ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Football improved to 7-0 Saturday afternoon for the first time since 1968 on the heels of a rushing attack that amassed 252 yards. Tyler Tettleton accounted for 254 total yards and three touchdowns as Ohio moved to 3-0 in Mid-American Conference play with a 34-28 victory over Akron.
Junior running back Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) led the way on the ground for the Green and White, racking up 108 yards on just 17 carries for an average of 6.4 per rush. He was nearly joined in triple digits by Ryan Boykin, who carried the ball 19 times for 99 yards and one touchdown.
Through the air, Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) completed 13 of his 27 passing attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns. The junior became Ohio's all-time leader in touchdown tosses with his first score on Saturday, and now sits atop the record book with 40. Tettleton also caught the first touchdown pass of his career on Saturday, receiving a 39-yard pass from wide receiver Landon Smith (Girard, Ohio) to open the scoring.
Jelani Woseley (Staten Island, N.Y.) led the defensive charge for Ohio, accounting for 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss, one sack and one pass break up. Keith Moore and Octavius Leftwich each had interceptions for the Bobcat defense, which accounted for seven tackles for loss on the afternoon.
Ohio scored the game's first 20 points and led 20-0 with less than a minute left in the first half, but the Bobcats allowed Akron to march 75 yards in less than a minute at the end of the second quarter in order to cut the lead to 20-7.
Akron then took the second half kickoff and drove for its second-straight score, this time on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 3:04. Dalton Williams completed the drive with a 10-yard touchdown toss to Tyler Williams that pulled the Zips within six points, 20-14, early in the third quarter.
After Akron had scored its second-straight touchdown spanning the two halves, the Bobcat offense stalled on its first drive of the third quarter and gave the Zips a chance to take their first lead of the game.
The Bobcat defense came up with a big stop on the ensuing Akron possession, however. Taking over at his own four-yard line, Blankenship helped put together a 96-yard scoring drive that allowed Ohio to regain control of the game at 27-14. Blankenship accounted for eight carries and 78 yards on the drive before Tettleton found Troy Hill in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Octavius Leftwhich (Huntsville, Ala.) helped Ohio increase its hold on the game's momentum by intercepting Akron's Dalton Williams on the first play of Akron's next drive. Boykin led the charge on the Bobcats' following offensive possession, accounting for 48 yards and a touchdown as Ohio scored for the second consecutive drive. The nine-play, 56-yard drive increased the Bobcats' lead to 34-14 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Zips responded to Ohio's back-to-back scores with an 11-play, 70-yard drive of their own to pull within 34-21 with 8:48 left in the game. Williams finished off the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Jerrod Dillard.
Akron (1-6, 0-3 MAC) marched 43 yards in eight plays and 1:23 to put another score on the board and cut the Ohio lead to 34-28 with 1:55 to go. The Zips, who were out of timeouts, then attempted an onside kick, but the kick found its way out of bounds, giving Ohio the ball with 1:55 left on the clock. After Boykin picked up a first down on the second play of the drive, Ohio lined up in victory formation and ran the clock out for the 34-28 victory.