Ohio looking to bounce back versus Louisiana

ATHENS — The Ohio Bobcats need a bounce-back game. After losing their last two contests, the Bobcats close out their non-conference schedule with a home contest against UL-Lafayette at 2 p.m on ESPN+.

A 33-31 loss to rival Marshall dropped the ‘Cats to 1-2 on the year, but the season is still young. After this game, Frank Solich’s team begins conference play against Buffalo.

However, Solich is confident in the squad’s ability to respond to adversity. Getting the offense going through quarterback Nathan Rourke is just one piece of the puzzle. Solich wants to see more out of his tight ends.

“We’re getting good tight end play, and it’ll keep getting better as they get more experience,” he said. “I think the development in the weight room of the Luehrman twins (juniors Adam and Ryan) this past season was really good. Will they continue to have development in the weight room as they go through their years here? No question. As they gather experience and just get their frame to where they’ve got a good frame–I think you’ll just see it go in a positive matter for those guys.”

Even after the loss at Marshall, Solich praised his team’s efforts and reactions to playing in hostile territory.

He wants them to carry that mentality into this crucial home game.

“You never know how your team is going to react,” he said. “I guess that includes veterans to a certain degree, but obviously the young guys that have never been in that type of environment. It was good to see them handle that in the way they did. The environment did not take us out of the game, and so that’s a positive thing.”

Ohio is hoping for plenty of positive things to lift them in a game where the Ragin’ Cajuns (2-1) come in looking red hot.

A 10-point loss to Mississippi State accounts for their only loss of the year, and quarterback Levi Lewis comes equipped with a tandem of running backs sure to keep Ohio’s defense on its toes.

TJ Wisham Jr. led the way in last week’s win over Texas Southern with 105 yards on 11 carries, and not far behind him was Trey Ragas. Ragas totaled 96 yards and a score on seven carries. Solich wants his defense to be ready for anything the Ragin’ Cajuns throw at them, and he wants his team to focus on the positives through the first three weeks of this season.

“You look at the positives, and there are a lot of positives from these games,” he said. “You look at some of the things we need to do better, you address that with them, and you know they’re anxious to get those things corrected and move on. The spirit of this football team will not be broken. I do know that.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com