2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview:Nevada Vs Ohio
The Nevada Wolf Pack look to start off the year 2020 on a winning note as they take on Ohio University in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Nevada Wolf Pack Will Take on Ohio University In The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The Nevada Wolf Pack will look to start the new year with a bowl victory on Friday afternoon as they will take on the Ohio Bobcats in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The contest between the Wolf Pack and Bobcats will have a 12:30pm kickoff time and will be televised on ESPN.
Nevada is looking to close out their 2019 season by winning their eighth game of the season and winning their third straight bowl game. The Wolf Pack won the 2015 Arizona Bowl by defeating Colorado State and last season, the Wolf Pack defeated Arkansas State in the 2018 Arizona Bowl. For Nevada, this is their 17th bowl appearance in school history and the Wolf Pack are looking to win their seventh bowl game in program history on Friday against Ohio.
Nevada will be without three starters on defense in this game as safety Austin Arnold, cornerback Daniel Brown and nose guard Hausia Sekona will be out for the Potato Bowl. These three players are suspended for their roles in the postgame fight with the UNLV players in the regular season finale. The Wolf Pack will not have linebacker Gabriel Sewell for this first half of the Potato Bowl for his role in the melee with the UNLV players
Nevada not only will have to deal with some key players being out for the bowl game but they will have a reconstituted coaching staff to deal with as well. The Wolf Pack will have three interim defensive coaches on the sidelines when they take on the Bobcats on Friday. Jody Sears, Josh Brown and John Landwehr were hired by Nevada head coach Jay Norvell a few weeks back. The hiring of these interim coaches comes after coach Norvell fired previous defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, safeties coach Mike Chamoures and secondary coach David Lockwood.
“We just felt we had to do some things to shift gears and get where we want to be as a program”, Norvell said in his decision to change up his defensive coaching staff. Novell also went on to say that “We’ve set a great foundation, We have some great young kids in the program, and we just felt like we needed to go a different direction to help us get to the next level”
The Wolf Pack could see the return of three players for the Potato Bowl that were out due to injuries. Linebacker Lucas Weber, left tackle Jake Nelson and wide receiver Romeo Doubs could possible return for Nevada on Friday. Weber, the senior captain has been out since October with an ankle injury Jake Nelson has missed been out for three months with a broken elbow. Doubs missed the UNLV game due to a sprained shoulder.
All three injured players returning for Nevada would be very helpful but if Doubs is able to play in the bowl game against Ohio, it would be beneficial for the Nevada offense.
Nevada’s opponent, the Ohio Bobcats come into this Potato Bowl contest with a 6-6 overall record and one of the more balanced offensive attacks in the nation. This season, the Bobcats average 226.8 passing yards per game and 216.5 rushing yards per game. In terms of total yards on offense, the Bobcats are averaging 443 yards per game which places them 32nd in the nation in that category. The Bobcats are also good at scoring points as they are averaging 34.7 points per game this season which is good for 20th in the nation in that statistic.
The Bobcats key player to watch for is their quarterback Nathan Rourke. Rourke has thrown for 2,676 yards and 20 touchdowns this season for Ohio. Rourke is also a threat to run the ball as well as he has ran for 780 yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.
The combination of Rourke and running backs O’Shaan Allison(823 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and De’Montre Tuggle ( 547 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns) make a formidable rushing attack for Ohio. This rushing attack is going to present Nevada with the challenge of trying to slow down in order for the Wolf Pack to win its third straight bowl game.