Miami (OH) Shocks No. 24 Ohio 23-20 to Hand Bobcats First Loss of the Season

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2012

Oct 27, 2012; Oxford, OH, USA; Miami Redhawks wide receiver Nick Harwell attempts a one handed catch in the end zone covered by Ohio Bobcats defensive back Ian Wells (41) during the second quarter of the game at Fred Yager Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE

Ohio was able to enjoy its No. 24 BCS ranking for one week before Miami (OH) upset the Bobcats 23-20 on Saturday.

Entering the game undefeated, Ohio should have waltzed by a RedHawks team that came in with four losses. Instead, Miami (OH) was able to jump out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter before Beau Blankenship ran one in from five yards out to cut the Bobcats' deficit to 13-7.

Jamire Westbrook answered that score with a one-yard run of his own though, putting the RedHawks ahead 20-7. Ohio couldn't get any consistent momentum going, and it paid for it in the first half.

Quarterback Tyler Tettleton scampered in for a three-yard touchdown to put the Bobcats down 20-14 with under 10 minutes remaining in the half, setting up a tight final two quarters. Tettleton didn't have his normal day behind center, but he still caused problems running out of Ohio's pistol formation.

The second half wasn't nearly as eventful, with the teams trading field goals for 30 minutes. Matt Weller put Ohio behind three with the lone points of the third quarter and tied the game with 4:41 left on a 38-yard try. All appeared to be fine for the favored squad, until Kaleb Patterson gave the RedHawks their decisive 23-20 winning margin.

Neither team played excellent football, but Ohio couldn't make enough plays to separate itself. Playing down to competition, and avoiding a letdown coming off a BCS ranking, is always a concern, and the Bobcats fell victim to that on Saturday.

Tettleton finished the day 23-of-38 for 302 yards and zero touchdowns. He didn't throw any interceptions, but missed a few key opportunities to help his team down the stretch. He received 74-yard rushing performances from both Blankenship and Ryan Boykin as well.

For Miami (OH), signal-caller Zac Dysert paced the attack. He threw for 300-plus yards, even though he didn't receive much support on the ground. He also found Nick Harwell for a touchdown, a major part of Harwell's eight-catch, 138-yard day through the air.

The Bobcats will have a chance to bounce back against Eastern Michigan on Thursday night. Eastern Michigan only has one win, but it will be interesting to see how the short turnaround impacts the reeling Ohio squad. Miami (OH) will travel to Buffalo next Saturday.