Photo Cred: Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Pick’s Up First MAC Loss to Western Michigan, 49-14

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Blackout Madness quickly became Solich Madness as the Ohio Bobcats dropped their second game on the season at the hands of the Western Michigan Broncos. Western Michigan (3-3) dominated the contest, winning handedly 49-14.

Ohio (5-2) had its depth challenged in the first half, losing four different players to injuries. Three of the four injuries attacked the line-backing core. Quentin Poling was knocked out of the game early on. Both Blair Brown and Jovon Johnson were injured in the half as well, although both would later return. Offensive weapon Papi White also was injured in the first half.

“Papi’s probably out for a few weeks, and Quentin probably the same but we will need to get more evaluation done on those guys to determine exactly how extensive it is,” coach Frank Solich said.

Another key loss for the Bobcats came in the second quarter when cornerback Ian Wells was ejected following a targeting penalty. Wells and Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell were involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision near the end of the Bronco’s first scoring drive of the game.

“It looked like two guys going in low,” Solich said. “One guy trying to break a tackle and one trying to make a tackle.”

The Bobcats had difficulty against the running attack of the Broncos, who chewed up a whopping 430 yards on the ground, 401 of which came in the second half.

“It looked like we made it way to easy in the second half,” Solich said. “It was baffling to me to see us fall apart against the run.”

The Ohio running game, on the other hand, was essentially non-existent. Hindered by the injury to Papi White, the ground game struggled over the course of all four quarters. It was a by-committee attack for the Bobcats headlined by A.J Ouellette, Daz’mond Patterson and Dorian Brown. Ohio was only able to tally 100 yards on the ground with a short two-yard carry by Patterson representing the only Ohio rushing touchdown of the game.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Patterson said. “There was a couple times we shot ourselves in the foot.”

The big play bug bit the Broncos who had two running backs averaging over 10 yards per carry. Lavante Bellamy carried the ball nine times for 149 yards and a touchdown. Jamauri Bogan also had a big day tacking on a touchdown of his own with 135 yards on nine carries. As a team, Western Michigan averaged an astounding 9.8 yards per carry.

Ohio’s play calling was a bit different than seen in recent weeks. Ohio threw the ball more frequently this week, with a pass to rush ratio of 1.33 this week as opposed to 1.08 last week in the 34-3 rout over Miami (OH). Quarterback Derrius Vick was inaccurate early on and at various points throughout the game. His 52.9 completion percentage was his lowest of the season thus far by over 10 percent. His 103.9 passer rating is also his worst posting excluding week two against Marshall, a game he missed most of due to injury.

Things could have gone better for Vick though. In the second quarter, a pass that traveled nearly 50 yards through the air went through his wide receivers hands and fell incomplete. In the third quarter, a jump ball on the front pylon of the north end zone was originally ruled a 10-yard touchdown, but was later overturned.

Solich believes that Vick’s struggles came from a combination of Western Michigan’s tough defense, as well as a bit of an off week from the quarterback.

Ohio moves on to face Buffalo on the road next week, while Western Michigan will return home and host the Miami Redhawks.