Ohio lost to Miami 24-21 on Wednesday night in Peden Stadium in a prime time match up where Mid-American Conference titles hopes weighed in the balance.
The outcome of the East Division’s top two teams set a clear path as to who controls its destiny and who is going to need a little bit of luck in order to reach Detroit.
While the game quickly turned into a back-and-forth, quarterback Nathan Rourke was sacked and offensive lineman Brett Kitrell was called for a false start all in the same sequence and the two errors ultimately cost Ohio the game.
On that, and a few other takeaways following the game.
Running back O’Shaan Allison on the Bobcats’ opening drive of the game fumbled on the Miami 3-yard line. Two drives later, Rourke fumbled on his own 45 yard line while trying to evade from a surging RedHawks pass rush.
Rourke’s turnover led to Miami’s first score of the game and it didn’t show signs of stopping.
The RedHawks only totaled 278 yards on 47 plays, but won the turnover ration – something that Ohio has hardly done at all this season.
Sacks a plenty
After the Bobcats beat Ball State 10 days prior, Rourke stated he felt that the offensive line was the best in the conference.
Against the RedHawks, however, a combination of zone blitzes and too much speed hurt the five up front. It let in three sacks and Rourke was forced out of the pocket too many times for Ohio to have any sustained success in the passing game.
Title hopes sink
It looks like that the Bobcats’ 51-year MAC title drought will dip into another year after they failed to win a game it needed to. Ohio now sits in behind Miami in the East Division and will need the RedHawks to stumble in their last three games.
Ohio hosts Western Michigan on Nov. 12 and then closes out the year on the road at Bowling Green and Akron.