Ohio U. football
Ohio U. traveled down to Florida and faced FAU - and came away with a key win (PHOTO CREDIT: Ohio U. Athletics)

Ohio U. Picks Up Big Win in Florida's Talent Hotbed

Pundits knew FAU hosting Ohio U. would be a good game and the first three plays proved that. There was a scuffle on a touchback on the opening kickoff, FAU's Jackson Ambush would pick off the first pass from Ohio U's Kurtis Rourke, and the following play a Casey Thompson pass would be intercepted by Ohio's Austin Brawley.

This play is where things got a bit crazy. On the play it was a slant route to the WR Je'Quan Burton, it looked initially like Burton made the catch but then he went limp on the field as the FAU training staff rushed out to him. Burton would sit up and stand up but would still be taken off the field by cart. Hopefully, the young man will make a full recovery.

Ohio U. vs FAU 9/9/23 Photo by Anthony Nachreiner.

This game would be defined by defense. A total of 5 turnovers , Ohio committed three of them and still came away with the win. FAU's offense never got out of neutral. At halftime, the Ohio defense held FAU to 68 yards on 23 plays. Ohio's offense doubled that with 43 plays and 211 yards. The difference was the FAU defense that gave the Owls their 10 points.

The defense recovered a fumble that led to a field goal and had a pick-six by defensive back Jarron Morris. Coach Tom Hermon said in the postgame press conference "at halftime with a smile on my face, I told the team as we lead 10-7 at half there's not a team in the country that can beat two teams at the same time". Ultimately the Owls would beat themselves and Ohio would win the game. An impressive win against a good Owl's team.

What does this win mean for Ohio?

This win for Ohio puts them at 2-1 and with a good non-conference win. This team is picked to win the West division of the MAC. A lot of people have Ohio and Toledo battling in December and so far the pundits are not wrong. Ohio wins a close against FAU, where they lost a close one 20-13 against SDSU, without their starting QB.

Ohio is still very much in the mix for a NY6 Bowl game as long as they win the conference. Ohio will see Iowa State next week at home. They find a way to win that one it sends a message to the MAC and Toledo. What was really impressive was Ohios's running back O'Shaan Allison as he finished the game with 22 carries 80 yards and a score.

He was their battering ram against the tough FAU defense. Two tough cats in the backfield with Allison and Bangura for Ohio adds just another dimension to this team.

What Does This Loss mean for FAU?

The defense for FAU will be what carries this team as they try and get the offense straightened out. HC Tom Hermon said in the post-game presser "I told our team we are a work in progress, our long-term goals are still out there for us". This team offensively will need these next few weeks to figure things out offensively.

There are a lot of good defenses in the AAC this season. UTSA comes to mind. They get ready for Clemson, they find a way to win that game, and they are back to really being on schedule. The Owl's are not out of the NY6 bowl race but they have to stack a couple of impressive wins together. They will need to be ready for the big tests against UTSA in October and Tulane in November.

Final Thoughts

Ohio got off to a slow start but are finding their groove as they leaned into their running game and Rourke looked good back in action. He was able to put some throws in tight windows. DOes have to take care of the football but Ohio seemed balanced.

FAU just needs the offense to clean things up and they have to clean up the sloppy play. Too many penalties, especially a couple that ended promising drives. FAU is in good hands with HC Tom Herman.