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CFN Take: Ohio Gets Picked Off In the Beef
Posted Dec 23, 2013

Ohio Bobcats 2013 ... Head Coach: Frank Solich

Ohio Bobcats

2013 Record: 7-6
8/31 at Louisville L 49-7
9/7 North Texas W 27-21
9/14 Marshall W 34-31
9/21 Austin Peay W 38-0
10/5 at Akron W 43-3
10/12 Central Michigan L 26-23
10/19 at Eastern Mich W 56-28
10/26 Miami Univ. W 41-16
11/5 at Buffalo L 30-3
11/12 at Bowling Green L 49-0
11/19 Kent State L 44-13
11/29 at UMass W 51-23
Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl
12/23 East Carolina L 37-20
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl
East Carolina 37, Ohio 20
Basically … Vintavious Cooper ran for two fourth quarter touchdowns as part of a run of 20 unanswered points as East Carolina pulled away late. The Pirate took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a five-yard Cam Worthy touchdown catch and a two-yard Breon Allen run, but Ohio came back with Tyler Tettleton hitting Daz’mond Patterson for a 17-yard score and a Derrius Vick 80-yard scoring pass to Donte Foster. Two Josiah Yazdani field goals helped give the Bobcats a 20-17 lead, but it was all ECU the rest of the way with Damon Magazu picking off a pass leading to the score that put the game away.

- East Carolina outgained Ohio 568 yards to 435. - East Carolina RB Vintavious Cooper ran 25 times for 198 yards and two scores.
- East Carolina QB Shane Carden completed 29-of-45 passes for 273 yards and a score and ran ten times for 40 yards.
- Ohio WR Donte Foster caught six passes for 160 yards and a score.
- Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton completed 21-of-40 passes for 228 yards and a score with three picks.

at Ohio 51, Massachusetts 23
Basically … Ohio’s offense rolled in a turnover-plagued game getting up 31-10 at halftime highlighted by a 66-yard Travis Carrie interception return for a score and a 50-yard Beau Blankenship run. UMass made it interesting in the second half with Tajae Sharpe catching a 38-yard touchdown pass, and with Brendon Levengood kicking two field goals, but Ohio had control throughout.
- The two teams combined for seven turnovers and 14 penalties.
- Ohio RB Beau Blankenship ran 13 times for 124 yards and a score.
- Ohio defensive back Travis Carrie picked off two passes taking one 66 yards for a touchdown and the other 30 yards for a score.
- Massachusetts RB Shadrach Abrokwa ran 31 times for 110 yards and a score.

Kent State 44, at Ohio 13
Basically … Down 13-10 in the second quarter, Kent State dominated the rest of the way scoring 34 unanswered points. Dri Archer ran for scores from 24, five and 29 yards out, and defensive lineman Nate Terhune took a direct snap off a fake punt and went 61 yards for a score. Anthony Melchiori hit field goals from 47, 26 and 28 yards out for the Golden Flashes. Ohio’s lone touchdown came on a one-yard Mario Dovell catch early in the second quarter.
- Kent State outgained Ohio 537 yards to 204.
- Kent State RB Dri Archer ran 15 times for 138 yards and three scores and caught five passes for 53 yards
- Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton completed 11-of-24 passes for 132 yards and a score with a pick. Backup Darius Vick completed one of five passes or three yards.
- Kent State held on to the ball for over 36 minutes.

at Bowling Green 49, Ohio 0
Basically … Bowling Green dominated the game from the start with Travis Greene scoring the first of his two rushing touchdowns on an 11-yard dash less than three minutes in the game. William Houston scored twice from one-yard out and Matt Johnson threw touchdown passes from 32 yards out to Heath Jackson and 57 yards away to Alex Bayer. Ohio managed just nine first downs.
- Bowling Green RB Travis Greene ran 22 times for 149 yards and two scores
- Ohio was held to 56 rushing yards on 29 carries
- Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton completed 15-of-27 passes for 93 yards with a pick and was held to -6 yards rushing
- The Falcons outgained Ohio 460 yards to 172.

at Buffalo 30, Ohio 3
Basically … Branden Oliver ran for two touchdowns and Alex Neutz caught touchdown passes from 25 and 24 yards out as Buffalo dominated Ohio. The Bobcats managed just 233 yards of total offense and a 23-yard Josiah Yazdani field goal. The second half was all UB, starting with a grounding penalty on Bobcat quarterback Tyler Tettleton starting out a run of 23 unanswered points.
- Buffalo RB Branden Oliver ran 34 times for 249 yards and two scores, and he caught three passes for 19 yards.
- Ohio RB Beau Blankenship ran 20 times for 68 yards.
- Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton completed 14-of-31 passes for 126 yards
- Buffalo WR Alex Neutz caught four passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Central Michigan 26, at Ohio 23
Basically … Courtney Williams caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Rush with 22 seconds to play to give Central Michigan the surprising win. In a seesaw game, Ohio got two touchdown passes from Tyler Tettleton including a 69-yarder to Chase Cochran, and Ryan Boykin gave the team a four point lead with under five minutes to play on a one-yard run, but CMU was able to come back to get the win. Rush threw three touchdown passes for the Chippewas.
- In several ways, this was one of the biggest wins in the Dan Enos era. There wasn’t any Titus Davis at receiver to rely on, but Cooper Rush was still terrific completing 20-of-28 passes for 224 yards with three touchdowns and a pick. Saylor Laviallii continues to be one of the MAC’s best backs with 184 yards with a receiving score; he was a steadying factor for a CMU offense that held the ball for almost 36 minutes.
- Devastating. Considering Ohio set up perfectly with an easy schedule up until the road games at Buffalo and Bowling Green, losing to a mediocre Central Michigan squad could become a killer in the MAC East race. The four turnovers helped to keep the Chippewas alive, but it was the inability of the defense to get off the field, or come up with a stop late, that proved fatal. The running game still hasn’t found its stride – the Bobcats finished with just 107 yards.

Ohio 43, at Akron 3
Basically … Ohio rolled at will with two touchdown passes from Tyler Tettleton and big plays from the defense. The Bobcats started out the scoring with a safety and got a fumble return for a score late in the first half. Akron tied it at three on a 31-yard Robert Stein field goal, but Ohio scored 40 unanswered points.
- It’s not like the Bobcats controlled the game on the ground, with Beau Blankenship running for just 67 yards, but they were always in control. The defense didn’t allow Akron to find any sort of a running game, while QB Tyler Tettleton came up with a smart, effective game throwing for 171 yards and two scores.
- Akron couldn’t find anything that worked on a regular basis, stumbling through 12 penalties and two turnovers that screwed things up time and again. Kyle Pohl only completed 11-of-26 passes for 101 yards with a pick, while the running game only finished with 56 yards thanks to Pohl getting sacked and being under pressure time and again, The Zip offensive line couldn’t stop the Bobcat D line.

at Ohio 38, Austin Peay 0
Basically … Ohio overcame several mistakes to win easily with three touchdown passes from Tyler Tettleton in the first half and scoring runs from Ryan Boykin and Daz’mond Patterson in the second. Austin Peay was held to 298 yards.
- The Austin Peay offense has had a nightmare of a time putting points on the board, but the Ohio defense did its job, forcing punts on the first seven possessions. Outside of one big dash given up to AP’s Omar Williams, his was never a game.
- It was perfect. The Bobcats won easily, but there’s still stuff for the coaching staff to work on. The three fumbles and eight penalties were too many, but everything else clicked. Tyler Tettleton completed 13-of-15 throws for 213 yards and three scores.

at Ohio 34, Marshall 31, Sept. 14
Basically … Beau Blankenship ran for two touchdowns and Tyler Tettleton threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Troy Hill as Ohio held a 34-24 lead late in the fourth. Marshall kept pressing with Rakeem Cato throwing a 38-yard touchdown pass to Gator Hoskins in the fourth quarter and running for a one-yard score, but the rushing touchdown came with just 29 seconds to play to pull within three, and the Bobcats held on.
- Four turnovers. The Marshall offense moved the chains and had its moments of explosions, but three fumbles and an interception were too much to overcome. Rakeem Cato was his typical fantastic self, but between the giveaways and the eight penalties, this wasn’t a tight performance.
- Where’s the Ohio ground game? It averaged just 1.7 yards per try. Beau Blankenship can’t find any room to move, and while he ran for two touchdowns, he only ran 16 times for 36 yards. The offense is relying on Tyler Tettleton and his passing to get by.
- The punting for Ohio played a big role. Quarterback Derrius Vick pooched a 37-yarder inside the 20, and Grant Venham averaged close to 41 yards per kick and put two of his three kicks deep. Marshall had a lot of long fields to work with.
- The Marshall defense played a nice game overall considering the bad spots it was put in. The defensive front held up well, and there weren’t many deep plays allowed, but the back seven was dinked and dunked on to death.

at Ohio 27, North Texas 21, Sept. 7
Basically … Ohio used a couple of fourth-quarter field goals from Matt Green to slip past North Texas. The Bobcats relied on big plays throughout their home opener, getting a 75-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Tettleton and a 42-yard interception return from LB Jovon Johnson.
- Ohio's feature back, Beau Blankenship, got help on the ground in the win from senior Ryan Boykin. Boykin led the Bobcats with 93 yards on 19 carries.
- Bobcat LB Ben Russell has had an active start to his sophomore season in Athens. He registered nine tackles versus the Mean Green, including a sack of Derek Thompson.
- Thompson is still suffering from many of the inconsistencies that plagued him a year ago in Denton. He was intercepted twice on Saturday night, and only threw for 195 yards.
- The Ohio D did a nice job of bottling up a deep and underrated group of North Texas running backs. The Mean Green only managed 104 yards and a 2.7 yard-per-carry average.

at Louisville 49, Ohio 7, Sept. 1
Basically … Teddy Bridgewater threw one bad interceptions. Otherwise, he was perfect throwing for 355 yards and five touchdowns including two in the first quarter to Damian Copeland and with two more bombs in the second to DeVante parker and Kai De La Cruz. Michael Dyer got into the act with a 46-yard touchdown dash early in the third. Down 42-0, Ohio finally got on the board with a ten-yard Ryan Boykin touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter.
- Yeeeeeesh. That was a razor-sharp performance by the Cardinals against a good MAC team. Teddy Bridgewater will get all the respect and love, but he was given ten days to throw and wide open targets to hit.
- Ohio got run over by a steamroller. QB Tyler Tettleton was way, way off for a player of his caliber, and Beau Blankenship didn’t have any room to rumble running just 12 times for 22 yards.
- Penalties. It was the only negative for the Cards committing 11 for 90 yards. Call them first game mistakes, and they didn’t matter, but those have to slow down fast.
- The Bobcats simply didn’t have any answers. The lack of a steady pass rush killed the secondary, and Bridgewater took advantage. The D had to start taking more chances, and it got burnt.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited ... The offense that found its groove in the bowl blowout over ULM should be back and rolling. The attack died late in the season, but with quarterback Tyler Tettleton and seven other starters returning, this should be among the MAC’s most efficient offenses. Star running back Beau Blankenship is back along with Donte Foster and all the top receivers. The defense loses several key players, but the secondary should be terrific with corners Ian Wells and Larenzo Fisher along with safety Josh Kristoff all growing into their roles.

Why To Be Grouchy ... The offense should be a killer with all the stars back, but the line has to replace center Skyler Allen and guard Eric Herman – two of the team’s key run blasters. The bigger problem is on defense where linebackers Alphonso Lewis and Jelani Woseley are gone on the outside. Free safety Gerald Moore will also be missed. Rock-solid kicker Matt Weller needs to be replaced; the new guy will have to prove to be as clutch.

What Needs Working On ... The offensive line has to keep Tyler Tettleton upright. He’s a good runner and takes several sacks, but it wasn’t helped that the line got him popped on a regular basis. The punting game needs to be far better statistically after a rough season from Grant Venham, who averaged 39.5 yards per kick. Defensively, it would be nice to get off the field faster after giving up way too many third down conversions, allowing teams to hit on 44% of their chances.

Non-Conference Games: at Louisville, North Texas, Marshall, Austin Peay
Games Against The West: Central Michigan, at Eastern Michigan
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 9-3

Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: North Texas, Marshall, Austin Peay, at Akron, Central Michigan, at Eastern Michigan, Miami Univ., Kent State, UMass

Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Louisville, at Buffalo, at Bowling Green

Schedule Analysis: Ohio was able to shock the world with a win over Penn State to start 2012, can it come up with a win at Louisville to kick off 2013? Three home games in a row against North Texas, Marshall and Austin Peay should make up for the tough start, and then there’s a two week break before going to Akron to start MAC play. A run of four road games in six weeks would normally be tough, but getting away to face Akron, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo isn’t that bad. However, finishing off the stretch by going to Bowling Green won’t be fun. Finishing up with Kent State at home and UMass on the road shouldn’t be bad.

Team Concerns For 2013: The Bobcats have to replace six starters off a defense that struggled down the stretch. The pass rush was pedestrian and the run defense wasn't consistent, but the offense and the running game should be terrific as long as the line can do a little more against the quicker defensive fronts. Grant Venham has to get more blast for a punting game that netted just 35 yards per boot.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Instant defensive tackles. The Bobcats are losing nose guard Neal Huynh and tackle Carl Jones, and now they need more depth and more options up front. That's where JUCO transfers Watson Tautuaki and Cameron McLeod come in. Tony Porter is a 270-pound tackle for the future, while end Trent Smart could see time early on as a situational pass rusher. The coaching staff worked on tight ends with four good MAC recruits led by wide receiver-like target Leon Alexander out of Detroit. Running back Chris Carson out of Georgia will eventually be a star in Frank Solich's offense.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... Not a lot. Last year’s class was huge after a few light ones, and this year there isn’t much room for new bodies. The defensive line will get a little bit of instant help from the JUCO ranks with Wade Wells and Ty Branz for the ends, and JUCO transfer Matt Waters will help out the receiving corps, but last year was about the future. The Bobcats aren’t bringing in a ton of talents, but JUCO transfer Wade Wells should be an instant boost on the end and Trae Clark is a ready-made interior prospect who was a nice get. He’ll be an anchor in the near future. The receiving corps got help with JUCO transfer Matt Waters, while Chris Murray will be a quick target to be used in a few years. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Bodies. The last two recruiting classes have been relatively light after a huge 2008 class, and now Frank Solich is bringing in more players to beef up both sides of the ball. While quarterbacks Ronnie Bell and Derrius Vick are going to get most of the attention, diminutive RB Kyle Hammonds could be the star of the show. The best position brought in is defensive end, with Andrew Bennett and Justin Haser two good-sized prospects, but the best defensive lineman should be 6-2, 280-pound tackle Antwan Crutcher.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 120. That Class Was Heavy On ... Hope for next year. This wasn't a huge class and Frank Solich wasn't able to do much to capitalize on the big East winning campaign. There are some decent linebackers and Chase Cochran is a receiver who'll end up being the No. 1 target, but there isn't a lot to be excited about with few spots to fill after last year. Watch out for Kenny Ashley, a JUCO transfer who could be the teams' No. 1 RB from Day One.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 120. That Class Was Heavy On ... Hope for last year’s class. Last year’s class was about boosting up the passing game, and this year’s group is really, really light in all areas. There weren’t a lot of openings, so the staff went heavy on a few stars. Jon Lechner could be a special offensive tackle, while LB Dylan Reda should be a good one.

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