The 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will feature a team from the Mid-American Conference, as well as the Mountain West. The Ohio Bobcats will take on the Nevada Wolfpack. These teams have a shot to end their season with a bowl win. Here is a preview of the 2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Ohio Bobcats (6-6)
The Ohio Bobcats started the season slow at 1-3 through four games. With just two games left for them in the regular season, they were 4-6. They won their last two games by outscoring their opponents 118-27 to become bowl eligible.
Quarterback Nathan Rourke threw for over 2,600 yards this season. He also had a career-high completion percentage as ESPN lists him at 61.4 percent on the year so far. The senior also has an impressive ratio of 20 touchdown passes to only five interceptions. He ended the regular season by throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns against Akron.
The Bobcats are currently 22nd in the FBS in rushing offense. They run the option at times, which is a big reason why quarterback Rourke has the second-most rushing yards on the team. They have three players that surpassed 500 rushing yards on the season, the leader being O’Shaan Allison with 823 rushing yards. Their offense has a variety of plays, and using that against Nevada could work to their advantage.
Ohio has had some rough games defensively this season. Their currently ranked in the bottom half of total defense at 76th in the FBS. They allowed 21 points or less five times this season. This includes 20 to Pittsburgh and just three to Akron. However, they’ve had some less impressive games as well. Louisiana scored 45 against the Bobcats, and Northern Illinois managed a 39 point game against them.
Nevada Wolfpack (7-5)
Nevada opened up the year by beating a Big 10 team 34-31 in Purdue. They became bowl eligible by beating a solid San Diego State team 17-13. They went 1-1 in their last to games to go 7-5 on the season.
Nevada used a freshman at quarterback this season in Carson Strong. He completed about 63.4 percent of his passes this season on 325 attempts. He had a solid game against Purdue to start the season. In his first career start, he went 30-for-51 passing with 295 yards through the air. He also had three touchdowns and no picks in that game. A performance similar to that one in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl could be a big factor in the outcome of the game.
The Wolfpack ranks poorly in rushing offense at 117th in the FBS. Toa Taua led the team in rushing with 759 yards on the ground. The sophomore had 160 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 41-38 win against San Jose State. If the Wolfpack can have more yards than usual on the ground, their offense can show some balance and help them win this game.
Nevada ranks close to Ohio in total defense at 72nd in the FBS. Also like Ohio, they have shown some inconsistency. For example, they allowed just 21 points against UTEP the game before they allowed 54 points to Hawaii. Also, even though it’s the Oregon Ducks, 77 points is still a crazy amount. Both of these defenses should have some ideas on how to stop the opposing offense in this one.
Ohio’s Nathan Rourke has more experience at quarterback than freshman Carson Strong. That could be a factor in this one. Also, if the Bobcats can establish a solid run game, they may find the defense committing to the run, opening up some passing opportunities.
Final Score Prediction: Ohio Bobcats 38 Nevada Wolfpack 31
Feature Image Courtesy of Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.