Nevada will conclude the 2019 season in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Ohio on Friday. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. at Albertsons Stadium between the Wolf Pack (7-5, 4-4 MW) and Bobcats (6-6, 5-3 MAC). The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
Nevada has reached its second bowl game under head coach Jay Norvell with the chance to secure bowl victories in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. Nevada has won its last two bowl games, both coming in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl where the Pack won a dramatic 16-13 overtime thriller in 2018. Nevada is searching for its first win on the blue turf in Boise since 1997, a span of 11 games, which includes two bowl games. Nevada has twice won two bowls in a row in its history (1996 Las Vegas Bowl and 2005 Hawai`i Bowl; 2015 and 2018 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowls) and a win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl would be the Pack’s first-ever three-game bowl winning streak.
The Ohio Bobcats boast one of the most electric offenses in the nation, led by quarterback Nathan Rourke who threw for 2,676 yards, 20 touchdowns and ran for another 12 with 780 yards rushing. Behind Rourke, Ohio is averaging 443.3 yards per game, with 216 coming on the ground and 226 through the air for a very balanced attack. The Bobcats are averaging 34.7 points a game while allowing 401.5 yards and 27 points per game on defense. While struggling in nonconference play to open the season, the Bobcats got hot in MAC play, going 5-3 and finishing second in the conference. With its total offense ranking 32nd in the nation, Ohio got hot at the end of the year, winning its final two contests at Bowling Green and Akron by a combined score of 118-27.
The Wolf Pack has a history of playing close games in its bowl history.
Going back to 1995, when the NCAA instituted overtime for bowl games that season, the Wolf Pack has played three overtime games, including college football’s first OT game in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl, a 40-37 loss to Toledo.
Nevada is 2-1 in overtime in bowl games – and 7-7 overall in OT in its history. Nevada beat UCF in OT in the 2005 Hawai`i Bowl and knocked off Arkansas State in last year’s NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.