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No. 23 Bobcats Edged by RedHawks in Battle of the Bricks, 23-20

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Ryan Boykin had a strong day on the ground for the Bobcats, gaining 74 yards on just 10 carries
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Ryan Boykin had a strong day on the ground for the Bobcats, gaining 74 yards on just 10 carries
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Oct. 27, 2012

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OXFORD, Ohio – The No. 23 Ohio Football Team lost a close 23-20 decision at Mid-American Conference rival Miami on Saturday afternoon. The loss was the first of the season for Ohio and marked the first time the Bobcats had lost to the RedHawks since the 2005 season.

After allowing 309 yards of total offense in the first two quarters, Ohio’s defense clamped down in the second half and only yielded 115 in the final 30 minutes of the game. Miami’s defense also had a strong showing on Saturday, generating a season-high six sacks for a combined loss of 44 yards.

Miami (4-4, 3-1 MAC) senior quarterback Zac Dysert had a strong day through the air for the RedHawks, throwing for a game high 311 yards and one touchdown on 21-of-36 passing. Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) also had a strong day through the air, completing 23 of his 38 attempts for 302 yards.

Miami got on the board first, scoring with 9:05 to play in the first quarter when Kaleb Patterson connected on a 40-yard field goal. The successful kick came at the end of a 14-play, 50-yard drive which spanned 5:55 and included three third-down conversions. The RedHawks were then able to extend their advantage to 10-0 just more than two minutes later, as Dysert found a streaking Nick Harwell up the middle of the field for a 54-yard touchdown strike.

Once Miami’s third straight scoring drive made it 13-0, Ohio (7-1, 3-1 MAC) got on the board with an impressive drive of its own. Tettleton and Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.) marched the ‘Cats down the field on a six-play, 75-yard drive which culminated in a Blankenship five-yard touchdown rush. Key on this drive was a 45-yard pass to Chase Cochran (Lebanon, Ohio) up the far sideline.

The Bobcats came up with another important scoring drive in the middle stages of the second quarter, moving 71 yards up the field to score a touchdown after Miami had taken a 20-7 advantage. Tettleton went 3-of-5 on the drive for 33 yards. The junior quarterback scrambled from three yards out and leapt across the goal line for the touchdown with 9:45 remaining in the first half.

Following an Ohio offensive stall late in the second quarter, punter Grant Venham (Belpre, Ohio) unleashed a perfectly-weighted punt which traveled 51 yards and pinned the RedHawks inside their own one-yard line.

With just 19 seconds remaining in the first half, Miami appeared poised to score and increase its advantage. Ohio’s defensive line pressured Dysert, forcing him to roll out and throw into the endzone. Waiting in the right spot was Nathan Carpenter (Lancaster, Ohio), who made an important interception to help Ohio keep within one score headed into halftime. The interception was his second of the season.

Senior kicker Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) continued his climb up the MAC record books on Saturday, overtaking Steve Azar of Northern Illinois for second all-time on the conference career scoring list with his 45-yard field goal to pull the ‘Cats within three (20-17) just 2:57 into the third quarter.

Both teams’ defenses stepped up in the late stages of the game, trading stops throughout much of the third and fourth quarter. Tettleton changed this up with a 34-yard strike to wide receiver Matt Waters up the middle of the field, a play which ultimately led to Weller’s game-tying 38-yard field goal with 4:41 remaining in the game.

Miami scored the final points of the game with 1:24 left on the clock, driving down the field for a deciding 31-yard field goal by Patterson. The Bobcats had a chance to tie or take the lead with nine seconds left and the ball on Miami’s seven-yard line, but Tettleton was sacked by Miami’s Wes Williams, resulting in the final seconds dripping off the clock.

Ohio will next be in action on Thursday, Nov. 1 against Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats and Eagles will kick off from Peden Stadium at 6 p.m.