Western Michigan Stays Undefeated; Wins MAC Championship Against Bobcats< < Back to
In an instant classic Mid-American Conference Championship Game, Western Michigan rows the boat past Ohio 29-23 in front of a record MAC Championship crowd of 45,615 fans.
For Ohio, it started off slow. Its first four possessions were plagued by punts and fumbles. The Bobcats first four drives read like this: Fumble, punt, fumble and punt.
One of the main reasons was because quarterback Quinton Maxwell was not getting the job done for the Bobcats. Ohio coach Frank Solich then called on his senior quarterback from Fort Lauderdale, Greg Windham.
“We were not getting a lot done with Quinton (Maxwell) at the helm,” Solich said. “He overthrew a couple passes and he was not operating at the level we wanted him at. We decided to go with Greg (Windham) and that turned out to be a great decision.”
Windham came in and immediately made an impact. His first throw was a 67 yard throw to Papi White that set up a touchdown throw to wide receiver Jordan Reid and made the score 9-7.
After that Western Michigan ended up with multiple scoring drives and taking a 23-7 lead into halftime. Thanks to a first career interception by Ohio Cornerback Brad Ellis, Windham mustered 2 drives that turned into two passing touchdowns for him.
The first one was to Jordan Reid again and the second one was to Papi White. Although Western Michigan ended up getting a field goal between those two touchdowns, Ohio was still very much in the game at 26 to 20.
“It was really just the flow of the game,” Reid said on his two touchdown catches from Windham. “Greg (Windham) made great throws and reads on those touchdowns I caught, and I just had to go out there and make those plays for him.”
After the White touchdown, Ohio would then stop the Western Michigan’s offense and get the ball back. Windham drove the Bobcats back down the field but this time the Bobcats had to settle for a Louis Zervos field goal. The score was now 26-23.
Western Michigan would again get the ball back and started chewing the clock. The Broncos got the ball with seven minutes left in the game. The Broncos would settle for a 34-yard field goal from Butch Hampton, who had five field goals on the night a MAC Championship record.
By the time Ohio got the ball back, there was only about one minute and twenty second left. With no timeouts, Windham led the Bobcats across mid-field and this is where he made his only mistake of the night.
Windham threw an interception to Robert Spillane to end the game. The Bobcats fought and clawed their way back into the game but the Broncos just barely outlasted the late comeback.
It was a story book ending on how Robert Spillane had that interception,” Western Michigan Coach PJ Fleck said. “In the first game of the season against Northwestern he had a forced fumble that sealed the deal for us. For him to have the game winning plays in the first game and last game, you could not write a better ending.”
The Bobcats will now have their sights on their bowl game coming up. Some possible bowls that Ohio could get into would be The Miami Beach Bowl or The Dollar General Bowl in Mobile Alabama. Regardless, it is looking like the Bobcats will be heading south for their bowl for the second year in a row.
Based on what unfolded tonight, it looks like Greg Windham will be the starting quarterback for Ohio’s bowl game. Windham said before the season started that he wanted to lead Ohio to Detroit and win a MAC Championship for Ohio. He got there and almost single handedly willed his way to an Ohio win in a spectacular performance.