Shreveport, LA – Beau Blankenship carried the ball 19 times for 104 yards and four touchdowns to lead Ohio to a 45-14 win over Louisiana- Monroe in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl.
Tyler Tettleton was 14-for-22 passing for 331 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and Chase Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards and a score for the Bobcats (9-4), who won their bowl game for the second consecutive season.
"I thought it was a great game in terms of our football team playing extremely well on both sides of the ball -- on the offensive side and the defensive side -- and I thought we did a great job on special teams," said Ohio head coach Frank Solich. "It was probably as complete a ballgame as we've played for some time."
Kolton Browning was 21-for-39 passing for 219 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Warhawks (8-5), who made their first bowl appearance since moving to the FBS in 1994.
"Give them a lot of credit on defense. They did a couple things, but nothing we really hadn't seen," said ULM head coach Todd Berry. "I just don't think we executed plays well and I think that we've been really explosive, our offense, against some very good football teams and we weren't today."
Ohio scored on its first touch when Tettleton connected with Donte Foster for a 3-yard touchdown pass. Earlier in the drive, Tettleton found Tyler Futrell for a 26-yard gain before hooking up with Cochran for a 51-yard catch-and-run.
After forcing a ULM punt on the ensuing possession, Tettleton went back to Cochran for another big play, this one a 68-yard touchdown strike to put the Bobcats up 14-0 near the midway mark of the first quarter.
Browning's 14-yard touchdown pass to Tavarese Maye pulled the Warhawks within 14-7 early in the second, but Ohio answered with a 38-yard Matt Weller field goal to push the spread to 17-7.
Justin Manton's 43-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Ohio on the ensuing possession, but the Bobcats couldn't cash in on the favorable field position, as they failed to pick up a first down with a fake field goal attempt on 4th- and-7.
Browning's first pass on the Warhawks' next touch was picked off by Tremayne Scott, but the defensive tackle coughed it up and Keith Moore pounced on the loose ball to give the Bobcats possession at the ULM 3.
Three plays later, Blankenship plunged across the goal line from two yards out to put Ohio up 24-7.
Ohio also wasted no time finding the end zone in the second half, as Blankenship bulled his way across the goal line for another 2-yard score to cap a 7-play, 75-yard series.
After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, Blankenship capped a 6- play, 70-yard yard march with a 1-yard touchdown to put the Bobcats up 38-7.
The Warhawks responded with a 1-yard Browning touchdown pass to Kevin Steed, but Blankenship's fourth score of the day eight seconds into the fourth quarter erased all thoughts of a ULM comeback.
Ohio became the fifth MAC team to record back-to-back bowl victories ... Blankenship set a school record with his ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season and moved into 14th-place on the MAC's all-time single season list for rushing yards ... The Bobcats are 5-2 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference ... ULM still posted its best season since moving to the FBS despite the loss.