Playing against a Western Michigan team that boasts the best turnover margin in the Mid-American Conference, Ohio’s two quick fumbles in the first quarter were a sign — Ohio wasn’t going to beat Western Michigan.
As Greg Windham dropped back to pass with under a minute left, the redshirt senior quarterback threw an interception. Ohio was overmatched, and even with its defense playing as well as it could, its offense was atrocious.
The Bobcats fell 29-23 to Western Michigan in the Marathon MAC Championship Game on Friday night.
Ohio put the ball in Quinton Maxwell’s hands, starting the redshirt freshmen at quarterback. Maxwell couldn’t handle the pressure, however, struggling to move the ball against the Western defense.
Ohio’s offense to start the game was conservative, as it didn’t throw the ball until around the six-minute mark in the first quarter.
The offense was so inept that the coaching staff was forced to pull Maxwell. Windham, who hadn’t played since at Toledo, came into the game and provided a spark.
Windham threw a 67-yard pass to Papi White in the middle of the second quarter, which set up a touchdown pass to Jordan Reid. Windham played his best game of the season, throwing insert TD passes for insert yards.
Ohio continued its momentum to start the third quarter, with cornerback Bradd Ellis picking off a pass against Western Michigan.
Ohio’s defense held as best it could against the Corey Davis-led Western Michigan offense. Davis dominated Ohio’s secondary, totaling one touchdown and insert yards here.
But the problem was the offense. Ohio was as conservative as it has been the whole season. The Ohio offense is usually one of three plays: run the ball, throw a slant pattern or throw a deep ball on occasion.
Western’s offense wasn’t amazing, but it was Ohio’s offense that lost them the game. Ohio totaled 107 yards during the first half.
Though Ohio started the game terribly on offense, Windham’s three touchdowns made it look respectable. The offense played more aggressively, competing against a not-so-stout Western Michigan secondary.
Windham threw three touchdowns for 176 yards, completing 44 percent of his passes. It was Windham’s best game since suffering an ankle injury at Toledo, but Western was too good for Ohio.