Updated Wed, Nov 13, 2013 1:16 pm
When it rains, it pours. After a difficult road loss, the Ohio Bobcats needed a road win at Bowling Green to keep their hopes of postseason play alive. Instead, the Bobcats continued their recent skid, falling in blowout fashion on Tuesday night to the Bowling Green Falcons by a score of 49-0.
Bowling Green sprung out of the gates quickly, scoring two touchdowns on their first three offensive plays. Ohio allowed a massive rushing performance yet again, surrendering 150 yards and two touchdowns to Falcon Travis Greene.
Greene’s performance is the fourth 100-yard outing that the Bobcats have given up this season.
“Running backs have had great success against us,” redshirt sophomore linebacker Ben Russell said. “It’s not because they’re great, it’s because we’re not filling our gaps correctly. We’re missing tackles and not getting our jobs done.”
While the Bowling Green offense captured most of the attention, the Falcon defense produced another dominant performance, holding the Bobcats to 50 first-half yards and a three-and-out on their first four possessions. The air attack struggled, but many point to the sluggish running game as the stem of the offensive difficulties.
“If you’re not consistent in the run game, it’s not really going to help out the passing game,” quarterback Tyler Tettleton said. “We need to get that going and hopefully we will.”
The battle between the Bobcat offensive line and the Falcon defensive front wasn’t exactly a battle at all, creating little space for Ohio backs and forcing Tettleton to make hurried decisions in the passing game.
After recording three straight 300-yard passing performances in the last three weeks of October, Tettleton has struggled mightily in both November contests thus far, completing on just 29 of 58 passes for 219 yards in those two games combined.
With Bowling Green already up 28-0 and driving, Xavier Hughes attempted to jump start a Bobcat charge, diving and intercepting a Matt Johnson pass to set Ohio up near midfield. But, immediately after, Donte Foster fumbled a short pass from Tettleton and turned the ball over to the Falcons, sending the Bobcat attack spiraling yet again.
The 49-0 loss is the worst in the Ohio-Bowling Green series since the Falcons defeated the Bobcats 72-21 in 2002. Urban Meyer was the coach for Bowling Green at the time of that loss.
Where do the Bobcats go from here?
At 6-4 with winnable games against Kent State and UMass remaining, Ohio has a reasonable chance to finish 8-4. While the record still makes the Bobcats bowl eligible, a swarm of more impressive Mid-American Conference teams could create problems for the Bobcats’ bowl quest.
“We’ll get back to playing physical football,” head coach Frank Solich said. “We’ll practice physical and we’ll see how they respond. Hopefully they respond well.”
“It’s unfortunate that we lost these two straight in the fashion that we did,” Tettleton said. “But now, I’m just trying to enjoy my last two games with my teammates and, at the same time, be competitive and try to win games.”
Ohio returns home next Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. Bobcat Blackout matchup with the Kent State Golden Flashes at Peden Stadium. A win would guarantee a winning record for the fifth consecutive year and the sixth in the Frank Solich era.