Expert Q&A 2020 Ohio Football

The Ohio Bobcats had a good season last season – finishing 7-6 and tying for 3rd in a tight Mid American Conference. But will the Bobcats be able to keep up the success? Can they do even better? We’ve got Ohio expert Lonnie McMillan to answer those questions.

Lonnie McMillan is a writer at BobcatAttack.com, a site dedicated to all things Ohio sports.

Overall, how do you believe the offense will compare to the 2019 season?

The offense likely will step back some compared to the last few seasons because it lost the best player in the MAC in quarterback Nathan Rourke. He created all kinds of big plays for the Bobcats with his legs and arm. This year, it’s probably going to be more of a team effort, but with lots back at other positions, Ohio still could have a pretty good offense.

What do you expect from the QB position in 2020?

It appears that Nathan’s little brother, Kurtis Rourke, is set to be the starter. He saw very limited playing time in mop-up duty this past season as a true freshman. Most have said he is not the runner than Nathan was but he probably has a better arm. I’m sure he’ll be relied on less overall than his brother was, but he might end up throwing it a little more and quarterback runs always are some part of Ohio’s offense. The backups right now are true freshman CJ Harris; junior Drew Keszei, who had converted to receiver last year but now is back at QB; and walk-on Naylan Yates. A transfer still could be in the mix because Ohio is very shallow at the position.

How do you see the workload at RB being distributed?

Frank Solich always likes to spread the workload at running back, and all of the Bobcats’ running backs return, so it should be a similar breakdown, depending on injuries and breakthroughs. Sophomore O’Shaan Allison probably is the best overall player of the bench and will get the most chances, but he’s had fumble problems, which is something Solich does not tolerate. Senior De’Montre Tuggle has shown capable of a lot of explosive plays, and junior Julian Ross is speedy but has not stayed healthy in his career. Redshirt freshman Walter Wilbon III probably will get some chances, but Ohio probably will try to limit his games to save his redshirt.

How does the offensive line compare to the 2019 group?

Ohio had one of the best offensive lines in the MAC last year but unfortunately loses three All-MAC players. However, offensive line depth is something Solich always has emphasized, and although the line might not be as good, it probably will be in the top half of lines in the MAC.

What do you think the distribution will be to the WR/TE’s?

The Bobcats haven’t had a go-to All-MAC receiver for a few years. Nathan Rourke spread the ball around a lot. Isiah Cox, who will be a junior, was the team’s leading receiver, but Shane Hooks looked like he could be a future star last year as a redshirt freshman. Cam Odom, Jerome Buckner and Ty Walton all had moments this past year, and Tyler Tupa should be in the mix after recovering from injuries. Tight end Ryan Luehrman had a breakout season and was the team’s top target around the goal line.

For our dynasty owners, who are some young players that stand out as future breakout performers?

I think most expect Kurtis Rourke will be an All-MAC performer at quarterback in time. Allison, if he can hold on to the ball, has a lot of good years ahead of him, and Hooks and Cox are both good young receivers.

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