April 10, 2010
ATHENS, Ohio-Quarterbacks Phil Bates and Tyler Tettleton combined to complete 14 of 20 passes for 163 yards, three touchdowns and one interception Saturday in the first scrimmage of Ohio Football’s spring season.
Bates completed seven of 10 passes for 91 yards and two scores, while Tettleton also went 7-10 for 77 yards and one score.
The two signal-callers completed passes to seven different receivers, as Bates found wideout Terrence McCrae for a 19-yard score in the corner of the end zone and later hit Adam Alderman on a 40-yard bomb down the middle for another score. Tettleton’s touchdown came on a diving 15-yard catch in the corner of the end zone by Bakari Bussey.
McCrae finished with two catches for 27 yards, while Alderman caught two for 47 yards and Bussey snared three for 31 yards. Wideout Riley Dunlop also caught three for 27 yards.
Donte Harden led the rushing attack with six carries for 40 yards, while Vince Davidson ran three times for 31 yards. Bates carried the ball eight times for 28 yards, and reserve Caesy Meridieth ran six times for 45 yards.
Defensively, cornerback Shannon Ballard had the biggest play of the day as he scooped up a fumble and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown, a scene reminiscent of his play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl last season.
Defensive lineman Melvin Payne continued his fine transition from linebacker by recording a team-high six tackles. Ten Bobcats had three tackles apiece, including safety Andy Fay who had a tackle for loss and linebacker Brandon Weaver who recorded a half tackle for loss. Linebacker Eric Benjamin posted a sack and defensive linemen Neal Huynh and Stafford Gatling combined for the other sack.
Quarterback Phil Bates:
As we got our confidence going, we got going offensively. We haven’t been playing together that long on offense. Compared to last week, we were getting plays run a little tighter and getting better. I think you have to go back to the fundamentals and that’s what I tried to do today. I think we tried to do that today and we got a little better.
I think a bunch of times today I could have taken off, gotten a couple more yards, but you know what you have to do. The scrimmage today was about executing plays … just moving the ball and making plays. Once the pads come on and the gold jersey comes off, I think it will be a lot better for us.
I think everybody is getting more comfortable and knowing the offense a little better. Everybody is loosened up a little and having a good time out there.
Safety Gerald Moore:
I think our mentality was to come out hard, play aggressive, and give our offense good competition. For all the talking there is during the week, this is the time we finally get to hit and see who’s going to step up. It’s definitely good to get the pads on and get involved in the competition.
As a team, it definitely helped us create a lot of momentum during the season. It helped give our team a couple wins and helped our offense get back out there. So continuing to force turnovers will be beneficial to us this season in helping us get back to where we want to be; winning the MAC Championship and getting to a bowl game.
I generally think it starts with the line getting a good pass rush and hurrying the quarterback, creating pressure. Then it comes down to the ability to make plays and figuring out where the ball and receiver are going to be. Overall, I think that’s what helps in creating turnovers.