Football: Tettleton, Weller Win MAC Weekly Awards

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A career performance and a record-tying night means weekly conference awards for two Ohio football players.

Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton was named Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, the same day kicker Matt Weller was awarded the Special Teams honor for the second straight week.

Tettleton was 20/29 for 285 yards and three touchdowns (no interceptions) in the Bobcats' 44-7 thumping of rival Marshall on Saturday. The sophomore quarterback wasn't sacked by the Herd defense and also rushed for 53 yards on nine carries and also scored on a designed QB-run from seven yards out.

Tettleton set career highs in completions, yards and touchdown passes in the huge win over Marshall, which doubled as Ohio's first win over their cross-river rivals since November 18, 2000.

Matt Weller made all three of his field goal attempts in Saturday's game (from distances of 20, 21 and 34) and won the MAC East's Special Teams Player of the Week award for the second consecutive week. On Saturday, Weller tied the all-time Ohio record for most field goals made in a career with 38. 

Weller's next successful kick will make the junior the all-time leader in field goals made. He's also 10 attempts behind the all-time mark for field goal attempts and he's second on the Ohio list in career field goal percentage.

Ohio players have won the East Division Special Teams award every week in the 2011 season. Travis Carrie won the award in week one for his 65-yard punt return touchdown.

'Cats Get Votes in USA Today Poll

After securing its first 3-0 start since 1976 and pounding a young but talented Marshall squad 44-7 on Saturday, Ohio football is getting some national praise.

The Bobcats received two votes in the USA Today poll when it was released Sunday.

Ohio is the seventh-highest ranked mid-major in the country – behind #4 Boise State, #20 TCU, Houston, Utah, San Diego State and Florida International.

With Saturday's matinee against Rutgers looming, Ohio has the chance to start 4-0 for the first time since that 1976 season.

Sights From the Sidelines

Our guys on the field saw things that maybe you didn't…here's the weekly Showcase segment, "Sights From the Sidelines."

Russell Did Ohio Right

The alternate all-black jerseys were the perfect touch for Saturday night’s game. The uniforms were sleek, tough and, more importantly, a statement. Russell Athletics took a page out of Nike and Adidas’ books and made the special jersey – with help from Ohio's Jason Grooms and Matt Morton – for this game because of the Bell rivalry. Not that any player needed extra motivation, but sporting the new threads certainly put an extra swag in Ohio players’ steps.

Fan Support Surpassed Expectations
As loud as the jerseys were on Saturday, the fans were even louder. September 17, 2011 will go down as the third largest attendance in Peden Stadium’s history. There was a buzz in the stadium rarely seen or heard for an Ohio football game, a refreshing change from the typically sparse crowd. Even the black thundersticks had certain sheen to them under the lights. We're not sure how effective they were on the intimidation side, but they looked cool and were loud.

Get Used to Hearing "Tyler Tettleton to LaVon Brazill"

T-Tett hooked up with LaVon Brazill for their second and third touchdown connections of the young season on Saturday. The corner fade has been featured on two of those scoring strikes and Brazill may be emerging as Tettleton’s go-to red zone and deep-ball receiver. That being said, the entire receiving corps has looked strong this year. An unselfish group, this bunch of wideouts has no problem blocking for teammates, as you could see on Brazill’s second touchdown and Phil Bates’ 50-yard touchdown catch and scamper. Both were sprung free along the sideline by key blocks from their fellow receivers.  

Phil Bates is Massive

Speaking of Phil Bates, he’s massive. Bates is a thick, fast, tall, athletic human being and that doesn’t even do the 6'2", 226-pound (yeah, right) senior justice. He is simply an athletic specimen, and he used all the tools in his belt on his first touchdown reception as a Bobcat. Phil’s sprint from the corner of the end zone to the Ohio sideline was Usain Bolt-esque, except the Bobcat has 20 pounds on him than the Olympic sprinter does.

Rushing Defense Gashed

For the first time this season, an opponent rushed for over 100 yards against the Bobcats’ defense. The Thundering Herd finished the night with 172 net rushing yards on 34 carries, and keep in mind Marshall was down early, forcing them to go through the air. At times, it felt like the Herd’s backs were to the second or third level of the defense before an Ohio defender made first contact. This could be a bit concerning since the Bobcats next face a physical Rutgers team, which will look to pound the ball.