentage of only 47.37%.
Meanwhile, Buffalo was the 51-42 winner over Miami (Ohio) when they last met October of last year. Last week? They had no such luck. Buffalo came up short against Miami (Ohio), falling 34-20. The Bulls were down by 34-14 at the end of the third quarter, which was just too much to recover from.
With both teams hitting sour notes in their previous games, they will no doubt be looking to produce a better outcome in this one. A couple defensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Bobcats are 15th worst in the nation in yards allowed per game, with 464 on average. The Bulls have experienced some defensive struggles of their own as they are stumbling into the matchup with the 15th most passing touchdowns allowed in the nation, having given up 12 on the season. Its possible one of these Achilles heels will wind up tripping the losing team up.
How To WatchWhen: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ETWhere: UB Stadium — Buffalo, New YorkTV: ESPN PlusFollow: CBS Sports AppTicket Cost: $13.00OddsThe Bobcats are a 3.5-point favorite against the Bulls.
Vegas had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Bobcats as a 2.5-point favorite.
Last time out: Louisiana defeated Ohio, 45-25, on Sept. 21 at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio. Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for 277 yards and a touchdown on 18-for-38 passing, but was intercepted three times.
Miami (Ohio) defeated UB, 34-20, on Sept. 28 at Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio. Jaret Patterson ran for 183 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and Kevin Marks ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Jimenez: Its a mix of all three. The Bobcats fell victim to the injury bug quite early, especially in the running gane, where their bread and butter is made. Nathan Rourke being ill during the Pitt game doesnt help either, though that doesnt make anyone feel better about a game they could have won. Combine that with a tough schedule, and youve got some bad mojo. When theyre healthy, theyre one of the most dangerous teams out there. Right now, theyre not, and therefore, they look as they do. Hopefully the BYE week fixed some things.
History: Ohio leads the all-time series, 14-11, including a 52-17 win against the visiting Bulls on Nov. 14, 2018.
QB questions: UB quarterback Matt Myers did not practice on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and UB coach Lance Leipold closed practice to the media Thursday and declined to comment regarding Myers stats. Leipold on Tuesday said Myers sustained an upper-body injury in last weekends loss, and was lifted in the third quarter in favor of Kyle Vantrease. Vantrease was 3-for-4 passing for 30 yards, and was sacked once at Miami.
Vantrease will be the likely starter if Myers is unavailable to play. Vantrease, a sophomore, played in six games in 2017 and 2018, including one start as a true freshman in 2017. He had 375 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-66 attempts, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Passing problems: Myers and Vantrease combined for 89 yards passing last weekend at Miami, the third time this season that UB has passed for less than 100 yards so far this season (69 yards vs. Robert Morris, 62 yards vs. Temple). UB is last in the MAC and 122nd in the nation (of 130 teams) in passing yards (632).
Keep running: UB leads the conference in rushing yards (1,201) and Patterson and Marks are second and fourth, respectively, in the MAC in rushing. Patterson has 546 yards on 101 carries and Marks has 420 yards on 87 carries. Patterson, a sophomore, has 1,559 career rushing yards and needs 12 yards to move into eighth among UBs all-time rushing leaders.
Home cooking: UB is 10-1 in its last 11 games at UB Stadium, including a 38-22 win against Temple on Sept. 21. UB is also 7-2 in games against Ohio at UB Stadium, and the Bulls last hosted Ohio on Nov. 24, 2017, and defeated the Bobcats, 31-24.
For the foes: The Bobcats were the preseason favorite to win the MAC East Division and the MAC championship, but have stumbled out of the gate in their nonconference schedule, with three consecutive losses at Pitt (20-10), at Marshall (33-31) and to Louisiana. Ohio got its only win Aug. 13 against Rhode Island, an FCS program.
The Bobcats lost more than 60 percent (4,565) of their all-purpose yards (7,312) from last year, including 2,405 of their 3,358 rushing yards. The Bobcats lost leading rusher AJ Ouellette (1,306 yards on 213 carries) and leading receiver Papi White (62 catches for 987 yards) to graduation.
Rourke, a two-time all-MAC second-team selection, is 64-for-112 passing for 857 yards and six touchdowns, with three interceptions in four games. Rourke is also Ohios leading rusher, with 187 yards on 37 carries, but hes one of three players with at least 145 yards rushing for the Bobcats, along with DeMontre Tuggle (27 carries for 161 yards) and OShaan Allison (32 carries for 145 yards). However, the Bobcats have to produce against the Bulls, who have the MACs top defense (310.4 yards per game).