SHREVEPORT, La. -Ohio Football picked up its second straight bowl win on Friday afternoon, earning a dominating 45-14 victory over the University of Louisiana-Monroe in the 2012 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl. The Bobcat offense exploded in the win, amassing a bowl-record 556 total yards and setting multiple additional Independence Bowl records in the process.
Beau Blankenship led the way on the ground for Ohio (9-4), carrying the ball 19 times for a total of 105 yards and a bowl-record four touchdowns. Friday's game marked the ninth time during the 2012 season he surpassed 100 yards on the ground, an Ohio record.
Quarterback Tyler Tettleton (Norman, Okla.) had a very strong game for the Green and White as well, completing 14 of his 22 pass attempts for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Chase Cochran was Ohio's leading receiver, catching three passes for 162 yards and one touchdown.
Ohio got on the board right off the bat, capping a three-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown strike from Tettleton to Donte Foster (Guthrie, Okla.). On the drive, Tettleton was a perfect 3-3 through the air, finding receivers Tyler Futrell (26 yards), Chase Cochran (51), and Foster (3). The touchdown pass was Tettleton's 17th of the season and the 45th of his career.
Following an important Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) interception on ULM's next drive, Ohio put its foot on the gas pedal once again. Facing a third-and-eight from his own 32-yard line, Tettleton found a streaking Cochran (Lebanon, Ohio) down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown pass. Cochran caught the ball some distance away from the end zone and was able to outrun the Warhawk defense en route to Ohio's second score of the day. Matt Weller's second successful PAT made the game 14-0 in favor of the Bobcats just 6:43 into the contest.
The Bobcats were able to nab their second interception of the opening quarter with 4:52 remaining when Jelani Woseley (Staten Island, N.Y.) picked off a Kolton Browning pass at the Ohio 29-yard line. The interception was Woseley's fourth of the season and the fifth of his career.
A touchdown drive by the Warhawks (8-5) was quickly answered by a 38 yard Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) field goal, making the score 17-7 in favor of Ohio with 11:08 left in the first half. Just when it appeared that the Warhawks were poised to close the gap even further, the Bobcat defense held strong and forced a 43-yard field goal attempt by ULM's Justin Manton. Ian Wells (Dayton, Ohio) darted around the offensive line and dove, blocking the field goal attempt. The blocked field goal was Ohio's first such play since a 2010 game against Toledo.
Ohio collected its third interception of the first half when Tremayne Scott (Ocala, Fla.) caught a Browning pass at the line of scrimmage. The pick was the first in the career of Scott, and came following the senior's seven-game absence due to an injury sustained earlier in the season. Beginning its next drive at the ULM three-yard line, Ohio was able to punch it in on the ground thanks to a two-yard rush by Beau Blankenship (Norman, Okla.), putting the Green and White ahead 24-7 with 4:50 to play in the first half.
The Bobcat defense stood strong to end the first half, holding the Warhawks scoreless on a 13-play drive, even in spite of the fact that ULM at one point had a first-and-goal from Ohio's one-yard line. Ohio took a 24-7 lead into the halftime break.
Ohio's momentum carried over seamlessly into the second half, as the Bobcats marched down the field 75 yards in seven plays on their opening drive to push their lead to 31-7 at the 12:22 mark. Blankenship capped off the drive with his second touchdown carry of the afternoon, a two-yard rush to the left side. He then followed this up with yet another touchdown just a few minutes later, scoring from one yard out to put the `Cats ahead by a 38-7 margin.
From this point on, the teams would trade touchdowns en route to Ohio's second straight bowl victory.