Western Michigan Broncos Hold Off Ohio For MAC Title
The Western Michigan Broncos earn their first Mid-American Conference title since 1988 and stay undefeated in the process. After a strong first half, the MAC West champion Broncos were challenged by the East Division winning Ohio Bobcats in the second stanza to pick up a 29-23 victory at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Broncos held a 23-7 lead at the half, but were outscored 13-3 in the third quarter alone to bring the Bobcats back into the game. One of the more positive spots for the Broncos was freshmen kicker Butch Hampton, who went a perfect 5-for-5 in field goal attempts and punched through two extra points.
The Broncos had only turned the ball over five times this season, but it was a rare night for Western as senior quarterback Zach Terrell threw two interceptions. The Brown and Gold still won the turnover battle, forcing three Bobcat turnovers that included junior linebacker Robert Spillane's interception with 51 seconds left in the game to end Ohio's hopes.
Terrell would go 20-for-32 through the air for 301 yards for the Broncos. Senior wideout Corey Davis caught eight passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Carrington Thompson also had a touchdown catch on the night.
With the win, the Broncos continue the nation's second longest winning streak with 15 straight. The first undefeated season in Western's history as a Division I school continues with a bowl game, which could be announced on Sunday. The announcement also depends on the result of the American Athletic Conference title game between Navy and Temple on Saturday.
For the Mid-American Conference title game, the attendance record was set Friday night, with an official paid attendance of 45,615. It surpasses the previous record from 10 years ago, when Central Michigan defeated Ohio in front of 25,000 plus.