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Marshall football: Ohio QB has big league arm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Of the many benefits to having a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star catcher as a dad, Ohio University quarterback Tyler Tettleton said one of the best is the advice. The sports they play may differ, but Mickey Tettleton can offer sage words to when it comes to how to approach athletics at the highest levels.

Among the most important, Tyler Tettleton said, is the need to stay calm.

"The one thing he's really instilled in me is to not be too high or too low, just be even keel and not show many emotions out there," he said. "That's one of the biggest things I've learned from him, and it's helped me a lot."

That's not always easy to do, especially when national pundits predict your football team can finish its season undefeated. But to accomplish that, the Bobcats (2-0) must first get past a Marshall team still smarting from last year's 44-7 loss in the "Battle for the Bell."

Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

"We know they're going to be out for some revenge," he said.

Tettleton threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 53 yards and a score in last year's game at Athens. That performance was a perfect example of his 2011 season, where he became the Bobcats' first 3,000-yard passer and also finished second on the team in rushing with 658 yards. He also led Ohio to a Famous Idaho Potato Bowl win over Utah State, the  first bowl victory in school history.

While the redshirt junior is dangerous both with his arm and his feet, Tettleton said he's always considered himself a pass-first quarterback.

"When anything is not there, I get into scramble mode, I try to make things happen with my feet," he said. "I don't try to slide or get out of bounds. I try to extend that play and get the extra yards. That's what Coach (Frank Solich) wants out of us, to be tough, hard-nosed guys and to get every inch we can."

"Tough" is a word both Solich and Marshall Coach Doc Holliday use to describe Tettleton, He recovered from an ACL tear his junior year at Norman North High School in Oklahoma to play for one of the two universities to offer him a scholarship, New Mexico State being the other. He carried the ball 166 times in 2011, second most on the team.

"He's what a quarterback's all about," Holliday said. "What I've said all along is that the quarterback position, intangibles are what it's all about, and there's no doubt he has that. He brings a lot to the table and you better ... when you talk about them you start with him. There's no doubt he's the leader of that offense."

Solich said Tettleton's mental and physical toughness make him a favorite among his teammates. He's a favorite among his receivers because of his release. Tettleton has the ability to anticipate receivers breaking open. Plus he's a devoted student of the game.

"He's a very bright player," Solich said. "He's a smart football player, so he's not a guy that makes the same mistakes over and over again. He's the complete quarterback and it's always difficult when you're faced with defensing a complete quarterback."

With Tettleton under center, some in the national media have predicted great things for Ohio. SI.com's Holly Anderson predicted the Bobcats to finish 12-0 and Tettleton to be the Mid-American Conference's top offensive player. And while that buzz has grown both in and around Athens, Tettleton and the rest of the Bobcats' upperclassmen have been preaching patience and calmness.

He knows the Thundering Herd (1-1) wants the bell back and will be fueled by a Joan C. Edwards Stadium atmosphere he said is one of his favorites in which to play. So it won't be too difficult to refrain from daydreaming of season's end and focus on Saturday.

"It's so tough to not look ahead and to think about being 12-0, win the MAC championship and all that stuff, but you can't get wrapped up in all that stuff," he said. "We really emphasize to just take it one game, one week at a time."

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.


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