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Ohio Bobcats vs. Bowling Green Falcons Preview and Prediction

Author:
Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Bowling Green will play host to Ohio on Wednesday night in what has shaped up to be a pretty big game in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). It's a must-win game for the Falcons, even though they have a two-game lead in the East Division. A loss to Ohio would mean that Bowling Green would almost certainly need to upset West Division favorite Toledo in a couple of weeks in order to get to the MAC Championship Game. Otherwise, Ohio is likely to finish the year with the same number of conference losses and get into the title game via the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

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Needless to say, emotions will be running high for this in-state divisional rivalry.

Ohio at Bowling Green

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Wednesday)

Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Bowling Green -18.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Can Ohio slow down Matt Johnson?

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The Falcon quarterback spent October scorching the earth with his right arm. He piled up 1,561 yards and 16 touchdown passes with only a single interception last month. He is priority No. 1 when it comes to stopping Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers' deadly offensive attack. If the Bobcats can't get a pass rush and flush him out of the pocket, this game will be over by halftime.

2. How, if at all, does Ohio move the ball?

Frank Solich doesn't have a dependable running game to control the temp with and keep Bowling Green honest. That's going to put a lot of pressure on Bobcat quarterback Derrius Vick to force the ball downfield. As we saw two weeks ago against Buffalo, that's not always going to get it done. Look for some trickery in the game plan to loosen things up early.

3. Roger Lewis

Nothing fancy about the kid's name, but the Bowling Green wide receiver is one of the most complete and explosive weapons in college football. One of my favorite things about these mid-week Group of 5 contests is getting a look at some potential NFL Draft sleepers who could make an impact on Sundays. Lewis is a burner with great hands who you'll likely be drafting in your fantasy league someday. For now, he's a reality — one that Ohio is going to need to deal with.

Final Analysis

I'll get right to it and tell you that this game isn't going to be close. Bowling Green is playing in another galaxy right now, led by a very good quarterback throwing to an NFL-caliber receiver and coached by one of the best up-and-coming head coaches in the game. Ohio is well coached too, but it's not going to matter. The Bobcats are reeling and simply don't have the pieces on defense to stop the Falcons. Bowling Green has outscored its last two opponents 107-10. I don't see much deviation from that small trend.

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Prediction: Bowling Green 52, Ohio 9

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the editor-in-chief of KnowItAllFootball.com, a Big Ten site for Big Ten fans. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.