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Ohio offense overwhelms UMass, 58-42

The Bobcats reach 58 points for the second straight season against the Minutemen, racking up 664 yards of offense.

Ohio v Cincinnati
Nathan Rourke accounted for 468 yards of offense on Saturday for Ohio.
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

There was no need for a Bobcat punt on their first possession.

UMass cornerback Isaiah Rodgers made sure of that with a pick-six to give the Minutemen an early 14-0 lead.

Thanks to a relentless ground game, however, Ohio had little need for punting for the next couple hours.

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns and added 189 yards and a score on the ground to help the bobcats hang 58 points on UMass for a second straight year, winning 58-42.

When the dust settled in Athens, Ohio broke their score record for yards from scrimmage with 664 yards. The Bobcats scored on nine consecutive drives following the Rodgers interception.

Well-grounded approach

The middle of the Minutemen defense was there for the taking all day.

Running the run-pass option at a high level all day, Ohio's interior offensive line routinely opened holes for Rourke and running backs Maleek Irons (140 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries) and A.J. Ouellette (84 total yards, two touchdowns).

The UMass defense could not get off the field. Ohio converted all eight of their third downs that stretched into the fourth quarter.

Big plays kept opening up, leaving the UMass secondary to run down tackles far downfield.

Around the time Ohio scored their final touchdown, they were averaging more than 10 yards per play. The Bobcats had 12 plays of 20 or more yards.

Isabella, UMass offense sharp

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Boston College
Andy Isabella found the end zone three times.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Minutemen also had their fair share of success with the ball.

Returning to action after injury kept him out last week, Andrew Ford looked precise, completely 27 of 38 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Only one late interception marred his otherwise strong performance.

Ford received the lion’s share of the workload, but Ross Comis (who also missed last week with an injury) hit Andy Isabella for a 37-yard touchdown on a slant that torched the entire Bobcat secondary.

Isabella was impressive all day. The first touchdown was a beautiful over-the-shoulder grab from Ford, where he dragged the feet inbounds around the pilon. He continually found space in the defense, finishing with 12 catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Sadiq Palmer (eight catches, 96 yards and a touchdown) and Canadian freshman Samuel Emilus (two catches, 29 yards, one touchdown in traffic and an impressive kick return) also helped move the markers for the Minutemen.

Alas, the Ohio offense kept finding ways to get in the end zone. The UMass offense seemed to simply run out of gas down multiple scores in the fourth quarter.

From here

At 2-2, Ohio has officially now exhausted their non-conference schedule and will head out on the road to play Kent State.

UMass has officially reached the halfway point of their season at 2-4. Technically, they are two games better than they were at this point last year.

Bowl eligibility, however, looks to be an uphill battle with three road games and a visit from ranked BYU still to come.

Not to be outdone, a tough South Florida squad will come to town next Saturday.