L. Smith 43-yd TD pass from Tettleton (Weller PAT)
Tettleton 1-yd TD run (Weller PAT
Foster 5-yd TD pass from Tettleton (Weller PAT)
Stats at a Glance
• First Downs
• Total Offensive Yards
• Passing Yards
• Rushing Yards
• 3rd-Down Conversions
• 4th-Down Conversions
• Time of Possession
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Ohio Football opened its 2012 season at Penn State on Saturday afternoon in front of a national television audience, defeating the Nittany Lions by a final score of 24-14. The Bobcats trailed 14-3 at the half but scored the final 21 points of the game to earn the victory.
Tyler Tettleton led the way for the Green and White through the air, completing 31 of 41 pass attempts for 324 yards and two touchdowns. The junior quarterback also gained 48 yards on the ground from nine rushing attempts. Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) was a driving force in the win, rushing 31 times for 111 yards. The junior running back also caught seven passes, gaining 72 yards.
Tettleton completed at least one pass to ten different receivers in the game. Blankenship's marks were the highest on the team while Donte Foster (5 catches, 32 yards) and Ryan Clark (4 catches, 54 yards) were not far behind.
Penn State drove down the field well in its first possession of the game, running 11 plays and gaining 67 yards. This drive came to a grinding halt when Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) delivered a crunching tackle on ballcarrier Bill Belton, forcing him to fumble. Ohio linebacker Keith Moore (Grove City, Ohio) was on the ball immediately, recovering it at the Ohio 21-yard line.
Beau Blankenship earned Ohio's first first down of the day, scrambling ten yards up the middle of the field right around the six-minute mark of the first quarter. This was the first play of a solid seven-play, 38-yard drive which stalled just outside of field goal range for the Bobcats.
The Nittany Lions took a 7-0 lead with three seconds left in the first quarter, scoring when quarterback Matt McGloin passed to Bill Belton for a six-yard score. Penn State's first scoring drive of the afternoon spanned ten plays, 80 yards and 3:17.
Ohio collected a muffed fair catch to begin a drive in Nittany Lion territory 3:17 into the second quarter. The Bobcats ran three plays, and though kept out of the end zone, were able to put three points on the board when Matt Weller nailed a 22-yard field goal to make it 7-3. Near the end of the first half, Ohio put together a strong 10-play, 59-yard drive to get within scoring range. On the drive, Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) looked sharp, completing 3-of-4 passes for 40 yards through the air. Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) lined up a 44-yard field goal to try and put the `Cats within one point but his attempt sailed wide left.
Penn State took advantage of a big special-teams play near the end of the first half, as Grant Venham (Belpre, Ohio) had his punt blocked and recovered at Ohio's 18. The Nittany Lions made short work of this drive, finding the end zone in three plays when McGloin connected with Matt Lehman for a 14-yard touchdown strike. The ensuing PAT made the score 14-3 in favor of Penn State.
Ohio scored its first touchdown of the season at the 10:40 mark of the third quarter, scoring when Landon Smith (Girard, Ohio) caught a deflected pass from Tettleton in the middle of the field. The wideout effectively used his downfield blockers the rest of the way, scampering across the goal line to shrink Ohio's deficit from 14-3 to 14-10 following the successful PAT.
The Bobcats then took their first lead of the season with 3:49 to play in the third quarter, capping an eight-play 70-yard drive with a one-yard QB `keeper by Tettleton to cross the goal line.
Tettleton and his offense engineered one of the best drives in program history in the fourth quarter, getting possession of the ball at their own seven-yard line with 9:37 to play in the game. The Green and White marched down the field, gaining 88 yards on 13 plays before Tettleton found wide receiver Donte Foster (Guthrie, Okla.) in the back corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown strike. This gave the `Cats a 24-14 lead with 2:55 to play in the contest.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Saturday, Sept. 8 against New Mexico State. The game will serve as Ohio Football's 2012 home opener and will begin from Peden Stadium at 7 p.m.