Ohio (7-6) let a big lead slip away in the fourth quarter but the Bobcats still held on to beat Nevada (7-6) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday. Ohio defeated the Wolfpack 30-21 for its third consecutive season-ending in a bowl victory.
Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke passed for 144 yards and rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in the win. Demontre Tuggle led all players with 97 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Bobcats. Ohio carried a 30-9 lead into the fourth quarter, which is when Nevada put some pressure on the scoreboard. A lost fumble and a turnover on downs inside the Ohio 10-yard line ultimately prevented Nevada’s comeback attempt from crossing the finish line. Nevada quarterback Carson Strong passed for 402 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.
Ohio head coach Frank Solich now owns five bowl wins with Ohio (5-6 overall). Solich also coached Ohio to a winning record for the fifth consecutive season, and the 11th consecutive non-losing season (Ohio was 6-6 in 2014).
The win by Ohio gives the MAC a chance to have a winning bowl record this year. The MAC is now 3-3 in bowl games played this season with one more to go. Miami Ohio will look to end the bowl season in a winning note for the MAC in the Lendingtree Bowl against Louisiana on Monday, Jan. 6. The MAC went 2-1 against the Mountain West Conference this bowl season. Despite Nevada’s loss, the Mountian West already clinched a winning bowl season. Nevada was the last bowl team to represent the Mountain West this bowl season; the Mountain West was 4-3 in bowl games this season.
Ohio will open the 2020 season at home against NC Central on Sept. 5. Nevada will get an earlier start to their 2020 season with a home game against UC Davis on Aug. 29.