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Ohio Finishes Strong to Defeat New Mexico State in Home-Opener

Ohio's Donte Foster

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ATHENS, Ohio - Junior running back Beau Blankenship rushed for a game-high 168 yards on the ground to lead the Ohio University football team (2-0) to a convincing 51-24 victory over New Mexico State (1-1) Saturday night at Peden Stadium.

Teammate Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) also posted a strong performance offensively for the Bobcats as he passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns. The junior signal-caller finished the night by going 15-of-23 and completing passes to nine different receivers. Junior Donte Foster finished the night with a team best five receptions for 57 yards.

In addition, senior Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) finished the night 3-for-4 in field goals and drilled six extra points to become the school's all-time leading scorer.

Defensively, Ohio registered six sacks and held New Mexico State to just 71 yards rushing. Junior Keith Moore (Grove City, Ohio) led the way with nine tackles.

As a team, Ohio outgained New Mexico State 584 to 206. The Bobcats rushed for 293 yards and passed for 291 as it won for the eighth time in its last nine games dating back to last season. The Bobcats' 51 points were the most the team scored since 2008 when Ohio defeated VMI 51-31.

Ohio jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after Tettleton rushed in from six yards out to complete a seven-play 68-yard drive, which spanned 2:23. Tettleton was 3-of-4 on the drive with the big play coming on a 41-yard pass to Troy Hill.

New Mexico State fought back on its next offensive possession to even the score at seven apiece. The Aggies went 75 yards in 11 plays to even the score.

The Bobcats reclaimed the lead after Tettleton hit Foster for a 28-yard touchdown pass, which made the count 14-7. New Mexico State would respond once again as it went 78 yards in six plays.

Ohio found the end zone again two series later thanks to some strong running by Blankenship. During the five-play drive, Blankenship carried the ball five times for 71 yards, concluding with a 33-yard touchdown dash to make the count 21-14.

Heading into the locker room, Blankenship had already totaled a career-high 134 yards rushing, while Tettleton had completed 10-of-13 passes for 135 yards. Ohio outgained New Mexico State 273-164 as a team, but only held a seven-point lead.

In the third quarter, Ohio outgained New Mexico State 161-16 to open up a commanding 45-24 lead. Sophomore Landon Smith (Girard, Ohio), redshirt sophomore Nathan Carpenter (Lancaster, Ohio) and Blankenship all scored touchdowns. Carpenter's 22-yard interception return for a touchdown was the 38th non-offensive touchdown for the Bobcats dating back to 2004. 

In the fourth quarter, Ohio added a pair of field goals to secure the win.

The Bobcats return to action on Saturday as they travel to Marshall to take on the Thundering Herd.