Published Fri, Nov 23, 2012 2:19 pm Dateline
Updated Fri, Nov 23, 2012 8:11 pm
Two first quarter turnovers helped No. 23-ranked Kent State jump out to a 21-0 lead and they never looked back, beating Ohio 28-6. The Bobcats were looking for there first win over a ranked opponent in program history but the offense struggled from the start, allowing the Golden Flashes to score two defensive touchdowns in the first 10 minutes. With the loss, Ohio fell to 0-16 all-time against nationally ranked opponents.
Turnovers: Kent St. came in leading the nation with a plus-20 turnover margin and pounced on the early Bobcat mistakes. Ohio was moving on its opening possession but C.J. Malauulu punched the ball out of running back Beau Blankenship’s hands and Luke Wollet raced the other way for a 50-yard touchdown just 1:58 into the game.
Three possessions later, Malauulu picked off Tettleton and returned it 33 yards for the touchdown to give the Golden Flashes a 21-0 midway through the opening quarter.
Record-Breaker: Blankenship set the single-season rushing record in the first quarter, passing Kalvin McRae (2004-2007). Blankenship was one of the only bright spots, rushing for 145 yards on 29 carries. The junior finished the season with 1500 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns.
Offensive Struggles: Ohio had 15 possessions but could not get into the end zone. The Bobcats ran the two-minute drill to perfection at the end of the first half but settled for a Weller field goal. Ohio had two red-zone drives in the first half but were held to field goals both times. Grant Venham punted a season-high nine times on the day.
More Sacks: Ohio allowed eight more sacks today. Again, it was a combination of a leaky offensive line and Tettleton holding onto the ball for too long.
Offensive Line Injuries: Ohio has not used injuries as an excuse, but the injuries continued to pile up. Offensive linemen Ryan McGrath, Eric Herman and Vince Carlotta were all knocked out of the game in the first half.
Bowl Game? Ohio (8-4) was the first bowl-eligible team in the nation and was 7-0 before losing four of its final five games. Suddenly, they are not guaranteed anything.