Ohio entered the 2012 as one of the preseason favorite BCS busters and the Bobcats only gained more attention when they knocked off Penn State in Week 1. But, thanks to a late season slide that saw Frank Solich‘s team lose four of its final five games, Ohio had to settle for an Independence Bowl invite.
As fate would have it, Ohio took the invitation because of a communication SNAFU with Louisiana Tech, another one of the early season picks to potentially crash the BCS party.
It seems Ohio was determined to honor LaTech, the top scoring team in the country, in the Independence Bowl by hanging up 45 points against Louisiana Monroe, a team with its own statement win against Arkansas. Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton passed for over 300 yards for the first time in four games on just 13 completions.
The deep ball was there for Ohio from the very beginning when Tettleton led the offense 80 yards down the field on just three plays. The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 14-o lead thanks to a pair of Kolton Browning interceptions and took a 24-7 lead into the half. Two more scores in the third quarter put the game away for good. Ohio would go on to win 45-14 to give the school its second straight bowl win.
But it wasn’t just Ohio’s offense that was impressive. The Bobcats’ defense held ULM’s to 21 points below its season average and 313 total yards.
In other words, hello, Ohio Bobcats from September.
Of course, it’s not about looking back, but looking ahead. Both Tettleton and Browning should be returning for another year, giving Ohio and ULM another good chance to capture respective conference titles in 2013.