STATEC COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — When the Ohio Bobcats found themselves facing a wave of Penn State energy on an emotional day in Happy Valley, coach Frank Solich told his players to remain steady.
Following the familiar mantra of "one play at a time," the Bobcats found their rhythm after falling behind by 11 and beat the Nittany Lions 24-14 on Saturday.
"We knew that we were going to have to take on a surge," Solich said. "We knew it would be a difficult atmosphere to play in. What we told them is, 'We just have to keep pounding fellas. This is a game that's going to be a four-quarter football game. Just take on the surge early and let's just keep pounding, pounding, pounding and try to turn it into just a football game.' And we're pretty good at playing football."
Trailing 14-3 at halftime, Ohio outscored Penn State 21-0 in the second half. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton had a hand in all three touchdowns.
He threw two touchdown passes — a 43-yarder to Landon Smith that squirted through Penn State safety Stephen Obeng-Agyapong's hands and a 5-yarder to Donte Foster with 2:55 left to ice the win — and ran for a 1-yard score.
"That was my fault, just forcing it," Tettleton said of his TD pass to Smith. "I'm just so happy he had the chance to catch that."
Beau Blankenship ran for 109 yards on 31 carries and added 72 receiving yards on seven catches. The confident running back said he didn't think the win over Penn State was an upset.
"In our minds, I don't think it was," he said. "We go into every game thinking we're going to win."
The Ohio win spoiled Bill O'Brien's debut as Penn State head coach.
For many fans, just having football again at Beaver Stadium was enough of a victory following a trying offseason that included the death of former beloved coach Joe Paterno, and crippling NCAA sanctions placed on the football program for the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.
Matt McGloin threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns guiding Penn State's new-look offense.
"I thought it was a great atmosphere in the stands at Beaver Stadium," O'Brien said before stoically taking responsibility for the loss. "Again, it starts with me and coaching better and making sure we play better next time."