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Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe 14

The SportsXchange

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Amid weather conditions suited for the Midwest, the Ohio Bobcats shellacked the University of Louisiana-Monroe with a record-setting performance in Friday's AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl.

Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton had a season-high 331 yards passing while high school classmate, running back Beau Blankenship, set a bowl mark with four touchdowns during the Bobcats' 45-14 victory at Independence Stadium.

Ohio looked very much like a team playing its fourth straight postseason game and dominated the Warhawks, playing just 100 miles west of their campus, from start to finish on a damp, chilly afternoon in front of an announced crowd of 41,853.

The Bobcats, coached by former Nebraska leader Frank Solich, capitalized on three turnovers from ULM, playing in the first bowl game in school history, in the first 25 minutes to build a 17-point halftime advantage and needed less than half of the third quarter to build a 38-7 lead.

Blankenship scored three rushing touchdowns in the second half and collected 104 yards on 19 carries. In addition to setting the bowl mark for rushing scores, he tied former Missouri star Brad Smith's bowl record of 24 points. Ohio set the bowl record for margin of victory and matched the game record for scoring.

Tettleton's hot start set the tone for the Bobcats.

With completions on his first five passes, including two touchdowns, Tettleton led Ohio to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. His second TD was a 68-yard strike to Chase Cochran.

Tettleton's previous yardage high this season was a 324-yard effort in a victory at Penn State in the season opener.

After a successful regular season, Tettleton's counterpart struggled Friday.

Kolton Browning's three interceptions came in the first half, and the Bobcats turned the mistakes into 14 points.

The Warhawks' biggest mistake came midway through the second quarter. One play after stopping Ohio's fake field-goal attempt, Browning was intercepted by defensive lineman Tremayne Scott at ULM's 4-yard line. Three plays later, Blankenskip helped Ohio to a 24-7 lead with a 2-yard plunge.

ULM collected 18 first downs in the opening half to Ohio's 8, but turnovers and the Bobcats' efficiency on offense behind Tettleton made the difference.

Tettleton completed 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards in the first half.

Notes: ULM receiver Brent Leonard set a school record with his 204th reception (on his single-season school-record 99th) with 6-yard reception across the middle early in the second quarter. Leonard wound up with seven catches for 76 yards Friday (104 catches this season). ... Defensive lineman Corey Hasting led the Bobcats on the field prior to the game carrying an American flag. Hasting's brother, Scotty, a Specialist in the Army, is still recovering after taking 10 rounds during an ambush in Afghanistan last year. ... The ULM-heavy crowd headed for the exits en masse when Blankenship made it 38-7 with a 1-yard score late in the third quarter.
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