Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Gets Back on Track with Convincing Win Over Gardner-Webb

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Ohio quarterback Greg Windham saw something in the defense, looked over at wide receiver Sebastian Smith and gave him a hand signal.

Windham then evasively flushed out of the pocket and threw a pristine pass to Smith in the right side corner of the end-zone for a touchdown.

Smith and the Bobcats never looked back.

Ohio defeated Gardner-Webb on Saturday 37-21 at Peden Stadium in Athens in front of 22,265 people during Parents Weekend.

Since Smith came back from injury, he has been Windham’s favorite target. This game marks the first time that Smith has ever had a multiple touchdown game and now has gone over 100 yards receiving in his past two games.

“I’m motivated and I prepare well.” Smith said. “I made a statement at Tennessee that I’m back and I want to be a playmaker on this offense. I listen to my coaches and do what I have to do to try and get a win.”

Earlier this year Smith was battling hamstring issues. He played in the first half of the season opener but did not play in the second half. He then sat out for Kansas and returned against Tennessee where he put up over 100 yards receiving.

There is no doubt when Smith is on the field he is a threat in every aspect of the game. He is playing good at the right time for Ohio. The Bobcats are losing running backs like wildfire.

Ohio was without these running backs for this week’s game: AJ Ouellette, Dorian Brown and Malik Irons. The Bobcats were down to walk-on Vinny Emanuele who started the game, but left in the 3rd quarter with an injury.

So, coach Frank Solich called on Bo Hardy to be the next man up for the Bobcats. Hardy originally came to Ohio to play running back but was moved to safety. Because of Ohio’s injuries though, he was forced to be in at tailback.

“Bo is a confident young man,” Solich said. “Obviously he contributes everywhere on our team. He’s one of the fastest guys on our football team and he is also very tough. This is going to give him a chance to show what he can do on both sides of the ball.”

Despite injuries at such a vital position, Smith and his two quarterbacks, Windham and redshirt freshman Quinton Maxwell, were able to lift the Bobcats in an all-out arial attack. Smith caught a TD from each quarterback and each touchdown catch was a 17-yard score.

Smith and Maxwell showed that they had great chemistry in the short amount of time that they were on the field together. Solich pulled the trigger on putting Maxwell in during the first half only being up seven points.

“Maxwell responded well to pressure.” Solich said. “He is not afraid to take a hit when throwing the ball too. He just needs more experience out there to sharpen his timing when getting rid of the football. But you can see he can get it down and that we have depth at the position.”

Next up for Ohio is Miami (OH) in Oxford next Saturday, where Smith and the Bobcats will look to keep their hot streak going. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.