SHREVEPORT, La. -- Tyler Tettleton and Beau Blankenship were not back in Oklahoma playing in their backyard; they just made Friday's AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl look that easy.
Ohio University's dynamic duo, classmates and teammates at Norman (Okla.) North High School, provided a stiff 1-2 punch and led the Bobcats to a slew of offensive records and a 45-14 drubbing of the University of Louisiana-Monroe at Independence Stadium.
Following Tettleton's season-high performance of 331 yards passing (14 of 22) and Blankenship's bowl-record four rushing touchdowns, the pair shared Offensive MVP honors.
"I don't think there is a better way to go out this season," said Blankenship, who collected 104 yards on 19 carries and former Missouri star Brad Smith's bowl record with 24 points vs. South Carolina in 2005. "This is just awesome. It ranks what up there in terms of what Tyler and I have accomplished together."
The Bobcats (9-4) tied for the most points in Independence Bowl history (Virginia Tech, 1993; LSU, 1995) and set the game mark for offensive yards. Ohio rolled up 556 yards on the Warhawks to break Auburn's total of 533 yards against Army in 1996. Ohio's offense made things look so easy Friday, by the time the third quarter came around, the Bobcats' quarterback said his team was "cracking jokes in the huddle."
"We had a blast today," said Tettleton, son of former major leaguer Mickey Tettleton.
Amid weather conditions suited for the invaders from the Midwest, the Bobcats posted a thorough effort Friday. Ohio's defense shut down a potent Warhawks unit, forcing junior quarterback Kolton Browning into a season-high three interceptions -- those came in the first 25 minutes of the game. He threw just seven picks all season. The Bobcats also blocked on a field goal on special teams.
"This may have been as complete a ballgame as we had since I've been at Ohio," said Bobcats coach Frank Solich, who took over in Athens, Ohio, in 2005.
The Bobcats 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.
"They just jumped on us," ULM linebacker R.J. Young said. "We were shell shocked. I don't have many more words to say -- it just happened."
The Warhawks (8-5) expected much more out of the first bowl game in school history.
"Obviously we didn't have a great experience today," ULM coach Todd Berry said. "We'll be back."
Former walk-on, Ohio linebacker Keith Moore, was named the Defensive MVP after leading his team with nine tackles. He added one of Ohio's five sacks and two tackles-for-loss.
Ohio built a 17-point halftime advantage and needed less than half of the third quarter to build a 38-7 lead. Three of Blankenship's scores came in the second half.
Tettleton's hot start set the tone for his high school buddy and the Bobcats.
With completions on his first five passes, including two touchdowns, Tettleton (6-feet, 200 pounds) pushed Ohio to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. His second TD came on 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.
All six of Ohio's touchdown drives took less than 3 minutes.
"That's what we're about," said Tettleton, who hit on 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards in the first half. "We go fast."
Browning's struggles, and Ohio's pressure, were present early. His biggest mistake came midway through the second quarter, one play after the Warhawks stopped Ohio's fake field-goal attempt.
Browning was intercepted by defensive lineman Tremayne Scott at ULM's 4-yard line. Three plays later, the 5-foot-9, 202-pound Blankenship helped Ohio to a 24-7 lead with his first score -- a 2-yard plunge of the afternoon.
Notes: ULM receiver Brent Leonard set a school record with his 204th reception (on his single-season school-record 99th) with a 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, 1,118 yards receiving). ... 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.