Ohio (8-4, 6-2) vs Western Michigan (12-0, 8-0)
When: Friday, December 2nd 2016
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: ESPN2
The Western Michigan Broncos attempt to finish off a magical season when they battle the Ohio Bobcats in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Friday. The Broncos and Alabama are the only remaining undefeated teams in College Football and can secure a spot in the lucrative Cotton Bowl with a victory over the Bobcats. The Broncos boast one of the most dominant QB-WR combos in the nation in senior Zach Terrell and senior receiver Corey Davis, who has more yards receiving than anyone in FBS history. Terrell completes 71.7% of his passes for 3,086 yards and 30 touchdowns while being intercepted just once and running for another six scores. Davis broke the all-time receiving yards record last week in the 55-35 victory over Toledo and has 83 catches this season for 1,283 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior running back Jarvion Franklin leads a solid rushing attack with 1,266 yards rushing to go along with 12 touchdowns and sophomore Jamauri Bogan ran for 198 last week after missing two games with an ankle injury. Western Michigan has won 14 straight games overall and this will be their first MAC Championship Game since losing in 2000.
The Bobcats have been to three MAC title games, but have yet to come away with a win and haven’t won a conference title since 1968. Ohio took the MAC East for the first time since 2011 after winning four of its final five games including a 9-3 win over Akron on Nobember 22nd. The Bobcats are fifth in the nation rushing defense, allowing 105.1 yards per game and are led by senior linebacker Blair Brown (105 tackles) and junior linebacker Quentin Poling (95). Ohio also led the MAC in sacks with 41 as senior defensive lineman Tarell Basham posted 11 of them. The Bobcats were in the middle of the pack in total offense, but senior receiver Sebastian Smith has 49 catches for 820 yards and senior quarterback Greg Windham (leg) could return after missing the last three games. Freshman QB Quinton Maxwell threw five touchdown passes and only one interception in the last four games in place of Windham. Maxwell might be an option even if Windham is healthy enough to play as the freshman threw for almost as many yards as Windham with 33 less completions. Ohio didn’t play Western Michigan this season, but lost 49-14 to them last year.
Ohio has a good enough defense to keep the Broncos from running away with this game, but they need to keep it close early or they’re in trouble. Western Michigan will win this game, but not by three touchdowns.
Pick: Ohio +19