ATHENS, Ohio - If you like offense, you would have loved Saturday night's game at Peden Stadium between Ohio and visiting New Mexico State.
The Bobcats and Aggies combined for 796 yards and 75 points before Ohio rolled to a 51-24 win.
It didn't take OU long to light up the scoreboard. After New Mexico State took the opening kickoff and was held to a three-and-out, the Bobcats went on a 68-yard touchdown march with quarterback Tyler Tettleton scoring from 6 yards out with 11:09 left in the first quarter. Matt Weller's kick was good and it was 7-0 Ohio. Tettleton had set up the TD with a 41-yard strike to Troy Hill.
Any thoughts that New Mexico State was going to be cannon fodder quickly dissipated as the Aggies went on an 80-yard march of their own with Tiger Powell scoring from 2 yards out to cap an 11-play drive that tied the game at 7 with 5:51 left in the first quarter.
After a brief lull in the action that resulted in an exchange of punts, Ohio took over at its own 45 with 26 ticks remaining in the first quarter. Five straight rushes by Beau Blankenship gave the Cats the ball at the NMSU 28. That's when Tettleton, on a third and 13 play, drilled Donte Foster with a TD pass and it was 14-7 Ohio with 13:42 left in the first half.
Once again, New Mexico State immediately responded, needing just six plays to cover 78 yards, with quarterback Andrew Manley connecting with Austin Franklin on a TD pass that covered the final 42 yards. It was 14-all with 10:40 left until intermission.
Ohio's next possession ended with a lost fumble that put the Aggies in business at the Bobcat 35. But OU's defense stiffened, forcing a 42-yard field goal attempt that missed its mark and kept the game tied.
The better news for Ohio was the Cats got back the ball and after Blankenship ripped off gains of 11 and 23 yards, he then bounced over the middle for a 33-yard score and a 21-14 Ohio lead with 4:54 left in the half. The Cats could have added to that lead, but a 28-yard Weller field goal on the final play of the half was blocked.
The Aggies cut the lead to four on their fist possession of the second half as Tyler Stampler booted a 38-yard field goal with 11:55 left in the third quarter.
But the rest of the quarter belonged to the Cats. Fist, Weller drilled a 37-yard field. The, a 35-yard punt return by Ryan Clark started a TD march that culminated in a 5-yard TD run by Blankenship. Plus, on New Mexico State's first play from scrimmage, Nathan Carpenter intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards for a TD. All of sudden, it was 38-17 Ohio with 6:30 left in the third quarter.But the Cats werem't done. Tettleton hit Landon Smith with a 40 yard TD pass for a 45-17 lead and the rest was for show.
Ohio (2-0) had 590 total yards with Tettleon finishing with 15 of 23 completions for 257 yards. Blankenship rushed for 174 yards.