Updated Sun, Oct 14, 2012 4:29 am
Updated Sun, Oct 14, 2012 4:29 am
As many fans and alumni were in town to see Ohio’s 2012 Homecoming game against the Akron Zips, the Bobcats threw a welcome home party. Ohio (7-0, 3-0 MAC) defeated Akron (1-6, 0-3 MAC) 34-28 in an entertaining battle.
The Bobcats started out hot, but at one point deep in the game, the welcome home party nearly became a surprise party.
Ohio allowed Akron to get within six points of tying the game with 1:55 remaining in the contest. But, Akron kicked the ensuing onside kick attempt out of bounds and Ohio got the win.
“We were in position to really take charge of the football game and we let that slip away from us, that was very disappointing,” said Solich.
The turning point of the game came when Ohio running back Beau Blankenship ripped off three separate 17-yard runs on Ohio’s second drive of the second half.
Blankenship started the drive off with a nice 17-yard scamper to give Ohio a nice gain. He then followed that up a few plays later with some more big plays. Blankenship had two more 17-yard gains and led Ohio all the way down to Akron’s 22-yard line.
Tettleton then rushed the ball to Akron’s 8-yard line; Blankenship proceeded to get it to the 1-yard line. Ryan Boykin was on his way into the game to sub in for Blankenship at that point, but Blankenship waved him off.
“I probably shouldn’t have done that,” said Blankenship. “Coach sent him in and I should’ve just let him come in.”
Troy Hill, who figures to be a big part of the offense in the wake of Thompson’s injury, caught a pass from Tettleton on the next play for a touchdown to cap off the 96-yard drive. Ohio went up 27-14 on the score.
“We just marched down the field and took what they gave us, I’m thankful we came up with the touchdown,” said Blankenship
Octavius Leftwich intercepted Dalton Williams on Akron’s next drive. Ryan Boykin and the Bobcats took over the next drive. Boykin had a total of 48 yards rushing on the drive and a touchdown to cap it off. Ohio led 34-10 after the score.
Ohio started the game on its own 35-yard line after Akron kicked the ball out of bounds on the opening kickoff.
The Bobcat’s started their first possession of the game with four straight Beau Blankenship carries to get a first down.
Tettleton then hit Troy Hill for a 15-yard gain and a first down. The Bobcats orchestrated a reverse pass for a touchdown on the next play. Blankenship flipped the ball to Landon Smith on the play and Smith hit a streaking Tettleton for a touchdown.
“I was just telling myself, ‘don’t drop it, don’t trip,’” said Tettleton. The touchdown catch was Tettleton’s first of his career.
Solich called the trick play and was happy with its result.
“[The trick play] meant a lot, we got tricked about three times last week. It’s time for us to trick somebody,” Solich said with a grin on his face.
Akron started its next possession on its own 4-yard line after a holding penalty. The Zips were forced to punt the ball away to Ohio.
Tettleton hit Hill again for a 25-yard gain on Ohio’s next possession. Tettleton then completed a pass to Foster for a 13-yard touchdown.
On the score, Tettleton became Ohio’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, eclipsing Boo Jackson on the list.
“He’s had a tremendous career here … He’ll keep putting up, I think, huge numbers,” said Solich about Tettleton.
Akron moved the ball down the field on its next possession, but came up short on a fourth-and-2 play. Akron’s Chisholm dropped a pass on fourth down to turn the ball over.
Ohio would also fail to get a first down and turn the ball over on a fourth down play on its next drive.
Akron came out moving the ball on its next drive. Williams completed a nice pass to get into Ohio territory, but proceeded to throw a pick on Ohio’s 13-yard line. Ohio’s Keith Moore picked it off for his first interception of his career.
Tettleton rushed for 30 yards on Ohio’s next drive. The Ohio QB was rushing a lot more in the game; he seems to be completely healed from his injury. Venham punted to end the drive.
“Coaches really wanted me to … be aggressive and do a lot more than what I have been in previous weeks, but with these guys (Boykin and Blankenship) rushing as well as they have been, I feel like there’s no need,” said Tettleton.
Akron took over and had to punt as well. The Zips’ Paul had a punt for a net of 13 yards; Ohio took over on its own 46-yard line.
Tettleton led Ohio near the end zone with a nice pass to Matt Watters after scrambling. He led Chase Cochran to the end zone with a nice pass and Cochran made a great catch, but he came down just out of bounds. Matt Weller then booted a 44-yard field goal to put Ohio up 17-14.
Ohio’s Nathan Carpenter and Carl Jones teamed up for a 12-yard loss on a sack, forcing another Akron punt.
Jones would be ejected in the first half of the game for slapping an Akron player in the helmet.
“I’ll have to read through the rule book as to how that will work,” said Solich of the penalty.
Tettleton hit Bussey for a gain of 34 yards on Ohio’s next drive. The drive looked promising, but Ohio was unable to score a touchdown. Matt Weller then made a 29-yard field goal; Ohio led 20-0 after the score.
Akron scored its first touchdown of the game on its next drive. Williams completed a 34-yard pass to Chisholm to get the Zips to Ohio’s 20-yard line with 23 seconds remaining in the half.
Williams connected with L.T. Smith for a 19-yard touchdown pass with only 16 seconds remaining in the half.
At the half, Ohio led Akron 20-7.
Akron opened the second half with the ball, and came out hot. Williams led the Zips on a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive. Williams was six for seven on the drive, it only took the Zips 3:05 to score.
Williams found a groove heading into the second half, after failing to score for most of the first half; he led the Zips on two straight scoring drives.
Ohio took over on the next drive and was forced to punt.
Akron came out rolling yet again on the next drive, but it was forced to punt. The Zips’ Paul had a great punt that ended up downing Ryan Clark on his own 4-yard line.
Akron was forced to punt on its possession after the aforementioned momentous Blankenship and Boykin scores. And so was Ohio on the next. Blankenship eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark for the sixth time this season on the drive, though.
Chisholm led Akron down the field on Akron’s next drive. Williams capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Jerrod Dillard. The score made it 34-21 in Ohio’s favor with 8:48 left in the game.
The Bobcats punted on their next drive. Ohio’s defense came up huge on the next possession, stopping a crucial Akron fourth down attempt.
Daz Patterson and Derrius Vick came in the game for Ohio on the next drive. Solich said that it was a good time to get Vick into the game because he earned the opportunity to play. But, it may have been a little premature as Ohio would flirt with allowing an Akron comeback.
Ohio had a bad snap on a punt attempt to end a drive in deep into the fourth quarter. Akron took over on Ohio’s 48-yard line. Williams led Akron down the field for a score with 1:55 left in the game. The touchdown made the score 34-28 with Ohio in the lead.
Akron attempted an onside kick and kicked it out of bounds. Ohio got possession of the ball on Akron’s 44-yard line. Ohio avoided the potentially devastating Akron comeback.
Ryan Boykin rushed for a first down on the next play and that was enough to put the game away for Ohio.
Ohio’s inexperienced secondary performed well against the nation’s fourth ranked passer. Williams threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns in the game. While that may seem like a bad day for Ohio’s defense, Solich explained why it worked for Ohio.
“In the passing game, it’s clear that you can give up a lot of yards, but yards aren’t points,” said Solich.
The Bobcats are now 7-0 for the first time since 1968, and on the cusp of a berth in the AP Top 25 poll. The atmosphere at Peden for the Homecoming game was electric.
The second highest attendance in Peden Stadium history witnessed, and became a part of, a huge Ohio win as the fans chanted, “OU, Oh yeah!” late in the game. It was the first time in a long time that a truly encouraged spirit was felt at Peden.
Special things are on the horizon for Ohio. The Bobcats have a buy next week and will get some much needed rest. Ohio won’t practice until next Thursday.
Solich said that “maybe Gerald Moore” will be able to get healthy during the break.
“They deserve a rest,” said Solich of his team.
A rest is the farthest thing that Ohio football fans want from the action the Bobcats have provided thus far. This 2012 Bobcats Football team has been a great gift to the fans of Ohio.
Sports Illustrated articles are being written about them, the star offensive players are being nationally recognized and Peden has come alive.