Sept. 15, 2013
By Alex Marcheschi
OhioBobcats.com - Staff Writer
Efficiency rang true for Ohio in The Battle for the Bell on Saturday night as the Bobcats defeated Marshall 34-31 and beat their rival for the third straight year. It's the first time the Bobcats have accomplished that long of a streak against the Thundering Herd since 1980.
And the win isn't just significant in the history books, the Marshall game is big in the region and a win is great for the community.
"It means a lot to the university, the coaching staff, players, and the campus as a whole," said redshirt senior Ohio tight end Troy Hill.
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton was extremely effective in the second half of the game.
He only had four incompletions in the latter half of the game and routinely extended drives to secure crucial scores. And for Tettleton, the fruits of his labor are especially sweet. He's beaten the Thundering Herd every time he's been matched up against them in his three years as a starter.
"It feels amazing," he said. "This is such a fun, and such a cool rivalry. I'm so glad we get to keep the bell here."
Depending on who you ask, and the date on the calendar, Marshall is thought to be Ohio's biggest rival. And that's been evident to Ohio head coach Frank Solich.
"It's huge because I go to my radio shows and different places, and they bring up Marshall when it's Marshall week," he said. "It is a great rivalry, and both teams played tremendously hard."
The Bobcat's defense not only played hard like Solich said, but they made sure to capitalize off of every opportunity that Marshall provided them with.
The defense forced three turnovers, which included two fumbles and a huge fourth quarter interception by redshirt sophomore cornerback Devin Bass. His pick came when Ohio was only up by one touchdown, and it put the Bobcats in position to go up by two possessions.
"It seems to always come down to the wire with these guys, and that's why it's a rivalry like it is," Bass said.
"I thought (Bass) had a tremendous game," Solich said. "He's proven that he's an outstanding competitor, he is a tough, tough son of a gun."
Two other players who turned in stellar performances were wide receivers Matt Waters and Donte Foster, the two combined for 14 receptions and 163 yards of offense. They did most of their damage on slant routes, and it was no coincidence.
"(Slants) were one of the things we had been working on all week," Tettleton said. "We saw that they were playing outside leverage on those guys, and we felt like we could take advantage of it."
And in the big picture, Ohio really took advantage of every possible aspect of the game. The Bobcats capitalized off of turnovers, and committed none of their own.
Efficiency won Ohio the Bell yet again, and Solich is proud of his team.
"We put football teams on the field that just seem to never give up," he said. "We know that we need to be on top of our game in order to get it done."
Alex Marcheschi will serve as the OhioBobcats.com staff writer during the 2013-14 season. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BobcatFeatures.