When and where: November 12, 2019, Peden Stadium, Athens, OH, 6:30 PM ET
The Ohio Bobcats get a visit from the top-scoring offense in the Mid-American Conference in Tuesday’s clash with the Western Michigan Broncos. Since dropping a disappointing road loss to Eastern Michigan, the Broncos have continued to ride the coattails of their high-powered offense to back-to-back wins over Bowling Green and Ball State. Meanwhile, the Bobcats took a step back after having their two-game win streak snapped at home by Miami-Ohio.
Broncos must keep feeding BellamyFor the No. 1-ranked scoring offense in the league, there isn’t anything complex about the way the Broncos run things. Take last week’s game with Ball State for example. The Broncos lined up and ran the football 52 times for 382 rushing yards and five touchdowns for a 35-31 victory. What’s the sense in fixing something that isn’t broken?
They’ll have an opportunity to continue their smash-mouth style brand of football on Tuesday against an opponent allowing an average of 196.6 rushing yards per game. Broncos running back LeVante Bellamy must be salivating at the mere thought of running against the Bobcats’ shoddy defensive front. He ran all over Ball State for 157 yards and three touchdowns, and he could be in for a similarly big day against the Bobcats as well.
But it isn’t just Bellamy chewing up grass.
Quarterback Jon Wassink is sure to get in on the fun as well as he did against Ball State—131 rushing yards and one touchdown on six carries.
Along with being the top-scoring offense, the Broncos also rank second in the conference in scoring defense. It’ll be an interesting challenge for them going on the road against the conference’s best third-down team. If the Bobcats’ offense can continuously move the chains and stay on the field, they can keep Wassink and Bellamy off it.
Offense will be Ohio’s best defenseThe Bobcats recently gave up 84 yards and two touchdowns to Miami-Ohio running back Jaylon Bester in a 21-24 loss. If the RedHawks would have lost that game, there would be questions of why they didn’t run Bester more with him averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
However, some of the credit for the lack of run plays goes to the Bobcats’ offense for extending drives and staying on the field. Even in the loss, they led the time of possession by nearly 13 minutes. They’ll have to have a similar performance against the Broncos to at least give themselves a chance to win the game. There isn’t enough push on the defensive line, and they also lack the talent at linebacker to make a dent in the Broncos’ dominant run defense.
Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke will have to take care of the football whether he’s dropping back to pass or scrambling out of the pocket as a runner. The last thing his defense needs is to get bludgeoned by the Broncos’ rushing attack on a short field. Players like Isaiah Cox will be counted on to step up as possession receivers to convert third-down plays and keep extending drives.
If the defense had two Javon Hagans, it would be easier to count on them in this game.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Broncos are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Bobcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Bobcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on field turf.
- Bobcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Bobcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.