Ohio Vs. Penn State Live Blog

10:55- It’s baaaaaaack. And from historic Beaver Stadium.

Keep it here for a running diary of today’s big game. Also, as you all prepare, head over to my preview at MAC Report Online for the players thoughts heading in to today’s game.

10:59- The Joe Paterno statue outside Gate F here is gone but some fans have left a tribue to their former coach. This is the first time that Penn State is opening a season without Paterno as head coach since 1965.

11:11- Teams on the field for warm-ups. Although the student section is still well empty, the roars for each Lions unit as they take the field has been impressive. Ohio rocking their new green helmets that scream Michigan State.

11:13- Some stats to throw around:

-Ohio and Penn State are meeting for the first time since 1974.
-The Bobcats come into today’s game winning six of their last seven games.
-A win today would be the Bobcats’ first over a Big 10 team since they defeated Illinois in 2006.
-A win today would be the first for Penn State since 1997. Yes, that is not a misprint. According to the NCAA sanctions they accepted, they vacated all wins between 1998 and 2011.
-The Nittany Lions have also technically defeated a MAC team since 1992.

11:22- A big question heading in to this game will be the play of PSU quarterback Matt McGloin. It’s no secret that he struggled through much of 2011. If the Bobcats get pressure to him early and often, the defense should be in good shape.

11:32- Penn State sold out of 21,000 student season tickets in a day this summer. To put that in perspective, Peden Stadium, the home of the Ohio Bobcats holds 24,000 people total.

11:39- It’s a stupid thing, I know, but there is nothing quite like sitting back and watching a place like Beaver Stadium go from having 0 people in it to 100,000 in a matter of two hours.

11:41- Internet is apparently going to be an issue today, so apologies if the updates are light.

11:53- It’s game time in Happy Valley.

12:00 – PSU is debuting a new branding today, using the slogan “One Team”. It’s being used to brand the athletics program as a whole. 600 student-athletes formed a tunnel to welcome the players on the field. It truly is a new era here.

12:05- Penn State to receive after Ohio wins the toss and defers. This could be one of the biggest drives in recent history for both teams.

12:13- Methodical drive from PSU here. Lots of play-action and spreading of receivers has Ohio out of position most plays. Lions marching down the field and about to enter red zone.

12:16- Two missed tackles on a fourth and third down costing Ohio. Drove fans crazy with the last year.

12:17- Drive looked hopeless for Ohio until Belton coughs up the ball after a hit by Gerald Moore. Time for the big matchup: PSU Defense vs. Ohio Offense.

12:22- Just like that, Ohio goes three-and-out. Don’t be surprised if that is common, especially early. Grant Venham’s first career punt travels 53 yards and pins the Lions inside the 20.

12:23- Penn State takes over again but is quickly stopped. Matt McGloin is 8-for-11 throwing through two drives.

12:36- Ohio gets things going on their second drive, but stall out at the 35 of Penn State. They punt but the ball goes into the end zone. Thought going for the 52-yard FG with Weller would be worth a 16-yard change in field position.

12:44- Ohio’s refusal to press receivers is giving McGloin and Co. all day to set up.

12:50- That score by PSU was the first for them in 14 years.

12:59- Yet another miscue puts Ohio in business. A dropped punt inside the 15 puts Ohio in the red zone. ‘Cats go three-and-out and have to settle for a FG. Needed a TD there. 7-3 PSU with 10:22 left in the half.

1:11- Big swing yet again for Ohio, an apparent catch by PSU at the Ohio 35 overturned and PSU punts. Tettleton needs to get more throws in, as he only has 10 at the moment.

1:16- Tettleton getting others involved and it is paying off. They have marched all the way down to the PSU 35 in seven plays. Tettleton now 10-for-14 for 92 games. Big 4th-and-2 on the PSU 27.

1:21- That’s disappointing. Ohio marches all that way only to settle for a 44-yard FG which Weller pushes left. Seems an awful lot like the offense we saw late last year.

1:26- Nice sequence for the defense who gets a quick stop. Time for the ‘Cats to get agressive since they could go two-for-one to start the second half.

1:29- Or not. They go three-and-out and get the punt blocked. PSU takes over inside the Ohio 20.

1:34- So. Many. Arm. Tackles. PSU goes up 14-3 after just three plays in the red zone. McGloin to Lehman from 14 yards out. Just a horrible swing. 1:30 to go in the half. PSU 14 Ohio 3.


-Things could be a lot worse for Ohio, but they could be much, much better. They certainly don’t deserve to win at this point, that’s for sure.

-Their preparation of handling the passing game has been less than stellar. They were planning on letting McGloin throw all day, but he has made them pay. 16-for-26 for 178 yards and 2 TDs with no picks sounds like a dream for a Lions fan.

-Where is the big play on offense? It helped the ‘Cats get things going in numerous games last year, but they seem to be sitting back today. They have attempted one pass over 10 yards. Solich and Co. love some trickeration to keep the defense on their toes.

-Tyler Tettleton has been good as advertised. 15-for-22 for 117 yards. Would like to see him try and make a big play here in the second half. He looks a little afraid at times.

-Total yardage: PSU 237 Ohio 198. Not nearly as bad as you would think.

-Time of Possession: Ohio 15:02 PSU: 14:58. The ‘Cats clearly controlled the 2nd quarter. Needed to finish, though.

-Final conclusion: Ohio is still very much in this game. It is really just a matter of not missing opportunities like they did in the second quarter and shoring up the passing defense. Now that the ‘Cats have a feel for Bill O’Brien’s offensive scheme, it seems possible that they can get things fixed on defense.

-Stay tuned through the end of the game for updates.

2:07- National TV games absolutely ruin the flow of the Ohio offense. A 20-second break for an injury just turned into a three-minute break.

2:14- What a break for the Bobcats. On a third-and-seven from the PSU 43, Tettleton forces a throw that gets tipped but right into the hands of Landon Smith who takes it to the house. 14-10 PSU with 10:40 to go in the third. An 82-yard drive which was just what the doctor ordered.

2:26- Color me impressed with the Ohio secondary this quarter. They get the big stop on defense on fourth down on the Ohio 35 and then the offense goes for some razzle-dazzle on a double reverse for 11 yards.

2:35- Incredible turn of events here in Happy Valley. It’s Tettleton Time as he leads the Bobcats for a 72-yard scoring drive. Ohio leads 17-14. Crucial sequence for the defense here.

2:43- Defense gets a quick stop and the offense is back on the field. Tettleton getting stretched out a lot, may be suffering from cramps.

2:47- The 3rd ends and the Bobcats are in the lead 17-14. Just 15 minutes away from history.

2:48- Great stat from Athens Messenger beat writer Jason Arkley. Ohio has outgained PSU 302 yards to 113.

2:54- Not a day to remember for senior kicker Matt Weller who misses his second kick of the day. PSU takes over on their 22-yard-line.

3:00- Ohio gets the stop. 9:37 to go in the game and will take over on their own 7. A long scoring drive will all but certainly put this game out of reach.

3:26- What a finish. Ohio running this one out. Truly the greatest in the history of the program.

MAC Twitter List

Since I’ve been bored this summer, I came up with the idea of having a Twitter list for making it easy to follow the action from all 13 teams on Saturday (and Monday, Tuesday, Wedensday and Thursday for that matter). It features beat writers that cover the various schools in addition to the school’s athletic accounts.

You can subscribe to it at the following link. I’ll get around to adding more basketball accounts once that season gets rolling.

Twitter List

I’ll be covering the team again for MAC Report Online this season, while also contributing some pieces for The Athens News. If you are a fan of the almost-world-famous live blog, I can guarantee those will be returning as well.



Ohio Football Scrimmage Notebook

The Ohio Bobcats had their first full-contact scrimmage Tuesday afternoon, giving a lot of the young players their first chance to show their skills at full-speed, while veteran players get an opportunity to jockey for more playing time.

Here is what I took out of my trip to Peden:

Defense dominates

Although many starters on both sides of the ball sat out, and many veteran players only played a couple of drives, the defense really impressed me whether it was first-string or third-string. The offense only had one scoring drive on the afternoon, led by the second unit. The linemen and linebackers handled the run very well, filling holes quickly and giving the running backs fits. The secondary made the quarterbacks and receivers earn every catch. It was a fine display of the defensive depth that the team will have the next few years.

Offense faster than a speeding bullet

While the defense won the day, the offense wasn’t unpolished by any stretch. From top to bottom, they played very fast, taking an average of 10 seconds between plays when running their no-huddle. The Bobcats gained an edge by playing so quickly in 2011, and they look to exploit it more in 2012.

Daz’mond Gets His Work In

Of the 2012 recruiting class, running back Daz’mond Patterson may be the most intriguing player in my opinion. Listed at just 5-foot-6 and 178 pounds, he looks like the kind of player that has no right playing in the FBS. But judging by the reps he got with the first-team, (Ryan Boykin and Beau Blankenship sat out) it seems like he may be the one carrying the running game a few years from now. His size gives him a low center of gravity and an ability to fit in holes that your prototypical 6-foot, 200 pound running back can’t. Fans will want to keep an eye on his progress.

On working with

“It was a chance for me to show everyone that I am ready to be out there in a game situation. Coach gave me the ball a lot, a bunch of plays in a row. And then when I was tired, I got the ball again. It was a test to see if I was ready. We’ll see if it pays off.”

Derrius Vick Improves

Following the transfer of Kyle Snyder, sophomore quarterback Derrius Vick (no relation to Michael or Marcus) is now the No. 2 behind Tyler Tettleton. He looked a bit lost in practices at times last year, but he has gradually built up his athletic frame and played in Tuesday’s scrimmage with plenty of confidence. His throws were more sharp and didn’t let the relentless defensive pressure get to him too much. If he continues to improve, life after Tettleton may not be as bad as originally thought.

On his throwing:

“I came in last year just hoping I could complete the pass, but this year I have a better grasp on the offense and it seems slower and I can make plays when I need to.”

The Bobcats have one more scrimmage before the start of the season, and then their first regular season game on September 1 at Penn State.




Ohio Bobcats Football 2012 Media Day: It’s All About First Impressions

First impressions are everything.

When it comes to college football, your first impressions of the team comes from the media day the team holds shortly after the beginning of camp.

It’s usually the first time that you get to meet one-on-one with the new leaders of the team. You get a feel for what is going on during fall camp, which is a completely different thing than spring ball.

When it came to the Ohio Bobcats media day, your first impression was that this team is on a mission. Some would be happy with a 10-win season, or the first bowl win in school history, but not these Bobcats.

The loss in the MAC Championship to Northern Illinois still sits with a lot of these guys, and they are going to do everything they can to win Ohio’s first MAC title since 1968.

The media feels that it will happen this year, as they are the pre-season favorites to win the conference. But as wide receiver Donte Foster said, “they don’t give out the championship on paper.”

This team knows they have a lot of work to do to achieve their goal, but in talking with them you really see that they are confident that this is the year.

Here are the highlights and my first impressions of the players I got to talk with.

Head Coach Frank Solich 

On being pre-season MAC favorites:

“It’s a tribute to our football players and the guys that have played here in the past that have gotten the program from where it came from…It’s also a tribute to our coaching staff. Our guys have done a great job of coaching year in and year out.”

On the wide receiving unit:

“It’s going to be critical on the offensive side of the ball to replace the guys that we lost. We graduated four players that caught over 120 balls for us and that’s a lot of big plays and big catches to leave on the table. Someone has to step up. I do like what our receivers have been about in our first four days of practice. They are catching the ball much better than in the spring. They are blocking better. It’s more promising than what it was coming out of spring.”

On team leadership

“There are as many leaders on this team as there ever has been. We’ve established a ‘Unity Council’ with two players from every position plus a kicker. This enables us to throw forward more guys with leadership abilities and develop more leaders.”


Junior wide receiver Donte Foster

Replacing a playmaker that is about to crack the Indianapolis Colts starting lineup as a rookie isn’t easy, but that is what Donte Foster and the rest of the Bobcats wide receivers must do following the graduation of LaVon Brazill. After a disappointing spring, the receivers have shown up to fall camp ready to work. After talking with Foster, you get the feeling that the passing game will be just fine.

On the receivers’ progression during fall camp:

“After we saw what we did in the spring, we all got the impression that we really needed to improve. All summer we came out and worked a whole lot more and it is showing in our catching and blocking here in the fall.”

On replacing four receivers:

“It’s tough to lose them all in the same year. They had outstanding years out there. A lot of people can say we are rebuilding, but I see it as if we are reloading to have another great season.”

On his knack for making acrobatic catches:

“They put me out there to make plays. Of course I’ll try to make an easier play if I can and I’ve tried to be more consistent in making the common, easy plays.”

Senior tight end Jordan Thompson

The first thing you think when you talk to Jordan Thompson is that he has to be a coach when he is done playing. Now entering his third year as a starter, you feel like Solich was talking directly about Thompson when he mentioned the great leaders the team has. Playing one of the tougher positions on offense, he emerged as one of Tyler Tettleton’s favorite targets in a pinch and hopes to help him lighten the load in 2012 as well.

On his role in 2012:

“We’ve had some tremendous receivers in years past, so I think this year we may try and spread the ball out more and as a tight end that means more opportunities to make plays.”

On playing as a tight end:

“I wouldn’t say it’s tough, I think it’s more fun because you get the physicality of playing on the line and then you also get to go out and catch some balls. So I think it’s a lot of fun being versitale and being able to do a little of both.

On being elected captain:

“It’s humbling. To know that the guys look up to me as a leader and that they trust me to be a representative of the team, it’s a nice honor.”

On being MAC preseason favorites:

“I think as far as being picked No. 1, we expected it. It’s a great place to be as a program. To see our name at the top means that we have the target on our backs. We’re going to get everyone’s best shot so we have to be ready.”

Senior defensive lineman Neal Huynh

Although he has a quiet demeanor, few play on the Bobcat defense with the amount of intensity that Neal Huynh does. Huynh was in the middle of a breakout season before a knee injury ended his 2011 prematurely. Coming in to 2012, you have a feeling he is going to come out more fiery than ever and help the defense improve.

On getting back on the field in 2012:

“It feels great to get back out there and pick up from where I left off. It came early in the season and when I was able to come back it kept me from being 100 percent. I’m looking forward to being on the field and playing football to my full capabilities.”

On the experienced defense that returns eight starters:

“Having that experience is key. The now seniors especially were able to step up last year and show the younger guys the example. Being on the same page and prepared for the season really helps early, too. If we need a second string guy to go in, it may not be as big of a deal with the depth we have.”

On the defense’s ‘stop the run first’ mentality

“The defensive linemen have to come out aggressively each play and play on their side of the ball. We have to have gap integrity and make sure the holes are filled no matter what.”

Junior running back Beau Blankenship

There is no doubt that Beau Blankenship is the easiest Bobcat to recognize across a room. Besides being one of the few white guys that can pull off putting his hair into dreadlocks, we learned in 2011 that he is a talented running back and one of the most fun guys to be around on the team. After the departure of Donte Harden, he will be expected to carry the bulk of the load at running back. 

On his blonde locks:

“I’ve grown it out for about seven months. I’ve wanted dreads since high school and I could never find someone to do it. I finally did  and I thought, ‘let’s do it.’ I’m going to have some fun with it and we’ll see how long it lasts.”

On his increased role:

“I’m ready for whatever workload they want me to have. I’m always more excited to get the ball a lot but between me and Ryan [Boykin] we can really have a good 1-2 punch.”

On working out with fellow Oklahoma natives Donte Foster and Tyler Tettleton in the offseason:

“It’s awesome having that chemistry. It’s good to be back home working out with them. It’s crazy that we all ended up together at OU from Oklahoma.”

Junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton

In his first year as a starter in 2011, Tyler Tettleton led the Bobcats to their first ever bowl win, smashing many passing records in the process. Entering year two, you can really tell that he is more relaxed under center and ready to take more control of the offense. MAC defenses beware.

On camp as a second-year starter compared to last year:

“That whole year has allowed me to become more of a leader. Our succes last year has given me and the rest of the guys a lot of confidence going into camp.”

On the state of the passing game:

“Since spring those guys [receivers] have worked their tails off. They were behind great guys that they could look up to. It’s time for them to go out and get those reps and hopefully we can make plays.”

Challenges of a new receiving unit:

“Not having LaVon or Riley [Dunlop] is big. Those were two of the best receivers I’ve ever played with. It’s a matter of getting the younger guys more reps. So far, you can go down the list, everyone has been impressive in camp. We have depth, but not experience, but the reps will fix that.”

On avenging MAC Championship loss:

“It’s a huge motivation point for us. One of our biggest things this year is ‘Unfinished Business’ and we really are wanting to get back to Detroit and give it another go. Having that target on our back this year is what we’re here to do. Hopefully, we can up the win totals too, but the biggest thing for us this year is getting back to Detroit and winning the championship.”

On the team’s first scrimmage on Tuesday:

“I’m looking forward to seeing the younger guys and what we can do in a live situation. We have an experienced line and good backs, but the biggest thing for us is seeing the receivers live and who will be the go-to guys.”

The Bobcats open the season on September 1 at Penn State.

Ohio Bobcats Crashing the BCS? Keep Dreaming

“Bobcat Nation” was fired up when this article proclaiming the Ohio football team as the second most likely mid-major to crash the BCS was released on Yahoo!

It seems to be an exciting proposition, but Ohio fans shouldn’t get there hopes up. It won’t happen in a million years.

Yes, the team has a stellar quarterback in Tyler Tettleton, and returns more starters than any team in the MAC, but there are still many forces that will keep it from happening.

Back in spring ball, head coach Frank Solich was constantly disappointed by the play of the wide receiver unit, which is struggling to find their footing after losing Lavon Brazill and Riley Dunlop. There is lots of talent currently with that squad, however they aren’t quite polished yet which should test the offense, especially early in the season. Ohio’s defense is also searching for an answer after losing Noah Keller following the 2011 season.

Ohio’s only game against a team from a BCS conference comes during Week 1 against Penn State, which couldn’t come at a worse time. It will be a challenge for the Bobcats to come out strong against a very talented team with so many unknowns as the season begins. Move this game to later in the season, and I’d be much more confident in Ohio’s chance to pull the upset.

Even if Ohio finds a way to beat Penn State, the rest of the schedule is so lackluster that a 12-0 season would barely register on the computers. College football guru Phil Steele has Ohio’s schedule for 2012 ranked as the easiest in all of the FCS. Until Ohio beefs up the non-conference portion of their schedule (which is easier said than done) they will never get a shot at the BCS.

Ohio football is looking at yet another great team in 2012. They will be the favorites to win the MAC, and another 10-win season including a bowl win is very possible.

But when it comes to the chances that Ohio will crash the BCS, Bobcat fans need to keep dreaming.

Marshall vs Ohio: Liveblog

Hello all from Athens. A lot of stuff going on tonight so let’s dive right in.

5:44- Going back to their time in the MAC, Marshall and Ohio have been big rivals. Since the Thundering Herd left for Conference-USA the teams haven’t faced off as much. The last two meetings (2009 Little Caesars Bowl and 2010 at Marshall) have been heated affairs with both coming down to the wire. I’d expect the same tonight.

5:56- There was a rumored “surprise” for tonight’s big game. This afternoon it was revealed that Ohio would be wearing special jerseys. They’ve got a nice video package that will run on the video board before the team enters (you can check it out HERE).

5:58- Here’s a better picture of them.

They were designed by the equipment staff in the offseason. My favorite feature is the small Ohio logos on the sleeves. Reminds me a lot of Hawaii’s jerseys.

6:15- Just some housekeeping from the game notes.

-The teams are playing in what is called the “Battle for the Bell”. The winning team gets to claim a bell trophy.

-Ohio holds the all-time series lead at 29-19-6 however they have not beaten the Thundering Herd since 2000.

-The Bobcats will be honoring the late Marcellis Williamson with a pre-game ceremony. He died after just completing his senior season last year of a blood clot in his lung.

-If you are a student and plan on coming down, I’d suggest that you do so soon. The game is just about sold out of tickets for the paying public and there is already a huge student turnout.

6:21- Should also mention for those who wish to watch, the game will be on ESPN3.com.

6:27- Both teams out on the field for warm ups. Marshall gets a rousing ovation from their faithful as they took the field.

6:32- The Bobcats doing a breakdown with the Marching 110.

6:47- Early arriving students were invited down on the field to make a tunnel for the players.

6:48- Really lively crowd tonight. A bunch of recruits were on the field pre-game. Should leave a good impression.

6:54- Packed house, the most exciting band in the land, this is what college football is all about.

7:04- The teams have entered. Ohio wins the toss and has elected to defer. Will be interesting to see how they handle Marshall’s offense.

7:08- That didn’t take long. Omar Leftwich picks off a batted Rakeem Cato pass. Bobcats take over on the Herd 39.

7:12- Bobcats strike first. A Tyler Tettleton scamper set up a one yard TD pass from Tettleton to Lavon Brazill. Brazill made an amazing one-handed catch in the back corner for the score. The offense is clicking right off the bat which is needed.

7:20- Marshall wastes no time in offering a counter punch. Rakeem Cato finds Aaron Dobson and makes a perfect throw for a 45 yard touchdown. 7-7 with 10:28 left in the first. Game on.

7:22- Donte Harden says “GET OFF ME” and breaks numerous tackles while returning the kick all the way to the Herd 19. This game has the feel of an Arena Football matchup.

7:30- Donte Foster pulls in one of the best catches you will ever see (even received a collective “Woaahhhhh” from the media in the press box). Bobcats have to settle for a 20 yard field goal. They lead Marshall 10-7 with 6:43 left in the 1st.

7:43- Scrum. Bobcat interception. Marshall fumble recovery. Another Bobcat interception. All in the span of 3 minutes. Bobcats take over on the Herd 33.

7:46- Donte Harden is a man on a mission tonight. Another impressive run with numerous broken tackles puts the ‘Cats inside the Marshall 10.


Ohio 10 Marshall 7

7:49- Tettleton scrambles and dives his way into the end zone for a touchdown. Bobcats get some separation and now lead 17-7 with 14:17 remaining in the half.

7:55- After running 23 plays on offense, Ohio is on pace for nearly 100 on the game. The no-huddle is working big time.

7:56-Marshall’s turnover woes continue. Xavier Hughes this time strips the Herd receiver and Nathan Carpenter recovers.

7:59- Whether they run or pass, Marshall can’t stop the no-huddle, Bobcats unleash a 8 play 72 yard drive in 2:40. But once inside the Herd 5, the Bobcats can’t find the end zone. Another short Weller field goal will have to do. 20-7 Ohio with 7:59 remaining.

8:09- With 5:10 remaining in the second quarter, we have our first punt of the game. Incredible.

8:17- Phil Bates catches a swing pass and blows through the Marshall defense for a 50 yard TD. It was unknown what his role would be, but as a receiver he is most dangerous.

8:24- Turnover 5 for Marshall leads to another TD. Same swing pass but this time it’s to Brazill for his second TD of the game. 34-7 Bobcats heading into the locker room with a chance to eclipse 40 points with the first possession of the second.

8:28- Trying to create something late in the half, Ceto sends a bomb downfield that is intercepted by Travis Carrie, his second of the game. I don’t know if Marshall will return after a half like that.


Ohio 34 Marshall 7

8:43- Tyler Tettleton is going off tonight. 17-22 for 259 yards and 4 TDs (3 passing 1 rushing). He also leads the team with 51 yards rushing. If the team gets a performance like this from him week in and week out, they will be very tough to beat.

8:47- For the second consecutive week, Ohio outscored their opponent 24-0. Good way to show how the team has been able to make early adjustments.

8:49- The Bobcats are on pace for over 700 yards of total offense.

8:53- Ryan Boykin getting carries to start the 2nd half. Has looked strong in his few opportunities to play so far in 2011.

8:59- Yet another well-played drive that stalls in the end. Matt Weller (AKA Mr. Automatic) hits yet another field goal. He is now tied for the all-time lead in Ohio history.

9:06- Marshall has nothing going on offense again and punts. Going to start writing as this one is all but over. Keep it to the twitter (@suhlmann12) for major updates.

Ohio vs Gardner-Webb Live Blog

5:42- Greetings all from “The Crowned-Jewel of the MAC.”

The Bobcats are opening their 2011 home schedule against the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs. Keep it here as I’ll update the blog pre-game with notes and tidbits and then during the game for thoughts.

6:04- Props to the Ohio U marketing department making this game both “Band/Cheerleader Night” and “Youth Night”. It will really help out what would otherwise be a lackluster night for attendance.

6:09- Ohio allowed just 6 rushing yards in week 1 which was the third lowest in all of the nation.

6:28- Guess it would be a good time to do some shameless plugs. I will have the recap of this game for MAC Report Online. It’s a great place for recaps of all the action in the conference. The fearless staff of Speakeasy will have coverage of the team on lockdown this year. Be sure to check the site out frequently.

6:31- Don’t know how many teams have their band huddle up with the team at the end of warm ups. It’s quite a sight.

6:37- In honor of fallen defensive lineman Marcellus Williamson, members of the Bobcats defense will take turns wearing his number 62. Tremayne Scott wore it for the first game at New Mexico State. Tonight, it will be Carl Jones’ turn.

6:57- Linebacker Noah Keller is not in pads tonight after he aggravated his hamstring last week. No need to have him risk further injury in a game like this.

7:03- Awaiting the teams’ arrivals in the stadium. If you care to watch you can do so for free HERE.

7:08- GW gets the ball to start the game. Gain 11 yards rushing on their first two plays. Have doubled the defense’s total allowed on the season.

7:12- After gaining two first downs, the Runnin’ Bulldogs drive stalls. Time for the fans to see the new no-huddle offense for the first time.

7:26- Great crowd for the game tonight.

7:26- The Bobcats’ new no-huddle offense uses coaches in bright shirts holding up poster boards with symbols to call the plays. Very similar to Chip Kelly’s system at Oregon.

7:31- Two drives for each teams, and not much going on. A long run by Tyler Tettleton was brought back because of a block in the back penalty.

7:37- Finally a breakthrough. Donte Harden has a 27 yard gain that finally gets the Bobcats into GW territory with 2:30 left in the first.

7:41- Tettleton hits Donte Foster with a 33 yard pass to get the ball down to the five. On the ensuing play, Tettleton gets leveled and fumbles. GW recovers. It’s been that kind of night so far.



Pretty bad quarter there by the team as a whole. The defense has been getting stops when needed but they don’t have the tenacity they did last week. Offense is struggling mightily and mental mistakes are killing them.

7:51- The Cats needed a spark and they get one from Nathan Carpenter. He gets his first career interception and returns it 27 yards inside the GW 30. Ohio needs to capitalize on the short field.

7:56- Bobcats take advantage of the short field. Tettleton lays in a beautiful pass to LaVonn Brazil for a 15 yard TD. Bobcats lead 7-0 with 10:57 left in the second.

8:01- Defense responds with a stop. Bobcats could really break it open with another big play on offense.

8:04- Phil Bates makes his first appearance under center tonight. Is a very valuable weapon on the ground in the option attack.

8:09- The drive stalls just inside the GW 30. Matt Weller booms a 45 yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter.

8:19- The defense gets things going again when Jelani Wosley intercepts a pass and takes it 26 yards to the end zone. Don’t know how many more times they will be able to bail the offense out.

8:23- The pass defense is coming back in a big way tonight. They have only allowed two completions for a total of 15 yards and have forced two picks.

8:25- Yet another interception. This time it’s Gerald Moore. he returns it 30 yards all the way to the GW 40 yard line.

8:31- Bobcats take advantage of the short field. Tettleton finds Dunlop in the very back of the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown. The play was reviewed but stood. Tettleton is getting beat a lot in the backfield but is still making good throws.




Ohio was able to break the game open with big plays from the defense. Tettleton has looked really good at quarterback, taking a lot of hits but still making good throws. Stats to come.


-The quarterback play tonight have been polar opposites

Chandlar Browning (GW) 2-14, 15 yards, 3 interceptions
Tyler Tettleton (Ohio) 13-22, 137 yards, 2 TDs

-Kenny Little of GW is leading all rushers with 79 yards on 18 carries. It’s something the Bobcats will need to correct in the locker room.

-Neal Huynh is leading Bobcat defenders with 6 tackles. A couple were big play savers (if that is even a word).

9:00- Bobcats come out with guns blazing. Donte Harden returns the kickoff all the way to the GW 28. The Cats go three and out but Weller makes a 31 yard field goal. 27-0 now. Would have liked to see a touchdown.

9:08 A long kickoff return in rebuttal leads to a 41 yard field goal. An onside kick catches the Bobcats off guard and the Runnin’ Bulldogs take over again.

9:15- This will be about it for updates as I have a deadline to meet. Keep it to my twitter for major updates (@suhlmann12).

9:57- Ohio has this one all but locked up with less than two minutes to play. They will win 30-3. Congratulations to head coach Frank Solich on his 100th career win.

Year of the Bobcat?

With fall, and football, right around the corner, I think that it is best that this blog begins living up to the second half of its title.

Going into the final week of the 2010 season, everything was going for the Ohio Bobcats. Here they were, in control of their own destiny just one win away against lowly Kent State away from making their second consecutive appearance in the MAC Championship game. Then it all fell apart.

Left nursing the wounds from that final regular season game and an embarrassing showing against Troy in the New Orleans Bowl, the Bobcats must get off of the canvas and be ready for the 2011 campaign. Luckily for them, there are many things that point to the team seeing even better results this season.

First, the ‘Cats face one of the easiest schedules in the entire country. They begin the year playing on the road at New Mexico State, a team that finished 1-7 in the WAC last season. Their “payday” game will be played at Rutgers, a team picked last in the conference’s preseason media poll. Assuming the Bobcats play to their potential, they could very well be in that game. Their only true tests on paper will be against Temple and Miami, two games that could very well decide the MAC East division. Luckily for the Bobcats, both of those games come at home.

Another reason to be optimistic is the return of most of the offensive unit. Departed quarterback Boo Jackson will most likely be replaced by redshirt sophomore Tyler Tettleton. He is used to running the pistol formation since high school and looked very comfortable during spring practice. Wide Receivers Terrence McCrae and Steven Goulet will need to be replaced as well, however there are plenty of options at that position. The return of the entire offensive line will benefit the newcomers and should give Tettleton support. The return of All-American LaVon Brazil, known for his playmaking ability on special teams, after missing nearly all of 2010 will bolster this unit as well.

If there is one area that the Bobcats could struggle in, it will be on the defensive side of the ball, primarily in the trenches. The Bobcats need to find four new defensive linemen. The squad will rely on linebackers Noah Keller and Eric Benjamin to pick up the slack. The secondary will also be very young and inexperienced, although some returnees from medical redshirts such as junior Gerald Moore will help.

With all this in mind, the question becomes how many games will the team win? Given the fact they look just as good if not better than all of their opponents on paper 12-0 isn’t inconceivable, but running the table is hard to do no matter what the competition. A 10-2 mark looks much more realistic given the inexperience on defense and leaving room for inevitable injuries that may pop up during the season. Anything less than that could be viewed as a disappointment given the easy schedule. A return to Detroit for the MAC Championship game will hinge on their results against Temple and Miami and it will be very interesting to see how the team handles the pressure.

This is a very exciting time for Ohio football, and it looks like 2011 could very well be remembered as the year it all came together.

NOTE: I will be covering the team for MAC Report Online, so be on the lookout for my reports from Athens all season long!