ATHENS, Ohio - Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 of 37 pass attempts for a school-record five touchdowns and 322 yards to lead Miami to a 36-24 come-from-behind victory. The RedHawks improve to 5-2 overall (4-0 in overall league play) while the Bobcats fall to 1-5, 1-3.
Ohio jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Joe Sherrill scored from 12 yards out midway through the first quarter. After Miami tied the score on a four-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Randy Stegman, but the quarter ended with the Bobcats up 14-7 when Sherrill found the endzone from the 3 with 45 seconds left. The play capped a 10-play drive that covered 77 yards and last over four minutes.
A crowd of 23,427 -- the second-largest in Peden Stadium history -- take control of the contest they went up 21-7 with just 1:58 left in the half. Stafford Owens returned a punt from the Miami endzone nine yards to the RedHawk 29, setting up a three-play drive that ended with a five-yard option left for Dontrell Jackson. But the RedHawks answered with a score of their own, going 80 yards in seven play to climb back to within seven, 21-14, with just 50 seconds remaining. Roethlisberger completed five-of-seven on the drive, including an 11-yarder to Eddie Tillitz for the final play. The RedHawks were aided by a pass interference penalty on second-and-10 at the Ohio 24.
Miami closed the gap further after receiving the second-half kickoff. Its 10-play drive stalled at the Bobcat 12, resulting in a 29-yard field goal by Andy Brumbergs that trimmed the lead to 21-17. The RedHawks took the lead two possessions later. Roethlisberger connected on a 23-yard strike to Michael Larkin to give them a 24-21 lead with 2:36 left in the third.
Ohio tied the game with 12:52 remaining when Kevin Kerr kicked a 39-yard field goal. The kick was the 28th of his career, tying him for first-place on the Bobcats career chart.
But Roethlisberger had another answer. He marched the RedHawks 80 yards on nine plays put them ahead 30-24. He converted two third downs, one with a 28-yard completion and the other on a 21-yarder to set up his second scoring toss to Tillitz.
The Bobcats tried to rally, but failed on a fourth-and-one at their own 45 with five-and-a-half minutes later. Miami iced the game on their next drive when Roethlisberger and Larkin beat double coverage from 30 yards away.
Ohio finished the day with 303 total yards, compared to Miami's 384. Each team's offense capitalized on its strengths - the Bobcats had 281 yards on the ground, while the RedHawks finished with 322 through the air. Jackson had 103 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while Patterson just missed a century rushing game with 99 yards on 11 attempts. Sherrill scored twice and finished with 83 yards on his 14 tries.