McDowell’s regrouped from Friday’s disappointing 75 as he carded four birdies but his round still left him 10 behind South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang.
The Portrush man, now 89th in the world rankings, is sharing 34th spot heading into the final round.
Wicklow man Paul Dunne is tied for 10th after matching McDowell’s 70.
McDowell was two off the pace after an impressive opening 66 in Doha but his three-over-par round on Friday in windy conditions saw him drop five off the lead.
Better conditions on Saturday saw Wang move into the lead as he carded a 65 and McDowell’s round saw him lose further ground on the leaders.
Wang leads South African Jaco Van Zyl and Spain’s Nacho Elvira by three shots with another South African Thomas Aiken a further shot behind.
2010 US Open champion McDowell, as it stands, is not in the fields for either the WGC World Match Play in March or the Masters a month later.