Drive Chart
WMICH
OHIO

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No. 13 WMU holds on, beats Ohio 29-23 in MAC title game

DETROIT (AP) With a conference championship finally in tow and his team's unbeaten record still intact, P.J. Fleck stopped holding back.

Before he was even asked about it, the Western Michigan coach made it clear where he thought his team should be headed next.

''We deserve to be in the gosh darn Cotton Bowl,'' he said. ''Period. Write it down.''

The 13th-ranked Broncos might indeed end up there, but only after holding on for a dramatic 29-23 victory over Ohio on Friday night in the Mid-American Conference title game. WMU wrapped up its first MAC championship since 1988 when Robert Spillane intercepted a pass with 51 seconds remaining.

The Broncos (13-0, No. 17 CFP) led 23-7 at halftime, but Ohio rallied and had the ball in WMU territory in the final minute when Spillane intercepted Greg Windham's pass over the middle. Spillane immediately took a knee at his own 30, then was mobbed by teammates as a Ford Field crowd full of Broncos fans roared.

Ohio (8-5) never led and didn't do much on offense until the final quarter, but the Bobcats still came achingly close to their first MAC championship since 1968.

Instead, WMU became the first undefeated team to win the MAC title game since Marshall in 1999. The question is whether the Broncos have done enough to make it to the Cotton Bowl. WMU is trying to earn the Group of Five bid to a New Year's Six bowl.

When asked previously about the playoff committee and its perception of his team, Fleck had been diplomatic, refusing to do too much lobbying. That changed after Friday's win, especially when he was asked about whether he'd be paying attention to Navy this weekend.

The Midshipmen, two spots behind WMU in the most recent playoff rankings, are another contender for the Cotton Bowl, and they play Temple for the American Athletic Conference title Saturday.

''I don't think there's anybody to pay attention to,'' Fleck said, becoming animated. ''Who are we paying attention to? Why are we paying attention to anyone? We are 13-0. We're the best Group of Five team in the country. We didn't lose a game. Whoever they put on our schedule, we beat. There's two undefeated teams in the country - us and Alabama. There is no argument. My TV will be off. We will be recruiting (Saturday). I'm not going to watch anybody, period.

''I'm going to wear cotton shirts, I'm going to have cotton slippers, I'm going to have cotton earmuffs, I'm going to have a cotton jacket. I'm going to wear everything cotton, from here on out.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Ohio: The Bobcats can hold their heads high after giving WMU by far its toughest game against a MAC opponent all season. Ohio's defense held firm early, when a couple of fumbles by the Bobcats gave WMU a chance to break it open.

''They felt they had the talent to be in this game, and so did I,'' Ohio coach Frank Solich said. ''They were pretty driven to get some things done.''

WMU: The Broncos may end up sweating out the bowl announcements Sunday, but WMU can celebrate a truly special season no matter what happens. The Broncos nearly let it slip away in the second half, but their first conference title in nearly three decades was an accomplishment to savor.

The crowd of 45,615 - easily a record for a MAC title game - was full of WMU fans chanting the team's "row the boat" mantra .

''We just kept our oars in the water,'' quarterback Zach Terrell said. ''That's what this team's all about, and people might think it's a cliche and that it's not real, but that's just how we operate.''

HIGHLIGHT

Western Michigan's Corey Davis, the career FBS leader in yards receiving, had eight catches for 144 yards. That included a 70-yard touchdown in the second quarter in which he caught the ball near midfield with safety Javon Hagan right behind him, opened up some distance between himself and Hagan and then outran a couple more defenders down the sideline.

RARE MISTAKES

Terrell, who had thrown one interception all season, was picked off twice in the second half, and Ohio held WMU without a touchdown after halftime.

''Obviously, our defense has been very strong throughout the course of basically the season and so they have that potential and they knew they had to step up, get that done,'' Solich said. ''I was a little worried because Western Michigan in the second half just seems to wear people down and then the score just gets away from a team that's playing them.''

That didn't happen Friday. Ohio repeatedly forced the Broncos to settle for field goals, but Butch Hampton made five of them for WMU. The last one was a 34-yarder that gave the Broncos a 29-23 lead with 1:24 remaining.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

WMU: The Broncos moved up one spot in the AP poll after last week's win over Toledo, and they might have a chance to inch up further after winning the MAC. No. 9 Colorado lost Friday night, and No. 11 Oklahoma State plays Saturday.

UP NEXT

Ohio: The Bobcats' MAC title drought continues, but Ohio is bowl eligible for the eighth straight season.

WMU: If Navy (9-2) loses Saturday, the Broncos figure to be a cinch for the Cotton Bowl. If Navy wins, it could end up being a close call between the Midshipmen and WMU.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 1:29
37-B.Hampton 33 yards Field Goal is Good.
13
plays
32
yds
05:39
pos
29
23
Field Goal 7:19
48-L.Zervos 37 yards Field Goal is Good.
14
plays
13
yds
05:00
pos
26
23
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:09
48-L.Zervos extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
26
20
Touchdown 1:09
14-G.Windham complete to 4-P.White. 4-P.White runs 31 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
96
yds
02:15
pos
26
19
Field Goal 3:33
37-B.Hampton 33 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
-44
yds
01:27
pos
26
13
Missed Point After Touchdown 13:55
48-L.Zervos extra point is no good.
plays
yds
pos
23
13
Touchdown 13:55
14-G.Windham complete to 12-J.Reid. 12-J.Reid runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
5
yds
00:06
pos
23
13
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:36
37-B.Hampton extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
23
7
Touchdown 0:36
11-Z.Terrell complete to 15-C.Thompson. 15-C.Thompson runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
64
yds
00:55
pos
22
7
Point After TD 7:49
37-B.Hampton extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
16
7
Touchdown 7:49
11-Z.Terrell complete to 84-C.Davis. 84-C.Davis runs 70 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
70
yds
00:12
pos
15
7
Point After TD 8:08
48-L.Zervos extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
7
Touchdown 8:08
14-G.Windham complete to 12-J.Reid. 12-J.Reid runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
73
yds
01:22
pos
9
6
Field Goal 9:42
37-B.Hampton 21 yards Field Goal is Good.
10
plays
-26
yds
05:18
pos
9
0
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 5:31
37-B.Hampton 27 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
-48
yds
00:57
pos
6
0
Field Goal 6:40
37-B.Hampton 42 yards Field Goal is Good.
6
plays
-12
yds
02:35
pos
3
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 21 14
Rushing 10 3
Passing 11 9
Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Conv 4-15 5-12
4th Down Conv 1-1 0-0
Total Net Yards 427 252
Total Plays 76 53
Avg Gain 5.6 4.8
Net Yards Rushing 116 36
Rush Attempts 44 22
Avg Rush Yards 2.6 1.6
Net Yards Passing 311 216
Comp. - Att. 20-32 14-31
Yards Per Pass 9.7 7.0
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-11 0-0
Penalties - Yards 10-85 2-16
Touchdowns 2 3
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 2 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 2 3
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 2-2
Int. Thrown 2 1
Punts - Avg 4-35.8 6-45.5
Return Yards 138 112
Punts - Returns 2-52 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 5-86 5-80
Int. - Returns 1-0 2-32
Kicking 7/7 3/4
Extra Points 2/2 2/3
Field Goals 5/5 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
17 W. Michigan 13-0 6173329
Ohio 8-5 0713323
311 PASS YDS 216
116 RUSH YDS 36
427 TOTAL YDS 252
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
Z. Terrell 11 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
62.5% 300 2 2 149.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
70.9% 3386 32 3 180.6
Z. Terrell 20/32 300 2 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Bogan 32 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
26 78 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
163 865 8
J. Bogan 26 78 0 9
J. Franklin 31 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 34 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
241 1300 12
J. Franklin 9 34 0 12
Z. Terrell 11 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 13 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
74 235 6
Z. Terrell 7 13 0 12
D. Eskridge 7 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 60 0
D. Eskridge 1 -8 0 -8
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Davis 84 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
9 154 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
92 1437 18
C. Davis 9 154 1 70
C. Thompson 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 72 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
38 605 6
C. Thompson 6 72 1 21
M. Henry 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 49 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
61 760 4
M. Henry 2 49 0 27
J. Franklin 31 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 13 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
21 255 2
J. Franklin 1 13 0 13
J. Bogan 32 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 58 0
J. Bogan 1 7 0 7
D. Ernsberger 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 112 1
D. Ernsberger 1 5 0 5
D. Eskridge 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 121 1
D. Eskridge 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
R. Spillane 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 3 0.0
R. Spillane 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
B. Hampton 37 K
IN-GAME FG XP
5/5 2/2
SEASON FG XP
18/23 70/71
B. Hampton 5/5 42 2/2 17
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Coleman 57 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 35.8 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
25 40.2 4
J. Coleman 4 35.8 4 43
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Phillips 4 CB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
5 17.2 24 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
36 22.3 24 1
D. Phillips 5 17.2 24 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Phillips 4 CB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 26.0 42 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
18 12.3 42 1
D. Phillips 2 26.0 42 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
G. Windham 14 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
46.7% 216 3 1 133.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.2% 1582 12 4 121.0
G. Windham 14/30 216 3 1
Q. Maxwell 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.3% 1247 8 4 131.8
Q. Maxwell 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
G. Windham 14 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 13 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
85 381 3
G. Windham 3 13 0 11
M. Irons 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
91 434 5
M. Irons 5 8 0 6
D. Brown 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
150 802 4
D. Brown 10 8 0 5
Q. Maxwell 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
69 193 1
Q. Maxwell 4 7 0 9
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
P. White 4 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 98 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
37 608 5
P. White 2 98 1 67
S. Smith 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 52 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
53 872 4
S. Smith 4 52 0 18
J. Reid 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 22 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
46 493 5
J. Reid 3 22 2 9
E. Ball 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 181 2
E. Ball 1 18 0 18
K. Belack 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 17 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
19 270 2
K. Belack 1 17 0 17
M. Irons 21 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 75 0
M. Irons 2 11 0 10
M. Morgan 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 31 1
M. Morgan 0 0 0 0
D. Brown 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -2 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 22 0
D. Brown 1 -2 0 -2
Defense T-A SACK INT
K. Laseak 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
K. Laseak 1-0 1.0 0
K. Berger 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
K. Berger 0-1 0.5 0
T. Basham 93 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
T. Basham 0-1 0.5 0
B. Ellis 3 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
B. Ellis 0-0 0.0 1
K. Nelson 23 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 3 0.0
K. Nelson 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
L. Zervos 48 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 2/3
SEASON FG XP
26/31 33/36
L. Zervos 1/1 37 2/3 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Farkas 89 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 45.5 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
69 41.0 1
M. Farkas 6 45.5 1 53
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Hardy 22 S
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 23.3 26 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 24.4 26 0
B. Hardy 3 23.3 26 0
K. Belack 16 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 5.0 28 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 19.2 28 0
K. Belack 2 5.0 28 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:56 OHIO 33 1:29 4 -11 Punt
9:15 WMICH 47 2:35 6 -12 FG
6:28 OHIO 17 0:57 4 -48 FG
3:40 WMICH 19 3:03 7 42
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 OHIO 39 5:18 10 -26 FG
8:01 WMICH 30 0:12 1 70 TD
6:03 WMICH 22 2:46 7 20 Punt
1:31 WMICH 46 0:55 7 54 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:53 WMICH 15 0:40 2 1 INT
13:49 WMICH 16 6:58 12 35 Punt
5:00 OHIO 21 1:27 4 -44 FG
1:00 WMICH 15 0:34 2 32
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 WMICH 47 1:23 3 4 Punt
7:08 WMICH 28 5:39 13 55 FG
0:51 WMICH 31 0:28 2 -3
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:54 OHIO 28 1:50 5 2
11:19 OHIO 7 1:55 3 4 Punt
5:26 OHIO 35 1:33 3 3 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:30 OHIO 27 1:22 4 73 TD
7:49 OHIO 25 1:37 6 14 Punt
3:10 OHIO 15 1:32 4 -8 Punt
0:29 OHIO 25 0:00 1 0
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:01 WMICH 5 0:06 1 5 TD
6:38 OHIO 15 1:23 3 -1 Punt
3:24 OHIO 19 2:15 6 66 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:29 OHIO 15 0:56 3 -1 Punt
12:19 WMICH 32 5:00 14 12 FG
1:24 OHIO 25 0:28 4 38 INT