ATHENS, Ohio -Ohio opens the Mid American Conference portion of its schedule against new league member Massachusetts at 3:30 p.m. today at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots of the National Football League.
The Minutemen (0-4) are the newest member of the MAC. UMass played its first conference game last Saturday at Miami, losing to the RedHawks, 27-16. Thus, today marks the first MAC home game in Massachusetts history.
The 16 points Massachusetts scored last week were its most of the season. The Minutemen opened with a 37-0 loss at Connecticut, followed that up with a 45-6 setback in its home opener against Indiana, then got trounced at Michigan, 63-13, before playing Miami last Saturday.
Those results pale in comparison to Ohio's impressive 4-0 start as the Bobcats have defeated Penn State, 24-14; New Mexico State, 51-24; Marshall, 27-24; and Norfolk State, 44-10.
A win today and the Cats would be 5-0 for the first time in 44 years.
Ohio continues to receive votes in both major national college football polls, but is yet to crack the top 25 in either the coaches or sports writers polls. The Cats are one of 27 unbeaten teams and the only one in the MAC.
This might well be the day junior quarterback Tyler Tettleton claims several school records as he needs four touchdown passes to become Ohio's all-time leader in career touchdown passes and is just 235 yards and 10 completions shy of moving into the No. 3 spot all-time in those categories. Plus, he is 55 yards shy of 5,000 all-purpose yards. Tettleton has not thrown an interception in 99 passing attempts. Dating back to last season, Ohio quarterbacks have not been intercepted in their last 155 passes.
Meanwhile, junior running back Beau Blankenship -who has topped the century mark in each of Ohio's four previous victories -has an opportunity become the first Cat running back to do five straight times since Kalvin McRae performed that feat in 2007.
Last week, Tettleton sat out and Derrius Vick responded with a 14-for-20 performance, throwing for 199 yards and four touchdowns. So, Ohio now knows it has depth at the quarterback position.
Massachusetts is led by Michigan transfer Michale Cox, who has rushed for 301 yards. Quarterback Mike Wegzyn has thrown for 561 yards in four games.