Welcome Guest!
Create an Account
login email:
site searchwhere to watchcontact usabout usadvertise with ushelp
Ohio Football
   >> News Stories Archive
Tuggle carries Ohio past Akron 24-10

Zips hang tough but lose 19th straight game

ATHENS Ė After failing to put Akron away on multiple occasions, Ohio turned to DeíMontre Tuggle to get the job done.

He carried the ball all nine plays of a 70-yard drive capped by his 1-yard touchdown run for the clinching touchdown of the Bobcatsí 24-10 victory against the Zips on Tuesday night at Peden Stadium.

"We celebrate every win," Ohio coach Frank Solich said. "The other team wants to win, too. We celebrate every win. We also understand that we're making it hard on ourselves, and we've got to get some things changed, realistically, if we want to battle for a conference championship."

Akron came in on an 18-game losing streak and was pummeled by Ohio last season 52-3, but this one was not decided until Tuggle reached the end zone with 2:02 remaining. The senior running back finished the game with 139 yards on 22 carries.

"He's got excellent vision," Solich of Tuggle. "I think that kind of separates backs a little bit. A lot of backs have really good quickness and a lot of backs have speed, but they don't really quite have the vision to where all of a sudden they see the little crease and they are able to hit it and hit it with quickness. Some backs take a little bit of time, and they kind of bounce to that crease, where you've got a slashing runner here in De'Montre, and he hits those creases and he finds them and he's through the linebacker area and then they've got problems with him."

Twice before that in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats (1-1) had chances to extend their lead on the Zips (0-2) following interceptions that gave them good field position, but both possessions ended with short missed field goals.

Jett Elad picked off Zach Gibson and returned it to the Akron 19-yard line, but Tristian Vandenburg missed on a 28-yard field goal try with 11:29 remaining. Then, after a Keye Thompson field interception returned to the Zips 18-yard line, Vandenburg missed wide again on a 29-yard attempt with 8:05 to go.

"Last week we didn't get any (turnovers), so this week going into practice, we prepared to get takeaways," Thompson said. "We did circuits and ball drills and strip drills and tips and overthrows to just try and get the ball back for our offense. If we get the ball back for our offense, it puts us in a spot to win the game very easily."

Akron punted on its next possession, and Ohio opted for a steady diet of Tuggle, who had runs of 17 and 25 yards to eventually set up his 1-yard score.

"I spoke to the offense before that drive, and I was just telling everybody, 'Focus in and everybody do your job and everything else will take care of itself,'" Tuggle said. "As Coach was saying earlier, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot earlier in the game so, we were really just trying to focus in and make sure we finished the game and finished with the win."

The Bobcats opened the game with a strong drive that included a 40-yard connection between Kurtus Rourke and Shane Hooks and was capped by a 9-yard Tuggle touchdown run to make it 7-0.

Akronís defense held the next two possessions before Ohio turned it over to Armani Rogers at quarterback following a fumble recovery by Jarren Hampton. Rogers ran for 16 yards and then threw a 24-yard pass to Isiah Cox to set up a 1-yard Rogers touchdown run, putting the Bobcats up 14-0.

The Zips got on the board on Gibsonís 14-yard touchdown pass to Nate Stewart with 4:25 left in the first half and then had a chance to get even closer, but Cory Smigelís 50-yard field goal try on the last play before the break was well off the mark.

Smigel hit on a 34-yard field goal to start he second half, and Vandenburg answered with a 44-yard field goal with 6:27 left in the third quarter to make it 17-10.

For the second game in a row, Ohio had limited possession time and offensive plays. Rourke finished 8 of 14 passing for 92 yards, while Rogers was 2 of 3 for 30 yards. Hooks had four catches for 73 yards.

Thompson led the defensive effort with six tackles, including a sack, in addition to his interception.

Gibson was 18 of 30 passing for 218 yards for the Zips, and Teon Dollard ran 22 times for 165 yards.

"We've got to get some things brushed up on and move forward with really a better football team in terms of execution," Solich said. "We've got a ton of things to work on, as I've mentioned a hundred times to you guys. The good thing about this team is they love work. They'll go right back to work. If you have a team that's that way, you have a chance to get better."

Ohio faces Miami at 8 p.m. next Tuesday in Oxford on ESPN.

Copyright ©2021 BobcatAttack.com. All rights reserved.  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties