MAC Championship Live Blog

5:05- Greetings from…

No, not quite.

That’s right, I’ve taken a road trip with the Bobcats to the 2011 MAC Championship which will be coming to you from Ford Field in Detroit. The Bobcats will be taking on the defending West Champion Northern Illinois Huskies. Keep it here for updates throughout the game.

5:20- No matter who wins tonight, one team’s streak MAC Championship futility will come to an end. NIU hasn’t won the conference since 1983, Ohio since 1968.

5:26- First people to the seating bowl? The Marching 110 of course!

5:38- The main matchup tonight will be Huskie quarterback Chandler Harnish vs. the Bobcat defense. He has single-handedly taken over games for NIU, averaging over 100 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game.

5:41- Going down to the field.

6:25- Well, that was surreal.

6:32- Both teams have been receiving late season love in the polls. NIU earned 19 points in last week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll (ranked 30th) while Ohio received eight (ranked 32nd).

6:38- The Marching 110 takes the field to do a pre-game set. Ohio will serve as the away team.

6:42- It’s go time

6:45- With the way the NIU band entered, we may just have two of the most unique bands I’ve seen playing tonight.

6:48- Just how good is Chandler Harnish on the ground? He ranks 15th in the nation in rushing yards per game. Remember he’s a quarterback!!

6:54- An Ohio win tonight would give them 10 wins, something they have also not accomplished since 1968.

6:55- For those curious, the game is airing on ESPN2.

6:58- Ohio is going to try and emulate Eastern Michigan’s game plan which consists of run, run, and run some more on offense to keep the ball away from NIU.

7:01- Kickoff, Ohio receives as Donte Harden returns the kick to the Ohio 26.

7:03- So about those jitters? Tettleton’s first pass of the game finds LaVonn Brazill for a 44 yard gain. Ohio down to the NIU 30.

7:06- The feelings are short-lived as Tettleton forces a pass into double coverage in the end zone two plays later by Jhony Faustin.

7:06- Two plays later, Noah Keller takes the ball right back for the Bobcats on a tipped pass and returns it all the way to the NIU 19. Bobcats couldn’t have asked for a bigger break.

7:11- Ohio can’t muster anything on offense and must settle for a 30-yard Matt Weller field goal. OU has had a problem capitalizing on red zone opportunities as of late.

7:12- That Harnish pick on the Huskies first drive was his first since October 15. Just his 5th total of the year.

7:18- Harnish’s first big run of the night get’s negated by a clipping penalty. Huskies can’t convert a 3rd and 16 and gives the ball back to Ohio. Bobcats have a chance to inflict some real damage here.

7;25- That’s how you finish a drive. An 8-play 70-yard drive capped with the ol’ Phil Bates reverse pass to Donte Foster. Ohio pulling out every trick in the book. 10-0 Bobcats with 4:05 left in the first quarter.

7:31- Huskies finally get a first down, but Ohio puts the clamps down. Incredible that they have held NIU to -2 yards passing and just 33 total yards as the first quarter winds down.

7:35- LaVon Brazill with another crazy one-handed catch to extend the drive.

7:37- END OF THE FIRST QUARTER

Ohio 10
NIU 0

-Holy domination.

-NIU has -2 yards passing.

-I’ll repeat that again, after one quarter NIU has -2 yards passing. 33 total.

-Tettleton is 7-of-9 for 103 yards with that one interception the only chink in the armor.

-Ohio is throwing the ball laterally more than I’ve seen all year. They are getting opportunities deep on the secondary with ease.

-This is not a time for Ohio to take their foot off the gas. NIU can get back in this game just as easily.

7:46- Bobcats driving yet again. Haven’t seen them move the ball at will like this since the Marshall game.

7:49- This could be a huge stop for NIU as Ohio is able to get down to the 5-yard line before stalling. A Weller chip shot makes it 13-0 with 11:03 remaining in the first half. It may not be in the Bobcats’ best interest to leave this game in the defense’s hands.

7:53- Return specialist Tommylee Lewis fumbles on the ensuing kickoff after being hit by kicker Matt Weller. Ohio has a chance to make this a laugher before half time.

7:56- Tettleton makes another bad decision forcing a throw while getting hit that gets picked by Dechane Durante.

8:01- NIU gets the spark they need as Harnish finds Nathan Palmer on a bomb that puts the Huskies at the Ohio 18. Huskies now inside the Bobcat 5.

8:04-Ohio gets yet another huge play as Noah Keller forces a fumble that is snatched up by Hasting. Survives the dreaded “tuck rule” review. Nothing could be going more wrong for NIU who will have to dig deep on defense yet again.

8:13- Ohio has driven down to the NIU 34 but call a time out when faced with a big 3rd-and-3. This could be a huge momentum swing.

8:18- Mario Dovell gets divine intervention from the replay booth as a questionable call keeps Ohio’s drive alive. Tettleton gallops for an 18-yard touchdown the next play. 20-0 Ohio with 2:35 left in the first half.

8:21- This is just getting uglier and uglier for NIU. They nearly lose the ball again on a fumble in their own territory. Mental struggles starting to creep in.

8:26- HALFTIME

Ohio 20
NIU 0

-The Huskies have been shut out at half time for the first time in 25 games.

-The yardage numbers are gruesome. Ohio with 302, NIU with 92.

– Even with Ohio topping 200 passing yards in the first half, I think they turn to the rushing game more in the 2nd. Harden has had some nice holes and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

-Chandler Harnish is 3-0f-7 for 35 yards. If it were not for his 37-yard completion late in the half, he would still be in the red.

-The always important time of possession battle favoring Ohio 19:21 to 10:39.

-LaVon Brazill has 7 receptions for 118 yards. Hello MVP.

-NIU looks like a D-6 high school band compared to the Marching 110.

8:50- NIU blows their chance to get back into the game with yet another fumble that gets recovered by Josh Kristoff. A scrum in the pile results in Cory Hastings getting ejected for punching an NIU player. Huskies have now committed four turnovers so far tonight, a new season high.

8:56- Ohio goes three-and-out and Paul Hershey punts for the first time tonight.

8:59- Announced attendance is 13,052. That is much lower than the season average for both teams.

9:07- NIU finally puts together a scoring drive. 10 plays 78 yards in 3:52 makes it a 20-7 game. Ohio has to be careful as there is still 6:19 left in the third.

9:15- A sickly feeling coming over the green-and-white clad at Ford Field. A quick three-and-out gives NIU a chance to really make noise late in the 3rd.

9:21- Ohio defense steps up big time making tackles when needed. Offense trying to put something together before the end of the third quarter.

9:26- END OF THE THIRD QUARTER

Ohio 20
NIU 7

-NIU came out much more focused for the better part of the quarter and it showed.

-Ohio didn’t try anything fancy that quarter. Didn’t hurt them, but it didn’t help them slam the door either. Just 35 yards for the offense in the 3rd.

-NIU averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the game. Mega props to the Ohio defense for containing Harnish and Co. on the ground.

-LaVon did not see the ball once in the third quarter. The Huskies have taken him out of the game which helps their cause greatly.

9:33- Ohio still can’t finish. A nice drive stalls only to see Ohio come up empty handed when Weller pushes a field goal wide right. It is his first miss from inside 40 yards all year.

9:42- Jelani Wosley doing it big on defense for Ohio, coming up with a huge sack on third down with the Huskies driving. Ohio can really put a dent in this game with another time consuming drive.

9:48- Tettleton makes a really, and I mean really dumb decision throwing a deep ball into double coverage on a first down. No need to try that when running the clock out. NIU gets life yet again. Can they finally convert?

9:54- Personal fouls. Blown coverages. Ohio is coming unglued. Missed PAT keeps it a 7-point game after the NIU touchdown.

10:03- Ohio takes some time off (thanks to another offsides on fourth down) but after a shanked punt, NIU has a short field with 4:36 to work with.

10:08- Tie game. Harnish to Palmer yet again. Tied at 20 with 2:52 to play.

10:13- 1:18 remains with Ohio punting the ball back to NIU. They have a really, and I mean really good chance to win this in regulation.

10:18- NIU gets it down to the OU 19 with 37 seconds to play. Would be a 36-yarder for the win.

Ohio vs Miami Liveblog

Greetings from rainy Athens for the last time in 2011.

5:22- Last home game of the year for the Bobcats. Since they have the division locked up it is a meaningless senior night. Keep it here for updates, especially you who couldn’t stick around due to break. I’ll forgive you.

5:31- Judging from the traffic headaches, this was a really bad idea having a game mix with the deadline for upperclassmen to be out of the dorms. That’s what ESPN will do though. Money 1 Common Sense 0.

5:39- Even with the lack of people expected tonight there was still a line of fans waiting to get in at 5 p.m.

5:44- This senior class has accumulated 35 wins, the most of any class. It’s a shame they won’t have the students around to support them for their last home game.

5:47- A win tonight would give Ohio six straight victories over Miami. Put that on your iPhones Redhawk fans.

5:59- Heading down to the field to take pictures.

6:26- I’m back. Walked alongside the Miami sidelines where one cheerleader was wearing designer boots with her uniform. Miami stereotypes for the win.

6:34- Pics won’t upload so my apologies.

6:38- Ohio needs to score just 15 points to set an all-time record for points in a season.

6:40- More records to watch: Donte Harden is 270 all-purpose yards shy of becoming the school’s all-time single season leader. Kicker Matt Weller needs 15 points to gain that record.

6:49- Alma Matter, Ohio and the anthem have been played. It is now time to honor the senior class.

6:50- Baring something horrible, Tyler Tettleton will be the all-time leader for completions in a season. He needs six.

6:57- As for the Redhawks they have a nice quarterback in Zac Dysert who is coming off a 413-yard performance last week against Western Michigan.

7:02- Rain begins to fall as the teams enter. Miami will receive.

7:08- Miami marching down the field with a furious pace. Five wide receivers on the field every play. Already inside the Ohio 10.

7:13- Curtis Meyers delivers the first big play of the game, sacking Dysert on a 3rd and 2 from the Ohio 2 for a huge loss. Mason Krysinski pushes the 30-yard field goal attempt wide left and the ‘Cats come away unscathed. They are very lucky to do so.

7:16- The sophomore Krysinski has struggled this year making just two of six attempts.

7:19- Just like that, Ohio has to punt. Miami bringing blitzes every play and a sack derails the drive. Tettleton will have to stay composed and make quick throws if this becomes the norm tonight.

7:26- Miami inside the Ohio 10 again and Keller limps off the field with a hammy tweak. Not good.

7:31- Ohio almost gets another goal line stand but Dysert is able to scramble on a 3rd and goal from the 1 to make it 7-0. Defense has been on the field a ton in the first quarter.

7:37-Ohio goes three and out but gets life after a running into the kicker penalty. They have been out of sorts in the little time they have had the ball.

7:42- Weller’s 48-yard attempt misses as time expires in the first. Ohio needed points there.

7:44- End of the 1st Quarter

Miami 7
Ohio 0

-While Ohio got rolling after the penalty, still disappointing to see them come up short.

-Zac Dysert is 10-for-13 for 117 yards. Ohio needs to slow him down as Miami will keep airing it out.

-Still no signs of Noah Keller after he was shaken up. The longer he is out, the less chance Ohio will have of slowing down the Redhawks. He is the heart of the defense.

-In the quarter, Miami outgained Ohio 125 yards to 59.

-Dr. Pepper (10 variety tonight) count at 2 and just cracked open number 3.

7:52- Miami drives to midfield before punting for the first time tonight. Ohio has exploded in the second quarter after slow starts all year. Can they do it again?

7:57- Tettleton finally finds LaVon Brazill for the first time tonight. Miami has been smothering him all night.

8:03- You’d think the Redhawks were down with minutes left in the game with the pace they are playing at. Oregon would be jealous.

8:08- Ohio has 90-yards 4:36 on the clock to do something with this rather forgettable first half for the offense.

8:11- Another record goes down as Tettleton now holds the single-season school record for completions. Now sitting at 218. Ohio driving toward midfield with 3 minutes to go.

8:15- Tettleton can’t find anybody open and the drive gets ugly quick. ‘Cats end up punting on a 4th and 28.

8:17- A shanked punt by Hershey gives Miami a golden opportunity to take the reigns of this game as they start on their own 45 with 1:04 left in the half.

8:26- Halftime

Miami 7
Ohio 0

-Yuck

-Miami’s secondary is really the difference in the half. Tettleton can’t find receivers and then is forced to take a sack.

-Ohio is still right there. One play is all it takes.

-Miami leading the yardage battle 217-150.

-Redhawks still dominating possesion, as they hold the lead 18:10-11:50

-Ohio has stopped the run, holding the Redhawks to 32 yards on the ground (2.3 average per rush)

-Zac Dysert making the plays at quarterback, completing 19-of-25 for 185 yards. Nick Harwell has seven receptions for 59 yards. While they have been able to get a bunch of completions, Ohio has done a good job keeping the big plays from happening.

-Marching 110 breaks out “Party Rock Anthem” for their last home show. Hopefully that can rally the troops.

8:41- How good has Miami been covering the pass. LaVon Brazill has one catch for six yards. Wow.

8:49- Ohio takes a touchback to start the half. That was the first time they had done so all year.

8:50- Tettleton gets the party started with an 11-yard completion and then a 40-yard run. ‘Cats in the red zone 90 seconds into the half.

8:52- Oh my. Tettleton does all that work only to literally give the ball to the defense on a pick. Jaytee Swanson’s first career pick throws any momentum Ohio gained out the window.

8:56- Ohio gets a 3 and out but a wicked bounce on the punt has it go all the way to the Ohio 10. 59 yard net.

9:00-Tight End Jordan Thompson doing his best Heath Miller impression, taking over this drive. ‘Cats down to the Miami 33.

9:05- LaVon Brazill now leads in all-time receiving yards and single-season receptions. Ohio down to the Miami 5 after an option play to Beau Blankenship. If the ‘Cats don’t score here, they never will.

9:08- Finally six for the ‘Cats. Tettleton finds Thompson in the back of the end zone for the score. Nice comeback drive that makes it 7-7 with 5:49 left in the third.

9:15- Ohio’s defense getting soft again like at the beginning of the game. Miami taking advantage.

9:19- The ‘D’ bends but doesn’t break. Ohio looking to take the lead.

End of the 3rd Quarter

-Miami 7
-Ohio 7

-Much better quarter from the Ohio offense.

-Defense didn’t as much late, as Miami was only kept off the scoreboard by penalties.

-Bobcats took control of the ball that quarter and it showed. TOP difference down to two minutes.

-Time for TT to show some mental toughness as he needs to stay strong to finish the game and pick up the ‘W’

9:27- ‘Cats come up big on the very first play of the quarter. Tettleton finds Foster on a 3rd-and-11 and get all the way down to the Miami 10 but a block in the back brings it back to the 35. Ohio still has life however.

9:29- A botched reverse pass somehow ends up in an 8 yard gain for Riley Dunlop. Tettleton then scrambles inside the 10.

9:31- How about that? Tettleton throws to Foster in the corner for a 4-yard TD that caps a 12-play, 80-yard drive. 14-7 Ohio.

9:34- Though it isn’t as big as the crowds we’ve grown used to during the season, the few that have made it out are into this game an awful lot for not meaning anything.

9:36- With that the announced attendance is 14, 155. Of course that is the number sold.

9:38- Ohio forces a punt and Ryan Clark picks it off the bounce and takes it to midfield on a nice return. Bobcats can put it away here as 10:38 remains in the game.

9:42- TT with a Madden-esque 48-yard scramble to set up a 2-yard pass to Riley Dunlop. 21-7 with 8:43 remaining. This one is over.

9:47- There is only one way to describe the weather at Peden right now.

9:48- That touchdown makes it 383 points this season for Ohio, an all-time record.

9:51- A wise man once said “not so fast my friend”. Miami storms down the field (80 yards in 2:06) to cut it to 21-14. 6:37 still remain.

9:58- Watch out. Redhawks get a stop and will take over with 4:17 remaining. They will start from their own 17.

10:01- ‘Cats really stumbling. Zac Dysert getting out of tackles with ease. Down to the Ohio 37 with 2:27.

10:06- Keith Moore crushes Dysert for an eight yard loss. Redhawks up a creek now.

10:08- Dysert to Harwell for the 1,000th time tonight and a big gain. Redhawks back in the red zone.

10:11- Mose Denton, sack, goodnight.

10:13-Final 

Ohio 21
Miami 14

Six straight wins for the Cats. Recap will be on macreportonline.com


Ohio vs Temple: Blackout Live Blog

4:25- All black everything.

When the 2011 schedule was released, I along with many others saw this as just another weeknight game in November. Boy, was I wrong.

For the third consecutive year, this matchup will determine who controls their fate in the final three weeks of the season. Throw in the first time that ESPN is broadcasting from Peden, along with the school’s inaugural “blackout”, and you’ve got a recipe for the most hyped Ohio Bobcat football game in ages. I’ll be heading to the stadium around 6 p.m.. Keep it here for updates throughout the night.

6:29- Made it to Peden. Some things to start.

-Plenty of scouts are here tonight. The New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and New England Patriots all have representatives here. No idea who they are looking at in particular but scouts always come in droves to weeknight games.

-More importantly, a representative from the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is expected as well.

-Senior linebacker Noah Keller is wearing number 62 tonight.

6:35- Going to try and get on the field for warmups to get some pictures.

7:37- I’m back. Lot’s of recruits here which is nice to see.

7:42- Student side has filled in nicely, rest of the stadium not so much. But that is to be expected on a Wednesday night.

7:44- Temple has allowed 5.8 points per game on the road this season. Wow.

7:50- It’s go time.

7:56- Your random nugget from the media notes: Temple is the only one of the 13 teams in the MAC to play their home games on grass.

7:59- You know what would be cool, if the scoreboard at Peden would be big enough to showcase these awesome intro videos by Evan Shaw and co..

8:02- The team enters with Johnny Cash blaring. Temple wins the toss and defers. Now the first of many times that we will wait for TV tonight.

8:11- That didn’t take long. Tyler Tettleton making it look easy as the ‘Cats march down the field in 2:05 to go up 7-0. Mind you Temple averages just 10 points allowed on defense per game. After the huge scoring drive it’s time to see the defense handle Temple’s running game.

8:29- ‘Cats take over on their own 10 when LaVon Brazill showed his incredible speed on a 56 yard end around. Ohio goes three and out immediately after and Weller’s 53-yard FG misses. First missed opportunity of the night for the Bobcats, something they can’t do much longer.

8:32- Safe to say the blackout looks good on TV.

8:35- Temple trying to get a spark by sending Chris Coyer in at QB. Expect plenty of runs with him in.

END OF THE FIRST QUARTER

Ohio 7
Temple 0

-Ohio had three plays of 25 or more yards in the first quarter. Very uncharacteristic of the Temple defense.

-Coyer leads Temple with 23 rushing yards. He has played one drive. The Owls running nothing but zone reads with him trying to keep the Bobcats on their toes.

-Tyler Tettleton’s composure with the pressure Temple has been bringing is outrageously good. He has dodged numerous sacks.

-If the Owls want to have a chance, they need to get Pierce the ball.

8:52- Donte Foster coughs up the ball which is recovered by the Owls. A late hit allows Temple to set up shop at the Ohio 17. 5 plays later Coyer finds Evan Rodriguez on his first pass attempt of the year for a touchdown. All of a sudden it’s a completely different ballgame.

9:02- Bobcats strike back led by the arm of Tyler Tettleton. He throws, receives and then finally runs to get a touchdown for the Bobcats.

9:11- Ohio forces a thee and out. Temple winning the time of possession battle 12:01 to 11:25. They are used to a much bigger margin.

9:22- Another missed FG and Temple pounces on the opportunity. They go 69 yards in under two minutes. It’s a tie game that shouldn’t be. Coyer finally found Rod Streater who has been burning Omar Leftwich all night.

9:32- HALFTIME

Ohio 14
Temple 14

Some tidbits

-Ohio is dominating this game on paper. They are out-gaining the Owls 261 to 153 and are winning the time of possesion battle. Turnovers and missed (field goal) opportunities are the difference.

-Temple’s Bernard Pierce has just 28 yards on 12 carries. Backup QB Chris Coyer on the other hand is taking advantage of the fact Ohio is unprepared for him.

-It’s going to be an interesting second half. Hopefully the student body hangs around.

9:49- And with that, the exodus begins. I love this student body but hate them at the same time. So apathetic.

9:55- Ohio gets a lucky three-and-out to start the half. The receiver falls out of bounds just short of the first down mark. Ohio ball at their own 17.

10:03- Teams trade punts early in the 3rd.

10:06- Huge swing after a Streater catch at Ohio’s 2 gets called back due to pass interference. A net of -44.

10:08- Coyer fumbles at the Ohio 15. Harden makes them pay with an 81-yard run. Everyone thought it was coming back as a ref threw a flag as he dove unnecessarily into the end zone. Instead it was a sideline foul on Ohio. Run stands 21-21.

10:22- Things starting to open up. Bernard Pierce is free at last. 20-yard run ties the game up. 2:43 left in the third.

10:30-END OF THE THIRD QUARTER

Ohio 21
Temple 21

-Ohio cannot contain Chris Coyer. He has 131 yards on 11 carries. If they keep biting on his reads, Ohio will lose this game.

-Don’t know what else to say for Ohio offensively in the 4th. They get momentum but then have the drives stall abruptly. The Temple defense is playing much much better in the 2nd half.

-Updates will be a little more sparse here late. Tune it to the twitter (@suhlmann12) for more info on the game.

10:34- Temple’s gutsy move of a fake punt pays off for Temple. Huge gain into Bobcat territory could be the difference.

10:40- Bobcats get a stop but not quick enough. Brandon McManus sneaks a 27-yard field goal into the uprights to give Temple their first lead of the night. 24-21 with 10:57 left.

10:51- 8 plays, 80 yards, Ohio has the lead again. LaVon Brazill’s ridiculous catch inside the Temple 5 survives a review and sets up a Tettleton pass to Thompson. 28-24 with 7:51 remaining.

Ohio vs Akron: Bobcats back in MAC East race with win over Zips

The Akron/Kent State writer took care of the recap for MAC Report Online this Saturday, but since I’m a loser with nothing better to do on a Saturday night I wrote a recap anyway.

A game against the lowly Akron Zips was just what the doctor ordered for the Ohio Bobcats, as they snapped their two-game losing streak with a 37-20 victory at InfoCision Stadium Saturday.

The “big-play offense” of the Bobcats was clicking as Ohio outgained Akron 556 yards to 249.

While the offense was able to move the ball at will, three turnovers and 100 penalty yards dampened what was otherwise a good performance.

“I think we showed some signs of coming out of (our slump),” Head Coach Frank Solich said. “Three turnovers again today. That’s not what we’re after, but we were able to overcome that.”

The first turnover, a Tyler Tettleton interception on the team’s first drive, stalled the early momentum. Despite the mistake, Tettleton continued his efficient ways completing 21 of 29 passes for 328 yards.

Another long drive in the first quarter resulted in a Matt Weller field goal. The kick made him Ohio’s top scoring kicker.

Akron would counter with a 72-yard drive that was capped with an A.J. Fox field goal.

With both teams scuffling through most of the first half, a big blow came when Tettleton would find his favorite target, LaVon Brazill for a 78-yard touchdown with 6:17 remaining in the second quarter.

“I think it came at a good in the game,” Solich said. “Neither team had the game in control and both teams were fighting for a little bit of an advantage, but there was a lot of football to play.”

The Bobcats were able to do a much better job keeping drives alive compared to last week’s game against Ball State as they converted 11 of 14 third-down conversions.

Ohio then went on a run where they would score 27 of the next 34 points, featuring two Tettleton touchdowns (one rushing, one passing), A Beau Blankenship touchdown run and two more Matt Weller field goals.

Akron was hoping to take advantage of a banged-up Ohio defensive line by going to running back Jawon Chisolm early and often. Ohio contained him well as he only had 49 yards on 21 carries. The Zips as a team had just 81 total rushing yards.

For Ohio, Donte Harden had a good game statistically, picking up 123 yards on 22 carries, but another costly fumble saw him benched for a short while.

In addition to getting their season back on track, losses by Temple and Buffalo bring the Bobcats back into the running for the MAC East title. While the sudden change of fortunes will have the team looking to go for the kill, both the players and coaches are keeping it in perspective.

“We’ve got to play one game at a time,” cornerback Travis Carrie said. “We can’t focus on other teams.”

“I have no idea where that stands and how that all works, but obviously that helps us,” Solich said. “We’re going to have to win out in order to be in the game. We got four more to go in order to get that done and a huge one next week with Temple coming to our place.”

The Bobcats next game will be a pivotal matchup with the Temple Owls in Athens next Wednesday. Akron will play Central Michigan at home Saturday.

Ball State vs Ohio: Running Blog

Happy Homecoming, and what a day for it!

I have a hard time believing that there is a more beautiful setting in college football in fall than Peden Stadium.

Ohio is looking to rebound after a terrible loss to Buffalo last week against a less than stellar Ball State Cardinals squad that is coming off a 42-0 loss to Temple.

2:13- Some notes:

-Warrior Jeff King will be wearing the number 62 today in honor of Marcellus Williamson.

-Wicked winds here along the Hocking today. Gusts are expected in excess of 40 mph. It’s going to affect the kicking, punting and passing games.

-LaVon Brazill needs eight receptions to become Ohio’s all-time leader in receptions.

-Reps from the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants have spots in the box today. No idea who they are here to look at but it’s getting to that time where we see scouts around Peden.

-As it plays on the video board, I can’t stress enough how good The Bobcat Showcase on WOUB is. It covers all Ohio sports and does a great job of covering the teams from unique angles. You can check out full episodes HERE.

2:43- Ball State is 3-3 but like previous opponents they have been battle-tested. They have played Oklahoma, South Florida and Indiana.

2:50- Ball State quarterback Sean Baker has thrown the most interceptions in the nation. The Bobcat secondary has feasted on turnovers all season and could use some today.

3:00- Now that I’m done feeling bad for myself over another horrid effort from the Pitt Panthers, some more news. DL Neal Huynh is still a couple of weeks away from playing and won’t dress. CB Xavier Hughes is officially out for the year.

3:09- Tyler Tettleton has been incredibly efficient. He is one of 11 quarterbacks in D-I with at least 1o touchdowns and two or less interceptions. He is in the same company with players such as Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck.

3:30- Just about game time and the place has filled up. The crowd is louder than in past home games so it should be a very fun afternoon of football.

3:34- Teams are out. Rufus’s motorcycle has returned. Ball State will start with the ball. Let’s play.

3:42- Both teams can’t get much going on their first drives. With the wind, the run game will be very important. Donte Harden had 11 yards on his first carry but the drive stalled immediately after.

3:48- Ohio forces another three and out and has much better field position on the Ball State 38.

3:55- LaVon Brazill gives the crowd some life with an impressive 37 yard return on a 65 yard punt that featured a huge block by Mose Denton.

3:58- A bit puzzling how Ohio continues to pass when it clearly isn’t working so far.

4:02- 11 minutes in Ball State gets the first 3rd down conversion of the day. They are driving, now inside the Ohio 35.

4:06- END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: Ball State 0 Ohio 0.

Pretty mundane quarter of football there, but we have seen things get crazy i a relatively short amount of time.

-Ball State is in the middle of a 5:43 drive and are down to the Ohio 20. They have figured out a way to move the ball with the wind.Ohio should look to do the same.

-Just 24 total yards for the Bobcats- 21 rushing, 3 passing. It would be in their best interest to keep the ball on the ground.

-Time of possession: Ball State-11:05 Ohio: 3:55.

4:11- 14 play 59 yard drive is capped with a field goal. Ball State 3 Ohio 0.

4:16- Funny how Ohio gets a first down and the chain gang forgets to move the sticks as they were asleep from the lethargic first quarter.

4:18- Six for the ‘Cats on a reverse pass from Phil Bates to LaVon Brazill for the score. 7-3 Bobcats after tripling their 1st quarter output on their first drive of the 2nd. That is Brazill’s 6th TD of the season and he is now just three receptions away from the all-time mark.

4:36- We’ve hit another lull in the middle of the second. BSU trying to make the best of good field position starting their drive on the Ohio 46.

4:40- BSU gets down to the OU 24 before stalling. The Bobcats dodge a bullet when Steven Schott misses the 41-yard field goal attempt. Still 7-3 as the game inches toward half.

4:50- Horrible drive for the Bobcat D who allow the Cardinals to go 9 plays and 81 yards in less than four minutes. 10-7 Cardinals with less than a minute left in the half.

4:54- Wow. A deflected Tettleton pass with 38 seconds remaining in the half picked off by Travis Freeman and returned all the way down to the Ohio 8. The Cardinals settle for a FG and have a 13-7 lead at the half.

HALFTIME: Ball State 13 Ohio 7

-What a downer. Ohio had seemed to seize control of the game with their first touchdown but Ball State put together a nice drive and then a big play on defense to sneak away with the lead at half.

-This was without a doubt Ohio’s worst offensive half of the year. They cannot move the ball on a regular basis today.

-Phil Bates on his one touchdown pass has more yards than Tyler Tettleton. That’s all you need to know about how the passing game has been.

-The defense broke down on BSU’s first touchdown of the half after tackling and doing their jobs well all half.

-Donte Harden has just seven carries. The Cats absolutely need to get him involved if they want to get it going offensively.

-God bless the Alumni Marching 110. Well worth the price of admission for fans.

-Jahwan Edwards has 91 yards on 15 carries for BSU. Not the bounce back effort the front half of the Bobcat defense was looking for.

5:19- Donte Harden comes out like a man possessed to start the half. Runs over Joshua Howard on a carry up the middle and knocks him out of the game. Brutal.

5:27- Bobcats get a TD on a drive that relied on the vertical passing game. Tettleton completes two passes to Riley Dunlop before a play action pass to Harden in the end zone completes the score. A blocked PAT almost results in two points but holder Paul Hershey makes the stop. 13-13 with 11:28 remaining.

5:38- A short QB sneak completes the counterpunch by Ball State. 10 plays, 77 yards, in  5:11. Things are about to get real for the Cats if they don’t get it together.

5:45- All-American effort by LaVon Brazill on a 74-yard TD reception, the longest play of the year for Ohio. He is one away from tying the all-time reception mark. 20-20 with 5:02 in the 3rd.

5:54- END OF THE 3RD QUARTER: Ohio 20 Ball State 20

Game is tied but Ball State is in the red zone. Defense needs to dig deep if Ohio wants to win.

-Remember in the first half when it was nothing but punts?

-Ball State has nearly doubled Ohio in time of possesion.

-Bobcats held Edwards to just 18 yards, but the pass defense has looked bad.

5:57-Ohio gets the stop in the red zone and Cardinals get another FG. 23-2o with 14:19.

6:02- To give an idea of how much BSU has controlled this game, the Cardinals have run 66 plays to Ohio’s 38.

6:05- Wrapping up the running blog. Keep it to my twitter (@suhlmann12) for the updates in this barn-burner.