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Bobcats Hold Off Kent State
While the stat sheet would indicate that Ohio dominated Saturday’s game against Kent State, the final score read otherwise.
The Bobcats’ inability to put the Golden Flashes away in the fourth quarter kept the score close, as Ohio defeated Kent State, 17-10.
“It was a tough, physical football game,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “It seems to be that’s always the case when these teams lineup. A little frustration but our guys played well enough to be 4-1.”
Ohio outgained Kent State 391 to 217 and picked up eight more first downs. However every time the Bobcats had a chance to put the game out of reach, a stalled drive or offensive miscue gave the ball back to Kent State.
One lost fumble, a blocked punt and a blocked field goal also helped to keep the Golden Flashes within striking distance.
“Special teams cost us,” Solich said. “Those two plays were very costly. We’re capable of being a very good special teams team, so I’m not satisfied when it turns out like it did today.”
After going up 3-0 on a Matt Weller field goal in the second quarter, a Tyler Tettleton fumble deep inside Ohio’s territory led to Kent State’s only score.
The Bobcats answered with a four-yard touchdown pass from Tettleton to LaVon Brazill to take the lead for good.
Ohio made it a two-score game late in the third quarter when Tettleton connected with running back Ryan Boykin for a seven-yard touchdown in which Boykin ran through a defender on his way to the end zone.
Despite countless opportunities, the Bobcats could not extend their lead any further.
“We had to find our footing,” Boykin said. “They were sending a lot of blitzes. We were trying to figure out what they were doing to maintain the drive.
“We knew that had a good defense. They were ready for us as much as we were ready for them.”
Part of Ohio’s struggles might have stemmed from the loss of multiple starters. Defensive back Neal Huynh and corner back Omar Leftwich both left the game in the first quarter and did not return.
Tettleton also left the game late in the fourth quarter and was unable to return.
“We had our problems as the game went on losing two of our starters.,” Solich said. “That had a little effect on us. You can’t replace those guys easily.”
The win was the first for Ohio over Kent State since 2008.
“We had a chip on our shoulder this game,” Brazill said. “We were trying to get that off our chests and we did.”