Photo courtesy of Ohio Athletics
NCAA FOOTBALL BOWLS PAGE
(Sports Network) - Tyler Tettleton scored on a one-yard run with 13 seconds to play as Ohio took a 24-23 win over Utah State for its first-ever bowl victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Tettleton passed for 219 yards on 19-of-27 attempts and added 15 carries for 44 yards and the winning score for Ohio (10-4), which had been winless in its five previous postseason appearances dating back to the Sun Bowl in 1962.
LaVon Brazill had eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown and Derek Roback also had a touchdown catch for the Bobcats.
Michael Smith carried the ball 12 times for 156 yards and two scores and Adam Kennedy went 11-for-18 with just 64 yards and a score for Utah State (7-6), which has lost six of the seven bowl games its appeared in.
The winning drive started at the Ohio 39 with 2:02 to play and the first snap saw Tettleton hit Riley Dunlop for 19 yards. A 15-yard rush by Tettleton two plays later gave the team a first down at the 18. Facing a 4th-and-6, Tettleton flung a pass to Brazill that he caught and came down with it at the one-yard line.
As he stretched his arm out in an effort to get it over the goal line, he hit the ground before getting it over. The ball came out of his hands after it hit the ground and he recovered in the end zone with the officials initially ruling it a touchdown.
A review confirmed the score, but there was confusion and another replay showed that he was down, then fumbled, giving Ohio the ball at the one.
Tettleton was then stuffed on a keeper up the middle. After a timeout, Tettleton faked a run up the middle, then kept it himself around the right side for the score. The extra point made it a 24-23 game with 13 seconds to play.
Utah State tried a catch and several laterals, but ultimately the ball wound up back in the hands of an Ohio player to seal the win.
Utah State went for it on 4th-and-1 at the Ohio one-yard line on the first possession of the game, but came away empty when Robert Turbin was stuffed.
However, the poor field position did work out to the Aggies' advantage as Tettleton took an intentional safety after fumbling a shotgun snap with eight minutes to play in the first quarter.
Getting the free kick back near midfield, Utah State was forced to line up for a field goal on 4th-and-12 from the 18 and Josh Thompson's attempt was good, but a personal foul call on Curtis Meyers saw the Aggies get a fresh set of downs.
Three plays later, Kennedy hit tight end Tarren Lloyd in the back of the end zone from three yards out for a 9-0 lead with 3:39 left in the first.
With just over seven minutes to play in the first half, Ohio got the ball back at its own 44 and the first play saw Tettleton hit Brazill for nine yards. Five straight rushes saw the ball move 21 yards to the Utah State 26. Tettleton then lofted a pass down the right side that saw Roback catch it near the five as he just stretched the ball over the goal line to make it a 9-7 game with 4:40 left in the first half.
The Bobcats were held to a three-and-out on their first touch of the second half and Utah State got the ball back at its 28. Two plays later, Smith took a handoff down the left sideline and just stretched it in before being pushed out of bounds for a 63-yard score and a 16-7 lead with 12:19 left in the third.
Ohio answered with a seven-play drive and came away with three points after a 32-yard field goal from Matt Weller.
However, the Aggies got a 38-yard run from Smith that set up his 11-yard touchdown run up the middle for a 23-10 lead with 5:51 left in the third.
The Bobcats answered quickly as the fifth play of their ensuing drive saw Tettleton heave the ball down the field with Brazill leaping up for the grab in the end zone for a 44-yard score to make it a 23-17 game with 3:45 left in the third.