Oxford, OH— In an overall sloppy game, the Ohio Bobcats (3-2, 1-0) prevailed, 17-7, over arch-rival Miami (OH) on Saturday at Fred C. Yager Stadium.
Ohio’s offense was held to under 200 yards of total offense, but their defense carried them to a MAC-opening victory with four takeaways.
Miami (0-5, 0-1) turned the ball over on its first three possessions, all courtesy of starting quarterback Billy Bahl. Ohio’s Chad Moore’s strip sack on Bahl on the Redhawks’ first offensive play was recovered by Tarell Basham. The turnover led to a Louis Zervos 33-yard field goal to put Ohio up, 3-0.
The Redhawks drove to the Ohio 18 on the ensuing drive, but Javon Hagan’s interception and 60-yard return kept Miami off the board.
Ohio quarterback Greg Windham only completed seven of his 18 pass attempts for 56 yards, but ran in a nine-yard touchdown with 8:14 left in the second quarter to cap off a 10-play, 73-yard drive to put the Bobcats up 10-0 at halftime.
Ohio’s only offensive touchdown of the game was enough to lead them to a fourth straight victory over the Redhawks. Bahl was benched in favor of Noah Wezensky later in the game after three early turnovers. Wezensky led an 88-yard drive in the third quarter to put Miami on the board, capping it off with a 12-yard touchdown to Ryan Smith to cut Ohio’s lead to three.
With 2:16 left in the game and Ohio leading by three, punter Michael Farkas downed the Redhaws at their own one-yard line with a 40-yard boot.
Three plays later, Ohio’s Blair Brown sacked Wezensky and knocked the ball free. Kevin Robbins recovered in the end zone for a game-sealing touchdown.
Bo Hardy and Maleek Irons tied for the team-lead in rushing yards with 50 each. Hardy ran for 28 yards on Ohio’s lone touchdown drive of the game.
On top of four takeaways and seven sacks, Ohio’s defense held Miami to just 33 rushing yards.
Jordan Reid was the lone Bobcats with multiple catches in the victory, hauling in four receptions for a team-high 35 yards.