Bobcats, Herd head into bowl week


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke (12) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during a Sept. 22 football contest against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke (12) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during a Sept. 22 football contest against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday makes a point with an official during a Sept. 8 football contest against Eastern Kentucky at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

They’ll be home for the holidays.

The question is, how merry will their Christmas seasons be?

Both Ohio and Marshall will be part of the early college football bowl schedule as the Bobcats and Thundering Herd end their respective 2018 campaigns on Wednesday and Thursday during appearances at the DXL Frisco Bowl and the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

Both Green and White programs enter the bowl season with identical 8-4 overall records, as well as matching second place finishes in their respective conferences. Both MU and OU are also facing opponents with identical 7-5 seasonal marks, and both contests will be the first-ever meeting between opponents.

The Bobcats face San Diego State in the DXL Frisco Bowl being held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The Thundering Herd follows a day later when they take on South Florida in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at 8 p.m. Thursday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Below is a breakdown of each bowl contest.

OHIO (8-4) vs. SAN DIEGO STATE (7-5)

The Bobcats own a 3-8 all-time record in bowl games, including a 3-6 mark under 14th-year head coach Frank Solich.

Ohio, however, has an even record in its last six bowl outings and is following up a 41-6 victory over Alabama-Birmingham in last year’s Bahamas Bowl.

OU is making its fourth consecutive bowl appearance and Solich also went 2-3 in previous bowl contests as head coach at Nebraska.

The Aztecs are 8-8 all-time in bowl appearances, including a 3-4 record under eighth-year head coach Rocky Long.

SDSU dropped a 42-35 decision to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl last year and will not reach double-digit wins for the first time in four seasons.

San Diego State is making its ninth straight bowl appearance overall and Long also went 1-4 in previous bowl contests as head coach at New Mexico.

The Bobcats enter the postseason with offensive averages of 41.2 points and 470.6 yards each contest, while the OU defense is allowing 26.7 points and 399.6 yards per outing.

Ohio averages 262.2 rushing yards and allows just 135.8 rushing yards each game. The Bobcats have also won two straight and 5-of-6 overall.

The Aztecs enter the bowl season with offensive averages of 22.3 points and 354 yards each contest, while the SDSU defense surrenders 21.8 points and 327.4 yards per outing.

San Diego State averages 162.4 rushing yards and allows just 94.5 rushing yards each game. The Aztecs have dropped three straight decisions and 4-of-5 overall after starting the year 6-0.

MARSHALL (8-4) vs. SOUTH FLORIDA (7-5)

The Thundering Herd own an 11-3 all-time record in bowl games, including a perfect 5-0 mark under ninth-year head coach Doc Holliday.

Marshall will be making its second straight postseason appearance and has wins in its last six bowl outings. MU is following up a 31-28 victory over Colorado State in last year’s New Mexico Bowl.

The Bulls are 6-3 all-time in bowl appearances, including a perfect 1-0 record under second-year head coach Charlie Strong.

USF defeated Texas Tech by a 42-35 margin at the Birmingham Bowl last year and will be at the program’s official home venue against Marshall.

South Florida is making its fourth straight bowl appearance overall and Strong also went 3-3 overall in previous bowl contests as head coach at Florida, Louisville and Texas.

Marshall enters the postseason with offensive averages of 27.4 points and 384.5 yards each contest, while the MU defense is allowing 22.0 points and 335.6 yards per outing.

The Herd averages 155.8 rushing yards and allows just 103.9 rushing yards each game. Marshall lost its season finale at Virginia Tech, but has still won seven of its last nine outings.

The Bulls enter the bowl season with offensive averages of 29.2 points and 444.2 yards each contest, while the USF defense surrenders 31.5 points and 441.9 yards per outing.

South Florida averages 241.7 rushing yards and allows 244.7 rushing yards each game. The Bulls have dropped five straight decisions after starting the year 7-0.

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke (12) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during a Sept. 22 football contest against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2018/12/web1_12.14-OU-Rourke.jpgOhio quarterback Nathan Rourke (12) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during a Sept. 22 football contest against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday makes a point with an official during a Sept. 8 football contest against Eastern Kentucky at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2018/12/web1_12.14-MU-Doc.jpgMarshall head football coach Doc Holliday makes a point with an official during a Sept. 8 football contest against Eastern Kentucky at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.