Western Michigan vs Ohio: Ohio is 4-5 on the season and 3-2 in the MACThe Western Michigan Broncos look to continue their success against the MAC East Division when they visit the Ohio Bobcats on Tuesday.WGet ready for a Mid-American battle as the Ohio Bobcats and the Western Michigan Broncos will face off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Western Michigan vs Ohio Live uesday at Peden Stadium. Western Michigan will be strutting in after a win while Ohio will be stumbling in from a loss. The Ohio University Broncos host Mid American Conference rival Western Michigan Tuesday.
That’s because the Bobcats rolled to a 59-14 victory at Western Michigan last season after losing four straight and six of the previous seven meetings. Ohio, which lost to MAC East rival Miami (Ohio) last week, has gone 73-43 in conference play under Frank Solich. The veteran coach’s next victory will be his 111th, moving him past Herb Deromedi (Central Michigan, 1978-93) as the winningest coach in MAC history.
The Bobcats are averaging 36.8 points in games started by quarterback Nathan Rourke. The Canadian-born senior ran for a pair of scores against Miami to move him past Kalvin McRae for second place in program history with 46 rushing touchdowns. Ohio is almost automatic in the red zone, coming away with points on 33 of its 36 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Ohio may be the most motivated team in Week 12. After losing to Miami of Ohio last week, Frank Solich’s team will need a minor miracle to make it to the MAC Championship. Ohio will now focus on getting to seven wins to qualify for a bowl game. Remaining games against Bowling Green and Akron should be wins, but the Bobcats must get a win against Western Michigan to have a shot at the postseason.
Western Michigan and Ohio rank 17th and 44th respectively in yards per play. These are two of the most high-powered offenses in the group of five, and they have massive advantages against the opposing defenses in this game. While both teams lean on the run more than the average team, Ohio is a little more extreme in that direction. That should bode well for the Bobcats’ offense as they rank 30th in average yards per rush while Western Michigan is 116th in defending it.
The Broncos are 51st in points per play allowed, but just 86th in yards per play allowed. That shows that they’ve been fortunate on the defensive side of the ball this year. Ohio will be able to control the line of scrimmage on offense as their line ranks 22nd in line score versus the 85th defensive line in the country. In order to hit an over in the 60’s, you’ll need some explosive plays. Ohio has been quite explosive on the ground and Western Michigan is 102nd in defending it.
Much of the same can be said when Western Michigan has the ball. The Broncos rank 8th in average yards per carry, 18th in rushing explosiveness, and 23rd in offensive line score. Ohio is 122nd, 123rd, and 115th at defending those categories respectively. There should be plenty of huge plays from the Broncos’ offense in this game.
Unfortunately, motivation alone can’t turn Ohio’s defense around. The Bobcats are outside of the top 100 in opponent rushing and passing success rate, so Western Michigan running back LaVante Bellamy could have a big game on Tuesday night.
Ohio’s defense may be a mess, but its talented quarterback, Nathan Rourke, can be a difference maker in this game. Rourke’s ability to extend drives with his legs could limit Western Michigan’s offensive possessions. Ohio’s offense will have a big advantage on third down. The Bobcats are the seventh-best team in the nation in converting third downs while the Broncos rank 102nd in opponent third down conversion rate.
Ohio ranks 14th in rushing success so the Bobcats should control the clock and move the ball. Western Michigan can also move the chains, ranking 41st in rushing success and 36th in passing, but the Broncos have had issues putting together long drives that come up empty. The Broncos had three different drives of at least nine plays that ended with no points.
Western Michigan has yet to win on the road this season and it will have its hands full with a highly motivated Ohio.Bettors have a unique opportunity on Tuesday night that wouldn’t be available to them if this were a Saturday in early October. Midweek games have a reputation of going under the total so they are typically shaded a bit in that direction. Additionally, the weather in Athens, OH is supposed to be very cold and a little windy. Here’s why you should still look towards to over in this matchup.