Preview: Western Michigan at Ohio

When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, December 2, 2016
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan


Western Michigan attempts to nail down a spot in the Cotton Bowl when it takes on Ohio in the Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday night. The No. 14 Broncos, who join No. 1 Alabama as the only unbeaten teams in the nation and are winners of 14 straight overall, play in the championship game for the first time since losing in 1999 and 2000.

“For us to go there and to become 1-0 in the Ohio season is our only focus,” Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck told reporters. “There’s no other focus. We’re not here to state a case, we’re just going to play football. We’re going to let our play talk for itself and hopefully come out with a victory.” The Broncos boast one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the nation in senior Zach Terrell and senior receiver Corey Davis, who gained more yards than anyone in FBS history through the air. Ohio took the MAC East for the first time since 2011 after winning four of its final five games and looks to win its first championship game. “Our guys have accepted challenges all year long, and they’ll accept this one,” Bobcats coach Frank Solich told reporters. “They’ll play hard, and if we play well we believe it’ll be a very good football game.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Western Michigan -19

ABOUT OHIO (8-4, 6-2 MAC East): The Bobcats are fifth in the nation rushing defense, allowing 105.1 yards per game, led by senior linebacker Blair Brown (105 tackles) and junior linebacker Quentin Poling (95). Ohio also topped the MAC in sacks with 41 as senior defensive lineman Tarell Basham posted 11 of them and that group must put pressure on Terrell. The Bobcats were in the middle of the pack in total offense, but senior receiver Sebastian Smith has 49 catches for 820 yards and senior quarterback Greg Windham (leg) could return after missing the last three games.

ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN (12-0, 8-0 MAC West): Terrell completes 71.7 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards and 30 touchdown strikes while being intercepted once and running for another six scores. Davis broke the all-time receiving yards record last week in the 55-35 victory over Toledo and boasts 83 catches this season for 1,283 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior Jarvion Franklin is a consistent force on the ground with 1,266 yards rushing to go along with 12 touchdowns and sophomore Jamauri Bogan ran for 198 last week after missing two games with an ankle injury.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Western Michigan last won the MAC title in 1988 - before the championship game era - and Ohio has not taken one since 1968. 

2. Ohio freshman QB Quinton Maxwell threw five touchdown passes and only one interception in the last four games in place of Windham.
 
3. The Broncos won the last three meetings, including 49-14 last year.

PREDICTION: Western Michigan 31, Ohio 14

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Western Michigan 12-0 W12 44.8 19.2 6-0 6-0 1-0 0-0 8-0
Ohio 8-4 W1 26.8 21.7 4-2 4-2 0-1 0-0 6-2

Last Meeting

Western Michigan Ohio
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/17/15 WMU 49 OHIO 14 567 430 137 354 99 255

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WMU Z. Terrell 70.0 137 3 0
OHIO D. Vick 52.9 167 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WMU L. Bellamy 9 149 16.6 1
OHIO G. Windham 6 32 5.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WMU D. Braverman 6 56 9.3 2
OHIO J. Reid 7 109 15.6 0
TDs Player TD
WMU D. Braverman 2
OHIO D. Patterson 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WMU Z. Terrell 71.7 3086 30 1
OHIO G. Windham 56.2 1353 9 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WMU J. Franklin 232 1266 5.5 12
OHIO D. Brown 140 807 5.8 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WMU C. Davis 83 1283 15.5 17
OHIO S. Smith 50 840 16.8 4
TDs Player TD
WMU C. Davis 17
OHIO P. White 7

Quickchart Matchup

Western Michigan Off vs  Ohio Def
504.4 yards
359.8 yards
5.3 yards/rush
3 yards/rush
9.7 yards/attempt
7.3 yards/attempt
Ohio Off vs  Western Michigan Def
404.7 yards
361.5 yards
4.5 yards/rush
4.9 yards/rush
6.9 yards/attempt
6.9 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Western Michigan Overall Ohio
12-0-0 W/L 8-4-0
9-3-0 ATS 6-6-0
7-5-0 O/U 1-10-1
44.8 Pts For 26.8
19.2 Pts Against 21.7
Western Michigan A/H Ohio
6-0 W/L 4-2
5-1-0 ATS 1-5-0
2-4-0 O/U 1-5-0
39.2 Pts For 30.7
13.7 Pts Against 23.5