Football: Bobcats to head for Independence Bowl

Ohio wide receiver Donte Foster jumps for a pass that was thrown over his head. The Bobcats were defeated 28-6 by the Kent State Golden Flashes on Nov. 23 at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. (Daniel Kubus | Staff Photographer)

The Bobcats were the first Division I team in the nation to acquire bowl eligibility and started the season 7-0 before losing four of five games by a combined score of 129-67.

Despite their losing slide, the Bobcats were selected to play in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on Dec. 28 against the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

“The Ohio University football program is extremely excited for the opportunity to play in the Independence Bowl,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said in a statement, Sunday night. “For over 25 years, this has been one of the premier bowl games in the country, and I couldn’t be happier for our team.”

The game will mark Ohio’s seventh bowl game in program history and its fourth in a row.

The Bobcats are 1-5 in their past bowl appearances and won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last year against Utah State.

The trip to the bowl game cost Ohio $486,682.43, most of which was covered by bowl revenue. The remaining $9,722.43 was drawn from the Athletic Department Post Season Reserve Budget, according to a previous Post article.

Last year, Missouri met up with North Carolina in the Independence Bowl, which had a payout of $2.3 million. The Tigers earned a 41-24 victory.

If Ohio were to win its bowl game, Solich would pocket a bonus equal to 10 percent of his base salary, $370,000, and an additional $5,000 for the Bobcats’ ninth win of the season.

Like the Bobcats, the Warhawks garnered early-season attention with a 34-31 win in overtime against the Arkansas Razorbacks, who were ranked eighth in the country at the time, in their season-opener.

“These are two dynamic football teams that will be a great addition to the long list of great teams that have played in the Independence Bowl,” said Jack Andres, the 2012 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl chairman.

Louisiana-Monroe junior quarterback Kolton Browning is ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in total offense with 297 yards per game and has accounted for 3,271 all-purpose yards on the year.

“Louisiana-Monroe has had a very good season, and we’re certain that this game with be a great matchup,” Solich said.

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