Scores
AdvoCare V100 INDEPENDENCE BOWL

Final

Ohio 45

(9-4, 4-4 MAC)

UL Monroe 14

(8-5, 6-2 Sun Belt)

Coverage: ESPN

2:00 PM ET, December 28, 2012

1 2 3 4 T
OHIO 14 10 14 745
ULM 0 7 7 014

Top Performers

Passing: T. Tettleton (OHIO) - 331 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: B. Blankenship (OHIO) - 19 CAR, 104 YDS, 4 TD

Receiving: C. Cochran (OHIO) - 3 REC, 162 YDS, 1 TD

Tyler Tettleton, Beau Blankenship spark Ohio in Independence Bowl

Associated Press

SHREVEPORT, La. -- The final pass of Tyler Tettleton's dizzying early-game onslaught was beautiful -- a 68-yard touchdown heave to Chase Cochran over two defenders.

Ohio coach Frank Solich couldn't have designed a better beginning to a football game. And the end result -- a dominant 45-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on Friday -- wasn't too bad either.

"It was probably as complete of ballgame as we've played in some time," Solich said. "I think our guys played with great intensity and a great deal of heart. We showed we can play a great game against a really good team like Louisiana-Monroe."

Tettleton's early heroics staked the Bobcats (9-4) to an early 14-0 lead and Louisiana-Monroe was never really able to gain its footing. During the two early touchdown drives, Tettleton completed all five of his passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

He finished 14 of 22 passing for 331 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

"We knew we were going up against a great front seven, so our game plan was to take some shots down field and let our playmakers make plays," Tettleton said.

They certainly did. Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards while Tyler Futrell had five receptions for 133 yards. With Tettleton softening the Louisiana-Monroe defense early, running back Beau Blankenship provided the power offense to seal the game, rushing for 104 yards and an Independence Bowl record four touchdowns.

Tettleton was especially sharp in the first half, completing 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio built a 24-7 lead.

Louisiana-Monroe (8-5) struggled in its first bowl game after 19 seasons in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kolton Browning completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three first-half interceptions.

Ohio broke several Independence Bowl records, including the 31-point margin of victory and 556 total yards.

Ohio lost four of five games to end the regular season -- including the last three -- but looked crisp in a complete performance against the Warhawks.

Tettleton's 2012 season had been a slight disappointment considering the huge numbers he put up the year before as a sophomore, but his performance against Louisiana-Monroe was a reminder of how good he can be. He averaged more than 23 yards per completion.

Blankenship finished with a school record 1,604 yards rushing yards this season and topped the 100-yard mark for the 10th time. All four of his touchdown runs came from 2 yards out or less.

Louisiana-Monroe came into Friday's game with the better storyline and basically a home-field advantage. The Warhawks were playing in their first bowl game after joining college football's highest level in 1994 and secured a bid in Shreveport, which is only about 100 miles from their campus.

But that emotional lift didn't help ULM's defense, which was torched by Tettleton's deep ball accuracy early and Blankenship's hard running late.

Tettleton needed just three passes to lead Ohio to its first touchdown. He hit Futrell on a 26-yard gain and Cochran on a 51-yard strike before finding Donte Foster for the 3-yard score.

A few minutes later, Tettleton hit Cochran perfectly in stride for the 68-yarder that gave the Bobcats a 14-0 lead.

Louisiana-Monroe briefly showed some life early in the second quarter when Browning's 14-yard touchdown pass to Tavarese Maye cut the margin to 14-7.

But Ohio came right back, using Matt Weller's 38-yard field goal and Blankenship's 2-yard touchdown run to push ahead 24-7 with 4:50 left in the second quarter. Blankenship's touchdown run was set up by Browning's third interception of the first half.

Louisiana-Monroe had a chance to cut into the deficit just before halftime, but coach Todd Berry's gamble to go for a touchdown instead of a short field goal backfired when Browning's final pass of the half sailed harmlessly out the back of the end zone.

Berry's gamble wasn't a surprise -- the Warhawks had gained a reputation for unorthodox play-calling during their record-setting season. But nothing seemed to work against the Bobcats, and the large ULM fan contingent had mostly disappeared from the stands by the end of the third quarter.

It was a disappointing ending for the Warhawks, who started the season with a stunning overtime victory over Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., and still finished with the best season in school history since moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

"This will get us back to work," Berry said. "I would have liked it to have been a little cleaner. But I also recognize the opportunities for this football team next year. This will add fuel to the fire. We will have a great offseason because of what happened today and that's what we're going to use. This group will rally."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
OHIO
ULM
1st Downs2124
Total Yards556314
Passing337219
Rushing21995
Penalties7-783-28
3rd Down Conversions5-105-15
4th Down Conversions0-11-3
Turnovers23
Possession26:2533:35

Passing Leaders

OhioC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tettleton14/2233115.021
Louisiana-MonroeC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Browning21/392195.623

Rushing Leaders

OhioCARYDSAVGTDLG
Blankenship191045.5422
Patterson5367.2013
Louisiana-MonroeCARYDSAVGTDLG
Browning24472.0015
Bailey5316.2023

Receiving Leaders

OhioRECYDSAVGTDLG
Cochran316254.0168
Futrell513326.6044
Louisiana-MonroeRECYDSAVGTDLG
Leonard77610.9016
Maye45814.5119

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTEROHIOULM
TD12:03Donte Foster 3 Yd Pass From Tyler Tettleton (Matt Weller Kick) 70
TD08:17Chase Cochran 68 Yd Pass From Tyler Tettleton (Matt Weller Kick) 140
SECOND QUARTEROHIOULM
TD14:37Tavarese Maye 14 Yd Pass From Kolton Browning (Justin Manton Kick) 147
FG11:08Matt Weller 38 Yd 177
TD04:50Beau Blankenship 2 Yd Run (Matt Weller Kick) 247
THIRD QUARTEROHIOULM
TD12:22Beau Blankenship 2 Yd Run (Matt Weller Kick) 317
TD08:25Beau Blankenship 1 Yd Run (Matt Weller Kick) 387
TD02:40Kevin Steed 1 Yd Pass From Kolton Browning (Justin Manton Kick) 3814
FOURTH QUARTEROHIOULM
TD14:52Beau Blankenship 2 Yd Run (Matt Weller Kick) 4514