Nov. 27, 2009
Final Stats |
ATHENS, Ohio-The Ohio (9-3, 7-1) football team earned a berth into the Mid-American Conference title game with a 35-17 win over Temple (9-3, 7-1) Friday at Peden Stadium.
With the win, the Bobcats also clinched a share of the MAC East regular season title, their second in four years.
The win is the 28th victory for the Bobcats’ senior class, which honored 18 seniors in its final home contest before the nationally-televised event. The Class of 2009 (2006-09) is the school’s winningest since 1963, when that group accumulated 29 victories from 1960-63.
Ohio will face Central Michigan for the 2009 MAC title at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday at 8 p.m.
A season ago, the Owls got the better of the Bobcats in a defensive struggle in Philadelphia. On Friday, Ohio made sure to make a statement with its offense from the start.
For the second week in a row, the Bobcats scored on their opening drive of the game, capping an eight-play, 89-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) to Steven Goulet (Irmo, S.C). An extra-point attempt from freshman Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) gave the Bobcats’ a 7-0 lead.
The Ohio defense held Temple scoreless in the first quarter, keeping the Owls off the scoreboard until the 14:52 mark of the second quarter, when freshman Brandon McManus connected on a 24-yard field goal.
The Bobcats’ extended their lead on a 65-yard pass from Scott to LaVon Brazill (Lantana, Fla.), marking career-highs for both quarterback and receiver. A miss on the extra point attempt gave the Bobcats a 13-3 lead.
Temple closed the gap to three before the half with a 17-yard touchdown run from Kee-Ayre Griffin followed by an extra point from McManus.
Ohio took advantage of the second-half kickoff, driving 73 yards on six plays, with Scott finding the end zone on a 17-yard rush. The key play in the drive was a 50-yard strike from Scott to senior wideout Taylor Price down the Ohio sideline. Price caught three passes Friday, tying the school record for career receptions at 144.
Scott tied the school record with his third touchdown of the day. A connection with Terrence McCrae (Vanderbilt, Pa.) for a four-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter gave Scott his 19th touchdown of the season, tying the school record for touchdown passes in the season. Current Bobcat Boo Jackson threw 19 touchdown passes during the 2008 season.
After three unanswered scores, the Owls responded with a nine-yard touchdown run from Matt Brown, before Scott tacked on another score of his own.
The senior rushed for a 43-yard touchdown with 10 minutes remaining in the game to put Ohio up by 15 points.
A 38-yard field goal from Weller on Ohio’s next possession set the final margin.
Scott finished with a career-high 324 yards passing, which also ranks seventh on Ohio’s all-time single-game list. Scott’s 393 yards of total offense stands third in school history for a single-game total, while the five touchdowns he was responsible for ties the second-best mark in Ohio history.
Senior Lee Renfro (Burnside, Ky.) led the Ohio defense with 15 tackles, including 10 solo stops. Junior Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) recorded 12 tackles and two forced fumbles, marking the fifth time this season that Keller has had double-figure tackles for the Ohio defense.
Redshirt freshman Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) recorded eight tackles while pulling down a pair of interceptions, giving him a team-leading six picks for the season.
Ohio currently leads the nation with 35 total takeaways in 2009.