Ohio Suffers First Conference Loss of Season to EMU

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Eastern Michigan Quarterback Brogan Roback and the Eagles found something in the second half of their matchup at Peden Stadium Saturday, handing the Ohio Bobcats their first conference loss of the season, 27-20. Roback sought out his number one targets Sergio Bailey and Antoine Porter on back to back fourth quarter touchdowns, to seal a 5-2 start for the Eagles.

Roback was lights out in this contest, going 29 of 39 for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. All were career highs for a player who started the season as Todd Porter’s backup. Eagles receiver Sergio Bailey II complimented his signal caller with a career-high 143 yards and a touchdown.

The difference in quarterback play was glaring, as Ohio’s combination of Greg Windham and Quinton Maxwell was painfully ineffective. The two failed to hit routine throws all afternoon and were the culprits of Ohio’s two first half turnovers.

Windham’s hold on the starting spot will be up for debate after a 9 for 17, 103-yard performance that relegated him to the bench in the second half in favor of Maxwell. A position that appeared to be a strength for the Bobcats a few weeks ago, is now their biggest question mark.

These teams played two completely different halves of footballs, as they combined for six points in the first half and three total turnovers.

Halftime speeches seemed to play a big role in this one, as the MAC rivals scored 41 combined points in the second half, highlighted by three straight Eastern Michigan touchdowns to end the game.

Ohio’s defense has crumbled in the second half of games all season and today was no different, allowing three straight touchdowns in the second half.

Ohio had the comeback within their reach after a five-yard Troy Mangen catch cut the deficit to 20-17, but Brogan Roback was in the zone, putting together a methodical eight play, 70-yard drive that landed the final blow to Ohio’s prospects.

One of the few positive takeaways for the Bobcats was the play of Dorian Brown. Hampered by injuries the past few weeks, Brown led the Bobcats with 14 carries for 94 yards and a score. Brown kept the Eagles defense honest in the second half and opened up some key passing lanes for Maxwell later in the game.

Eastern Michigan is one of the biggest surprises in the Mid-American Conference thus far, as today’s win puts them in second place in the conference after winning just three games in total the past two years. The Eagles will go on the road next Saturday for a big matchup with the MAC leading, Western Michigan Broncos.

The Bobcats now set their sights on next week’s tilt in Kent State against a Golden Flashes team that is 2-5 overall and coming off a loss to Miami; the Redhawks first victory this season.