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Bobcats Open MAC Play With Victory Over Kent State

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns during Saturday's win over Kent State

Oct. 1, 2011

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ATHENS, Ohio – Sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton completed 28-of-42 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns and the Ohio University defense forced four turnovers as the Bobcat football team opened Mid-American Conference play with a 17-10 win over Kent State on Saturday afternoon at Peden Stadium.

The win was Ohio’s first against the Golden Flashes since 2008 and marks the first time the Bobcats have begun the home schedule 3-0 since 2005 – head coach Frank Solich’s first season.  Ohio’s 4-1 start is its best since 1997.

Ohio (4-1, 1-0 MAC East) gained control for good late in the second quarter, taking a 10-7 lead when Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) found senior wide receiver LaVon Brazill (Lantana, Fla.) in the corner of the end zone for a four-yard touchdown.  The Bobcats would not trail again.  They extended their advantage at 2:15 of the third quarter with a seven-yard TD from Tettleton to sophomore running back Ryan Boykin (Woodstock, Ga.) to cap a 13-play, 56-yard drive – highlighted by a Tettleton dive for first down on fourth-and-1 at the Kent State 34.

The Bobcat offense was prolific – it gained 391 yards, including 352 in the first three quarters.  Tettleton’s 276 yards through the air moved him to second all-time among Ohio sophomores with 1,200 this season.  Brazill finished with eight catches for 102 yards – moving him past Tom Compernolle for fifth place on Ohio’s all-time receiving yardage list.  His touchdown catch was his fifth of the season, good for a tie for tenth in Bobcat single-season annals.  Boykin amassed 119 yards from scrimmage (72 rushing, 47 receiving) in his second-straight start.

As good as Ohio’s offense was the defense might’ve been even better.

The Bobcats held Kent State (1-4, 0-1 MAC) to just 217 yards and intercepted three Golden Flashes passes in the first half alone.  Kent State had just one scoring drive longer than 25 yards in the game.  KSU quarterback Spencer Keith finished 15-of-35 passing for 117 yards and two interceptions while rushing for a one-yard score.

Freshman linebacker Nathan Carpenter (Lancaster, Ohio) was the defensive star for Ohio, making a spectacular diving catch for an interception in the first quarter and then backing it up with 10 tackles (including a sack).  Senior linebacker Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) also had 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss.

Ohio moved the ball with ease for most of the first half, but had little to show for it.  Kent State blocked junior placekicker Matt Weller’s (Twinsburg, Ohio) 41-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter and blocked senior punter Paul Hershey’s (Fremont, Ohio) punt later in the frame.  The Ohio defense stepped up in both situations – intercepting running back Jacquise Terry’s pass after the latter – but Kent State finally broke through in the second quarter, turning a Tettleton fumble into a 25-yard touchdown drive.  Keith’s one-yard run ended that drive and gave the Flashes their only lead at 7-3.

Weller had given the Bobcats the first points of the game at 11:45 of the second quarter, capping a 12-play, 67-yard drive with a 43-yard boot to put Ohio in front 3-0.  It was his 41st career field goal, extending his Bobcat career record.

Ohio returns to action next Saturday at Buffalo for a 3:30 p.m. EST kickoff.