Rourke reminds Holliday of Tyler Tettleton

 AP PhotoOhio quarterback Nathan Rourke passes against Virginia Sept. 15, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

No. 4 won’t be lining up behind center when Ohio visits Marshall Saturday. That’s good for coach Doc Holliday, who might have had nightmares about the man who once wore that number.

Tyler Tettleton made life difficult for the Thundering Herd in the early part of this decade. Marshall couldn’t find a way to beat him in three tries as he ran the Bobcats’ offense to perfection.

From 2011-13, Tettleton was a combined 65-of-102 (63.7 percent) for 715 yards and seven touchdowns and did not throw an interception against the Herd.

Tettleton, of course, has moved on, which is the good news for the Herd (1-1). The bad news is that Holliday sees a lot of similarities in Ohio’s current quarterback, senior Nathan Rourke.

“We talked about that as a staff, and unfortunately, there are (similarities),” Holliday said. “Tettleton gave us fits and this guy is very, very similar. He’s the same kind of guy. Tettleton reminded me of the Stockstill kid) Brent we played at Middle (Tennessee) all those year, and (Rourke) is the same way. He makes every throw as well and that’s what makes him a real problem.”

Rourke is in his third year as the starter for the Bobcats (1-1).

He didn’t take over for Tettleton, but he’s cut from the same mold.

Through two games this year, the Ontario native is 31-of-49 (63.3 percent) passing for 365 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He ran 75 yards and a touchdown in a 41-20 win over Rhode Island.

Marshall played well defensively last week against Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier, but Rourke brings a different skill set. He presents the kind of escapability that made Tettleton such a challenge.

“The difference between this guy and (Bachmeier) is that he (Rourke) runs better,” Holliday said. “There are a lot of designed quarterback runs for him. That will be another part of the offense that we have to deal with.”

Pitt found success in stopping Ohio’s ground game. The Bobcats were held to 35 rushing yards in a 20-10 loss. Key to that was getting to Rourke — he was sacked six times for a loss of 48 yards.

“I have all the confidence in the world in him,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “If you look at the game, it wasn’t all his fault. You have six sacks and 10 tackles for losses, you’re talking about not an ideal game for a quarterback, period. He was doing all he could, obviously there are some things he would like to get a chance to do over again but he’s a great competitor, he’s a very smart player and he learns from those kind of experiences. He hadn’t had many of those, so he’ll bounce back with no problem.”

“If you’re going to pressure him or play two-man in the secondary, you better have a guy assigned to him, because if he gets out of (the pocket), he’s a problem,” Holliday said. 

 Email: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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