Golden era for OU Bobcats?
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Make no mistake about it: This is a special era in Ohio University football.
You see it in the top of the school's weekly game notes: Three East Division championships in the Mid-American Conference, four straight bowl appearances, including back-to-back wins. OU boasts the most wins within its division since 2006.
Standing-room crowds are filling out Peden Stadium. The student body, well known for letting loose about every other hour, is engaged. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton is blowing school records out of the water.
Here is something else to consider: The Bobcats have improved the program's all-time record to within four games of .500. If you've looked through some of the program's bland stretches - including a 119-228 record from 1973-2004 - you'll have a new appreciation for that number.
Ohio's older players appreciate their place in history, to be sure.
"I think it's very exciting to be part of what I'd call a legacy, foundation," said cornerback Travis Carrie, in his sixth year. "Every year it's fun, and it's mind-blowing that you will be able to leave Ohio University, and 10 years later you will still be remembered in some way, on the field and off the field."
Tettleton and other fifth-year Bobcats are 37-19, boosting coach Frank Solich's eight-plus-season mark to 60-45, 40-24 in the MAC. They will try to pile on another win against Marshall at 8 p.m. Saturday, renewing "The Battle of the Bell" before an expected capacity crowd.
The Bobcats will try to beat the Thundering Herd for the third straight year, the first time since 1978-80.
Tettleton is 20-9 as a starter, and he is rewriting the passing record book in Athens. The OU release cites him for owning 23 school records, including:
And so on. Running back Beau Blankenship has a few records himself, including the single-season mark of 1,604 rushing yards.
To Marshall fans who witnessed some ArenaBall stats over the years, some of these numbers look unremarkable. To old-school Ohio fans who witnessed wing-T attacks and winless seasons, they border on unthinkable.
The consistent win totals, even more so. Tettleton, Carrie and crew feel they have a lot of unfinished business, starting with Saturday night.
"Yes, we've got to win the division, get back to Detroit [for the MAC championship game] and win one," Tettleton said.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.
Ohio football records under coach Frank Solich:
Year W L W L
2005 4 7 3 5
2006-a 9 5 7 1
2007-b 6 6 4 4
2008 4 8 3 5
2009-ab 9 5 7 1
2010-b 8 5 6 2
2011-aw 10 4 6 2
2012-w 9 4 4 4
2013 1 1 0 0
Total 60 45 40 24
a-MAC East Division champ
w-Bowl game winner