The Bowling Green State University football team outscored Kent State 24-0 over the final 34:40 of the game, defeating the Golden Flashes 41-22 at Dix Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Orange and Brown outgained Kent State 341-59 in that time span, pulling away in a crucial, early season, Mid-American Conference matchup for the win. With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-0 on the young season, and will turn their attention to a game at Indiana next weekend.
The first half was a change of pace from what Falcon fans have come to know in the past few years, as both the Falcons and Golden Flashes traded offensive punches for the majority of the first 30 minutes.
The Falcons got the ball to begin the game, and wasted no time driving the length of the field for the first score of the game. On the drive, Travis Greene carried the ball six times for 48 yards, culminating in his first career touchdown—a one-yard scamper. The drive spanned 4:38, as the Falcons needed just nine plays to travel 77 yards for the score.
Kent State would come right back, as the Golden Flashes went five plays for 75 yards in just 2:35. KSU, who used a plethora of misdirection throughout the first half, would score on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Colin Reardon to Chris Humphrey. Then, the Flashes would throw an unexpected twist at the Falcons, as the holder Humphrey would take a direct snap and scamper into the end zone for the two-point conversion. Kent State led 8-7 midway through the first quarter.
That score would hold up through the remainder of the opening quarter, as both the Falcons and Golden Flashes traded punts on their second drives of the game.
Bowling Green would take over the ball at their own 11 yard line with 3:12 left in the first quarter. The Orange and Brown would move the ball 77 yards over the next seven plays, as they were in the red zone when the clock expired on the first quarter. Tyler Tate would cap off the drive with a 30-yard field goal, giving the Falcons a 10-8 lead at the time.
Once again, Kent State would respond to the Falcons' score, as the Golden Flashes offense would drive 10 plays over the next 5:01, capping off the 76-yard scoring drive with a 12 yard pass from Reardon to Casey Pierce. KSU led 15-10 after the extra point attempt was good by Anthony Melchiori.
The Falcons would answer the Kent State drive with their second consecutive scoring drive of the second quarter. On the drive, Matt Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 for 64 yards, while Andre Givens capped off the drive with a 3-yard run to give BGSU a 17-15 advantage.
Kent would score on the very next drive, as they once again answered the Falcons' touchdown with one of their own. Trayion Durham would cap off a six play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to once again give the Golden Flashes a lead, at 22-17.
That would be the final time Kent State would sniff the end zone, as the Orange and Brown defense dominated the final 34-plus minutes, allowing just 59 yards the rest of the way.
The Falcons would take the lead, and momentum, into halftime as Jared Cohen would pull in his first career touchdown pass with 54 seconds left. On the play, Johnson would roll to his right, finding Cohen on the back-shoulder throw. Cohen would secure the catch inside the one yard line, and as he fell out of bounds, would turn and touch the pylon for the touchdown.
The Falcons defense would return to their dominant form in the second half, as the Orange and Brown would force Kent State into five second half punts. The Golden Flashes would only enter Falcon territory one time in the second half, but the defense would force a fumble, and Ryland Ward would recover at their own 23.
The first time the Falcons had the ball in the second half, they promptly went 45 yards over 13 plays, a drive which spanned 6:19. Tate capped off the drive with his second field goal of the day, this time, a 41-yarder.
After a three-and-out by the stifling Falcon defense, the offense would burst Kent State's hopes of a comeback.
Facing a third-and-15 from their own eight yard line, Johnson would take the snap and find Ryan Burbrink in stride over the middle for a 92-yard touchdown pass. Following the extra point, the Falcons led 34-22.
Just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, the offense would put the game away, as William Houston found the end zone from one yard out for a 41-22 Bowling Green lead. The touchdown run from Houston was his fourth of the season.
The Bowling Green offense was dominating on Saturday, racking up 576 yards of total offense. The offensive output for the Falcons was the most during the Dave Clawson era, surpassing their 572-yard total against Morgan State in 2011.
The Falcons will now turn their attention to Indiana University, who they'll play in Bloomington, Ind. next Saturday at noon. The game, which will be played at IU's Memorial Stadium, will be aired nationally on ESPNU.
* Travis Greene's 24 carries and 145 yards on Saturday are both career highs
* Greene's first quarter touchdown was the first of his career
* Matt Johnson's 19 completions for 357 yards were both career highs
* Johnson's two touchdowns on Saturday are the first two of his career
* Ryan Burbrink had two catches for 101 yards (career high) on Saturday
* Burbrink's 92-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was the third-longest TD pass in school history—it was also his first career receiving touchdown
* Fred Coppet's 36 rushing yards on Saturday were a career high
* With the 41-22 win, the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak to Kent State
* The Falcons handed Kent State their first MAC regular season loss since November 25, 2011 at Temple
* BGSU has started 2-0 against teams (Tulsa and Kent State) that combined to win 22 games a year ago
* BGSU is now 7-0 all-time in MAC games that were played on Sept. 7 or earlier
* Bowling Green improved to 8-5 in its last 13 road openers
* BGSU is the only unbeaten team left in the Mid-American Conference East Division
* Tyler Tate has now made six consecutive field goals, including four in 2013
* BGSU is now 11-for-11 in the red zone in 2013 -- seven touchdowns and four field goals
* Quarterback Matt Johnson made his first career start
* Bowling Green won for the first time when allowing 100+ rushing yards since a victory over Buffalo on Nov. 25, 2011