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Bobcats Handle Miami on Homecoming

Oct. 17, 2009

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ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football team improved to a perfect 3-0 in the Mid-American Conference with a 28-7 victory over rival Miami in front of a Homecoming crowd of more than 20,000 Saturday afternoon in Peden Stadium.

The win improved Ohio to 5-2 overall on the season and 3-0 in the MAC, the Bobcats' best start in better than a decade. Miami dropped to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the league, suffering its fourth-straight loss to Ohio, the longest such streak since 1960-64 (five straight).

The victory gave Ohio its first 3-0 league start since 1997.                              

The RedHawks scored first, finding the end zone on the opening drive of the game, capping a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard rush from redshirt freshman quarterback Zac Dysert.

The ensuing successful point-after attempt by Trevor Cook would be the last point scored against the Bobcats.

Ohio held the RedHawks to just 116 yards of total offense over the final three quarters of the game, forcing seven punts and four turnovers.

The Bobcats got on the scoreboard after the RedHawks turned the ball over on their second offensive possession of the game.

Ohio junior Shannon Ballard (Miami, Fla.) tallied his first career interception with a pick of Dysert in Miami territory. The Bobcats converted the score with a one-yard touchdown run from sophomore Donte Harden (Erie, Pa.) two and a half minutes later. Harden rushed for 75 of Ohio's 83 yards on the drive, en route to his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. Harden finished the contest with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Ohio's senior quarterback Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) connected with junior Terrance McCrae (Vanderbilt, Pa.) for a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter.

McCrae caught a 24-yard pass from Scott midway through the quarter and another eight-yard toss with just 39 seconds remaining in the half to give the Bobcats a 21-7 advantage at the break.

After a scoreless third quarter for both teams, Harden added another score for the Bobcats in the fourth quarter, on another one-yard touchdown rush, to give the Bobcats their final advantage.  

Ohio's defense held the RedHawks to only 25 yards of offense on 23 plays in the second and third quarters combined.

Sophomore Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio), who was a perfect four-for-four on PAT attempts, averaged 63.6 yards on five kickoff attempts.

Junior long snapper Kyle Robbins (North Canton, Ohio) tallied his first career fumble recovery, diving on a botched punt return attempt by Miami's Mitchell Anderson.

The Ohio offensive line recorded its fifth consecutive game without allowing a sack.

Senior Patrick Tafua (Midway City, Calif.) led the Bobcats with eight tackles, while classmate Thad Turner (Marietta, Ga.) added seven. Juniors Dak Notestine (Bellefontaine, Ohio), Marcellis Williamson (Warrensville Heights, Ohio) and Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) added six apiece.

Ohio's defense collected six tackles for loss on the afternoon, pushing the RedHawks back a total of 19 yards on those plays.