ATHENS — By the time Theo Scott limped to the sideline with an ankle injury, he had already done more than enough to get Ohio University to the Mid-American Conference championship.
Scott threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as Ohio defeated Temple 35-17 on Friday to clinch the MAC East title for the first time since 2006.
The Bobcats (9-3, 7-1 MAC) won their fourth straight game and Temple (9-3, 7-1) had its school-record nine-game winning streak snapped.
“I think the early part of the season was telling for us,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “I think our team felt all along that we had the capability to be a good football team. Guys started to truly believe.”
Ohio will play Central Michigan in Detroit on Dec. 4. Scott’s status is uncertain.
“I think Theo did a great job,” Solich said. “His decision making has improved in the past two ballgames and that was huge today. He made special plays today.”
Scott was 17 of 21 for 324 yards and had scoring passes of 9, 65 and 4 yards. He also scored on runs of 17 and 43 yards.
Scott’s 43-yard run put Ohio ahead 32-17 with 10:02 left in third quarter. Taylor Price caught three passes for 94 yards for the Bobcats.
But Scott watched the end of the game from the sideline, leaning on crutches, after injuring his ankle late in the fourth quarter.
Temple played without star freshman running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder) and struggled to get a passing game going. Quarterbacks Chester Stewart and Vince Charlton combined to go 11 of 34 with three interceptions.
Matt Brown rushed for 172 yards on 25 carries, including a 9-yard touchdown run in the second
“They made explosive plays and we did not,” Owls coach Al Golden said. “We didn’t convert enough on third downs and in the red zone and they did. That was the difference in the ball game; it’s as simple as that.”