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Bobcats to Face Marshall in Little Caesars Bowl

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Ohio Football heads back to Detroit for a December 26 matchup with Marshall
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Ohio Football heads back to Detroit for a December 26 matchup with Marshall
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Dec. 6, 2009

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ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football team will face the Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6, 4-4 Conference USA) in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, Michigan (Ford Field) on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. on ESPN.

"We are ecstatic about meeting a traditional rival in Marshall at a first-class bowl like the Little Caesars at a location that is close for our fans," said Jim Schaus, Director of Athletics at Ohio University. "This is an important step for building our football program. I am excited that over 120,000 alumni are within just five hours drive. It will be a big-time atmosphere. I encourage all Bobcats to join us in this historic event."

The Bobcats went 9-4 overall and 7-1 in the MAC this season, capturing the MAC East title and securing their second berth in the MAC Championship Game in four years.

Ohio boasted a school-record 12 selections on the All-MAC teams, led by first-teamers Chris Garrett (kick returner), Lee Renfro (outside linebacker) and Matt Weller (kicker).

"It is exciting," said senior captain Renfro. "Detroit was a great host for the Mid-American Conference Championship and we're looking forward to going back there. We had a great crowd show up and it can get loud in there (Ford Field) with a lot of Bobcat fans."

Bobcat linebacker Noah Keller, a second team All-MAC selection, has a league-best 138 tackles thus far.

The Bobcats lead the nation in turnovers forced (36) and are in the top seven nationally in fumbles recovered (16), passes intercepted (20) and turnover margin (1.08).

Ohio was also buoyed by stellar special teams play this season, with LaVon Brazill's 15.0 punt return average and Garrett's 27.0 kick return average topping the league. The duo also had four returns for touchdowns between them. Ohio is also in the top 15 nationally with four blocked kicks.

The Bobcats have three previous bowl appearances: the Sun Bowl versus West Texas State in 1962, the Tangerine Bowl versus Richmond in 1968 and the GMAC Bowl versus Southern Mississippi in 2006.

The game will be the Bobcats' 23rd appearance on the ESPN "Family of Networks" during head coach Frank's Solich's five-year tenure in Athens.

The Mid-American Conference will have yet another strong postseason showing, as five teams are poised make bowl appearances. Other MAC bowls will be as follows:

 

Dec. 29:  EagleBank Bowl - Washington, D.C.

4:30 p.m. - ESPN

Temple (9-3, 7-1 MAC) vs. ** UCLA (6-6, 3-6 PAC-10) or Army (5-6 Independent) 

**based upon the outcome of the Dec. 12 matchup between Navy and Army.  If Army defeats Navy then Temple will play Army; if Navy defeats Army then Temple will play UCLA. 

 

Dec. 30:  Roady's Humanitarian Bowl - Boise, Ida.

4:30 p.m. - ESPN

Bowling Green (7-5, 6-2 MAC) vs. Idaho (7-5, 4-4 Western Athletic Conference)

 

Jan. 2:  International Bowl - Toronto, Ontario

Northern Illinois (7-5, 5-3 MAC) vs. South Florida (7-5, 3-4 Big East) 

 

Jan. 6:  GMAC Bowl - Mobile, Ala.

7:00 p.m. - ESPN

Central Michigan (11-2, 8-0 MAC) vs. Troy (9-3, 8-0 Sun Belt)

 

"Over the last several years, the MAC has made tremendous strides in placing teams in bowl games," said conference commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. "The MAC has sent four or more teams to bowl games in four of the last six years."