Go back to Week 1 of the 2012 college football season. Fans swarmed Happy Valley to root on their Penn State Nittany Lions and new head coach Bill O’Brien. Not much was known about the Ohio Bobcats entering that game. The team was led by junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton, and had a former Iowa State transfer at the running back position named Beau Blankenship.
By the end of the game, a 24-14 Bobcat victory, people were starting to talk about the dynamic duo. The Bobcats went on to an impressive 9-4 record, culminated by a season-ending 45-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe in the Independence Bowl.
The Bobcats will need to rely on Tettleton and Blankenship entering 2013, due to the loss of two key players from the offensive line. Former offensive guard Eric Herman and starting center Skylar Allen were first and second team All-MAC Conference selections.
The Bobcats averaged 203 rushing yards per game in 2012. If the Bobcats are to make it back to a bowl appearance, they will need both Tettleton and Blankenship to lead the way.
Tettleton (former Oakland Athletics catcher Mickey Tettleton’s son) had a very impressive 2012 season. He completed 62.4 percent of his passes and threw 18 TD passes and only four interceptions. Tettleton has very good instincts and is very elusive outside the tackles.
He rushed for 244 yards and added four touchdowns rushing. He has an uncanny ability to make things happen and is fearless inside the pocket. Tettleton will need to provide leadership for the Bobcats entering the 2013 season. Over the last two years, he is 20-8 as a starting quarterback and looks to improve on those numbers this season.
All Beau Blankenship accomplished in the 2012 season was lead the Bobcats in rushing with 1,642 rushing yards and 15 TD. Blankenship is a very tough inside runner and has great feet. He is not very tall at 5-foot-8, but is rock solid at 202 pounds. Blankenship saved his best performance for the Bobcats’ bowl game. In the Independence Bowl, Blankenship rushed for 104 yards and had four touchdowns.
In victories over Penn State and Marshall, Blankenship rushed for a combined 211 yards. Blankenship is a very durable runner and can carry the ball 30 times a game. With the inexperience of the offensive line, the ability for Blankenship to find running room will be key to opening up the passing game for Tettleton.
Both players look poised for the challenge and the possible opportunity to play in the 2013 MAC Championship game. The Bobcats open up their season on the road Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against the top-ranked Louisville Cardinals.