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Ohio players celebrate a touchdown against Western Michigan. 

Football: Fast reactions from Ohio's 59-14 rout of Western Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Ohio entered Thursday night’s game knowing what was on the line. 

A win would keep its Mid-American Conference Championship Game hopes alive, a loss would vastly damage them. Instead of letting the fourth quarter determine the winner, the Bobcats scored 45 first-half points in a 59-14 rout of Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium. 

Here are fast reactions:

Bronco Turnovers

In total, Western Michigan turned the ball over six times Thursday, four came in the first half. The first was a fumble from running back Jamauri Bogan. Running to his left, a bad handoff turned into the ball popping up in the air, which Austin Conrad jumped on.

The Bobcats made sure to not squander their opportunity, making quick work as Nathan Rourke found Papi White open on a ladder route to give them a 14-0 lead. 

The second was a blocked punt by DL Knock, which was scooped up by Alvin Floyd and returned for 13 yards and a touchdown. 

Jarren Hampton intercepted Kaleb Eleby on the following Broncos’ drive. On the two ensuing kickoffs to Western Michigan, the Broncos muffed it both times. 

In total, Ohio scored 31 of its points off forced turnovers. 

Rourke’s Domination

Nathan Rourke made easy work of the Broncos’ defense all night long, actually just the first half because he didn’t need to play a snap in the second quarter as he finished with five total touchdowns — three through the air and two on the ground. 

The WMU defense couldn’t stop the read or speed option with Rourke running it. In the second quarter, he weaved around the defense walking into the end zone untouched. He executed pass after pass efficiently, too, finishing 12 of 14 for 149 yards. 

He spread the ball around to his receivers as well, completing passes to four different wideouts. Tight end Adam Luehrman caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Rourke. It was his first catch of his career. 

With Rourke at the helm, the Bobcats rattled off 45 straight points and 273 total yards. 

What it means

There was no questions about what Thursday’s outcome would mean for the Bobcats, win or lose. 

Now with the win, Ohio’s three wins away from punching its trip back to Ford Field for the MAC Championship Game. Next, though, the Bobcats will head to Oxford, to take on arch-rival Miami. A win against the RedHawks would virtually setup a MAC East Division title game at Peden Stadium on Nov. 13 against Buffalo.

It doesn’t seem like the Bobcats will be slowed down soon, either, as they’ve outscored their last three opponents 160-42. 

With that said, Ohio and Buffalo seem to be headed straight into a collision course for their mid-week game. 

@Pete_Nakos96

pn997515@ohio.edu

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