HUNTINGTON - Offensive fireworks are in the making when Ohio University and Marshall hook up for the Battle of the Bell.
The two football programs rank either at the top or among the leaders in their respective conferences in scoring and total offense.
Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. today at Joan C. Edwards Stadium - a venue where the Bobcats have never won since the facility opened in 1991.
"Both teams will go at a very high pace and it shouldn't be an advantage to one team or another," Ohio coach Frank Solich said. "We're both accustomed to doing it now, and you see a lot of it in college football in this day and age. You're going to be faced with it throughout the season so you prepare for it early on and you condition yourself."
Both teams are coming off wins last week. After opening the season with a 24-14 win at Penn State, Ohio (2-0) piled up 584 yards of total offense in a 51-24 victory against New Mexico State in Athens.
Marshall (1-1) lost at West Virginia University, 69-34, then rebounded with a 52-24 victory at home against Western Carolina.
The Thundering Herd have won eight of the last 10 meetings against Ohio, but dropped a 44-7 decision on the road against the Bobcats last year after turning the ball over six times in the first half. In that game, where Ohio debuted its all black uniforms, Tettleton completed 20-of-29 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
"There's no question that we didn't play well against them a year ago," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "Hopefully, I don't need to bring that up to my kids. They should know that."
Two games into his junior year, Tettleton has thrown for 581 yards and four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
"There's no doubt that Tettleton has all the intangibles," Holliday said. "He has great leadership and is extremely tough. He makes great decisions and you can tell by watching him that he has great respect of all his teammates.
"When you talk about the Ohio University football team, you start with him because he's the leader of that offense."
Donte Foster leads Ohio with 10 receptions to go with two touchdowns. The Bobcats' top ground gainer is Beau Blankenship, who has gained 277 yards and scored a pair of TDs.
"When you look at Ohio University, you see an offensive line that is extremely physical," Holliday said. "That's where it all starts, then you add Tettleton to that group who is an excellent quarterback that can beat you with his feet.
"Overall, they create a lot of issues for you. They can run it, they can throw it and they're extremely physical up front. They will be a challenge for us. Our defense has to play well and we have to tackle well."
Marshall's offense is built around sophomore quarterback Rakeem Cato, who has completed 73 percent of his passes (70-of-96) for 790 yards and five touchdowns.
Even with Fred Biletnikoff Award candidate Aaron Dobson (13 catches for 153 yards) at his disposal, Cato spreads out the wealth to a variety of receivers - including Tommy Shuler (11-126), Antavious Wilson (9-138) and Eric Frohnapfel (8-95).
Cato's first experience against Ohio was one to forget after he threw four interceptions and finished just 9-of-21 for 116 yards.
"(Seeing him this year), Cato is a very poised and very accurate quarterback," Solich said. "They've got some outstanding receivers - their skilled positions overall are really very good in terms of the passing game, and what they can do with the catch and getting yards after the catch.
"You've got to keep things underneath you and make sure they earn everything they get."