Ohio offense rolls after sluggish start
Bobcats total 556 yards, pull away from Zips, 37-20
By Lonnie McMillan / Contributor
Saturday, October 22, 2011
AKRON, Ohio - The Ohio offense came to life late in the second quarter and carried that momentum into the second half of a 37-20 victory against Akron at Infocision Stadium on Saturday.
The Bobcats (5-3, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) and Zips (1-5, 0-3 MAC) were tied at 3 until a 78-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Tettleton to LeVon Brazill provided a spark for Ohio.
“We saw they were jumping the hitches the first couple of drives and stuff,” Tettleton said. “Coach (Frank) Solich was the one that called that play. He said, ‘Let’s go hitch and go.’ I knew they were going to bite if I gave them a pump fake and if LaVon ran a good route, and that’s what happened.”
A 27-yard Matt Weller touchdown as the first half closed made it 13-3, and the Bobcats came out with two quick scores in the second half.
After Ohio held Akron deep in its own territory, Tettleton threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Riley Dunlop on the first play from scrimmage, and Weller added another short field goal to cap off a run of 20 straight Bobcats points.
Akron answered with a Keith Sconiers 4-yard touchdown reception from Clayton Moore just before the end of the third quarter, but a 1-yard Tettleton touchdown run answered for Ohio early in the fourth quarter.
After a 42-yard field goal by the Zips' A.J. Fox, Beau Blankenship had a 6-yard touchdown run for the Bobcats' biggest lead, 37-13.
Patrick Nicely threw a late 6-yard touchdown pass to Marquelo Suel for the final score.
Through the first quarter and a half, all the teams could manage was a 24-yard Weller field goal and a 43-yard Fox field goal.
“Clearly, Ohio University dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage today,” Akron coach Rob Ianello said. “They were physical and the toughest team on the field today.”
Ohio finished with 556 yards to only 249 by Akron, helping it to overcome a 3-1 turnover deficit.
Tettleton was 21 of 29 for 328 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Brazill topped 100 yards for the second straight game, finishing with three catches for 102 yards.
Donte Harden rushed 22 times for 123 yards.
“We were able to keep our offense on the field with a lot of third-down conversions and some long drives,” Solich said.
Akron's Jawon Chisholm was limited to 48 yards rushing on 21 carries. Moore was just 13 of 26 for 125 yards.
“It’s hard to win it when you can’t run it and they move the ball up and down the field,” Ianello said.
Noah Keller had 10 tackles to lead the Bobcats defensively. Brian Wagner had 17 for the Zips.
With Temple’s upset 13-10 loss at Bowling Green and Miami’s 49-28 defeat against Toledo, Ohio is now one of four teams in the MAC East tied for first place with two losses.
The Bobcats play a pivotal game against Temple at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at Peden Stadium on ESPN.