The Bobcats line up for a play in the first quarter during their game against the Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Ohio (1-2) lost its second game of the season Saturday, falling to No. 15 Tennessee (3-0) 28-19.
Ohio’s offense stalled for most of the game, picking up 318 yards. The Bobcats averaged a Mid-American Conference leading 563 yards per game heading into their game against the Volunteers.
The Volunteers attacked the Bobcats’ young secondary early, with quarterback Joshua Dobbs throwing a touchdown to Josh Malone.
Though the game was a battle between the defenses for much of the second quarter, Tennessee’s offense started to pick up in the middle of the third quarter. Dobbs rushed for a touchdown to put the Volunteers up 21-12.
Ohio’s offense responded near the end of third quarter, with quarterback Greg Windham throwing a touchdown to wide receiver Jordan Reid. Windham threw for a total of 230 yards.
Dobbs and the Volunteers looked to put Ohio away to start the fourth quarter, as Dobbs threw his second touchdown of the day to Malone.
Despite Ohio’s offense faulting in the red zone for most of the game, kicker Louie Zervos kept the Bobcats in the game. Zervos was 4-4 on field goals, scoring all 12 of Ohio’s points in the first half.
Ohio’s defense was solid as well, as defensive lineman Tarell Basham had one sack. Defensive tackle Cleon Aloese picked up a sack as well.
Ohio was able to keep Dobbs’ running ability relatively in check, only allowing him to rush for 59 yards.
The Bobcats’ running game was hampered, as running backs A.J. Ouellette and Maleek Irons were out for the game. Heading into the game, Ohio averaged 283 rushing yards per game; it ran for 88 yards.
Ohio’s offense was forced to rely on its passing game with the running game limited. Wide receiver Sebastian Smith carried the load, hauling in eight receptions for 146 yards.
Smith accounted for just under half of Ohio’s yards, picking up 146 out of Ohio’s 318 total yards.
Ohio will play Gardner Webb (1-1) next Saturday in Athens at 2 p.m.