Welcome to Falcon Fodder, coming to you live from Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio, as we get ready for BG's contest against the Golden Flashes. I'll share thoughts, stats, and anything of interest from the game (newest posts are at the bottom). REFRESH OFTEN TO GET THE LATEST POSTS! Here we go ...
11:32 a.m. -- Welcome to this afternoon's contest, everyone! Having a flashback day, since -- as many of you know -- I worked at Kent State full-time for seven years. I've spent more than my share of time at Dix Stadium. And it's very, very different than it was 20 years ago. Anywho ...
11:41 a.m. -- Before we get rolling, here are links to a few stories ... First, click here to read today's game preview, which takes a look at Kent State having a bye before today's game. Second, click here to read the Falcon Fodder scouting report. Third, click here to read the story from Thursday focused on the changes Kent State is expected to make following their bye week. Finally, click here to read the notes from Wednesday's press conference. Enjoy the reading!
11:54 a.m. -- Going to sneak in some lunch for a moment ... Weather at this point is chilly -- the temperature is in the low 40s -- and there is extensive cloud cover, but no rain to this point. As the Falcons start to take the field, I'll start looking for changes and players not dressed. Talk to you in a little bit!
12:08 p.m. -- A bit of bad news as I watch the Falcons warm up ... I don't see Anthon Samuel out there. I do see Jordan Hopgood, and I see the rest of the running backs -- Jamel Martin, Erique Geiger and John Pettigrew. But no Samuel to this point.
12:21 p.m. -- Going to warn everyone in advance ... the Kent State internet system doesn't like me. This may be push-back from some unpaid parking tickets, but still ... at any rate, I'll do my best to keep this rolling. Thanks for your patience!
12:45 p.m. -- The sunny is moving in and out today ... but I would say the threat of rain/snow at this point is minimal. It looks as if it will stay clear for this contest.
12:58 p.m. -- Bowling Green won the toss and elected to defer ... BG will kick off and defend the south end zone.
1:12 p.m. -- A couple of notes for the BG offense ... Anthon Samuel did not start, with Jamel Martin taking his place. The Falcons also have used a hurry-up offense.
1:37 p.m. -- I'm having major connectivity problems here, so my apologies for the gaps. I'll talk to you at halftime.
1:43 p.m. -- This is exactly the start the Falcons couldn't afford ... giving the Golden Flashes hope. Kent State 10, BG 3 with 10 minutes left in first half.
1:55 p.m. -- Offering a sliver of hope ... for as badly as Bowling Green has played this half, they trail by just a touchdown. Falcons begin this drive at their 47 with 4:12 left in the half. If they score a TD, this is all even.
1:59 p.m. -- Ouch ... Falcons turn second-and-2 into third-and-6 and are forced to punt. Now Golden Flashes have a chance to turn this into a two-touchdown game before the half. BG needs to make a big defensive stop before the half.
2:04 p.m. -- Thanks to a penalty, the Falcons are closing in on a stop ... It's fourth down for Kent State at midfield with 50 seconds left in the half. Can the offense make something happen before the half ends?
2:07 p.m. -- Halftime at Dix Stadium ... Kent State 10, Bowling Green 3. A few thoughts first, then a few stats ...
2:11 p.m. -- The Bowling Green defense reverted back to the poor-tackling defense of the West Virginia/Western Michigan game. The Kent State offense made a few holes here and there, but most of their yardage came AFTER the first hit ... and that's a function of poor tackling. The Flashes have made a few big pass plays here and there, but BG's problems tackling are the biggest problem. On to the offense ...
2:17 p.m. -- The Bowling Green offense has struggled mightily in the first half. The rushing game is only slightly better than it was last season against the Flashes, when BG had minus-10 yards because of all the sacks. But the "wildcat" offense has continued to struggle for a variety of reasons, and the passing game hasn't done enough to overcome it. Short yardage continues to be a big problem as well. Stats in a moment. ...
2:22 p.m. -- First-half stats for the Falcons, who had 187 yards of total offense in the first half. BG had 39 net yards rushing, led by 44 yards by Jamel Martin (who had eight negative yards). Quarterback Matt Schilz completed 13-of-17 passes for 148 yards. His favorite receivers were Kamar Jorden with six catches for 52 yards and Eugene Cooper with three catches for 29 yards. Alex Bayer had just two catches but 33 yards. Leading tackler is Jovan Leacock with five and both Aaron Foster and Dwayne Woods with four each.
2:26 p.m. -- First-half stats for the Golden Flashes, who had 175 yards of toal offense in the first half. KSU ran for 80 yards, led by Trayion Durham with 44 yards and Jacquise Terry with 31. Quarterback Spencer Keith completed 7-of-13 passes for 95 yards, with Tyshon Goode catching three passes for 27 yards. The leading tackler for the Flashes is Calvin Tiggle with eight tackles and both C.J. Malauulu and Luke Batton with five apiece. Second half in three minutes.
2:39 p.m. -- Crazy play leads to more points for the Falcons. Matt Schilz throws an interception, but the Kent State defensive back fumbled and Ben Bojicic recovered the ball at the Kent State 10. A sack got the Falcons off-schedule and the Falcons were forced to kick a field goal by Stephen Stein. With 10:09 left in the third quarter it's Kent State 10, BG 6.
2:48 p.m. -- A change at running back for the Falcons ... Erique Geiger replaces Jamel Martin at running back. So far, so good as Geiger is running more north-south than Martin. The final straw seems to be a trip by Martin that turned a potential big gain into a small gain. As I write this, BG has taken a timeout with 7:01 left in the third quarter, ball on BG's 44 and the score KSU 10, BG 6.
2:54 p.m. -- A painfully bad throw in the red zone by Matt Schilz kills a prime scoring opportity for the Falcons. He was trying to throw a ball low into the end zone, but Luke Wollet found a way to drop to his knees and catch the ball. If Schilz throws it high and deep, it's either an incompletion or a touchdown.
3:05 p.m. -- HUGE mistake by the Falcons leads to a Kent State touchdown. Falcons were about to get the ball, and Eugene Cooper called for a fair catch. But he didn't catch the ball, and it bounced off his foot -- straight to a Kent State defender. Two plays later, the Golden Flashes scored a touchdown to make it 17-6 with 14:03 left in the fourth quarter. The BG offense has moved the ball in the second half, but they have struggled in the red zone. It's on the offense to get those points back ... quickly.
3:22 p.m. -- Flashes drive 61 yards down to the BG 2, but Dwayne Woods makes another big third-down tackle. Kent State gets a 21-yard field goal to make the score 20-12 with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter. Bowling Green needs a touchdown -- and needs to start working on a two-point play to tie the game.
3:31 p.m. -- The Falcons get some points ... but it's just a field goal, not a touchdown. BG travels down to the Kent State 7 but can't punch the ball into the end zone. Now the defense MUST make a stop, and the offense has to score again ... and time is running out.
3:40 p.m. -- Final shot for the Falcons ... first and 10 from their own 18 with 1:51 left in the game.
3:45 p.m. -- Bowling Green gets one first down thanks to an interference call, but then four consecutive incompletions turn the ball over on downs. Kent State needs to snap the ball cleanly a few times to seal the victory.
4:15 p.m. -- A few quick post-game stats ... Falcons finish with 445 yards of total offense, including 400 yards passing (which means just 45 net rushing -- on 28 attempts, or 1.6 yards per play). Matt Schilz completed 29-of-49 passes for 400 yards and one TD but had two interceptions. Kamar Jorden caught 12 passes for 203 yards and the touchdown, while Eugene Cooper had nine catches for 82 yards. Big problem: The Falcons also had four turnovers. Kent State in a moment ...
4:25 p.m. -- A few stats for Kent State ... Golden Flashes had 319 yards of total offense, split between 140 yards rushing and 179 yards passing. The total offense and passing yards are both season highs for KSU. Kent State's rushing leader was Jacquise Terry with 65 yards on eight carries, while Trayion Durham had 62 yards on 19 attempts. Quarterback Spencer Keith completed 16-of-23 passes for 179 yards and a TD. The leading receiver was Tyshon Goode and Matt Hurdle with four catches each; Good had 43 yards, Hurdle had 41. Kent State had two turnovers.
4:30 p.m. -- Quick thought ... truly poor effort by the Falcons today. No credit for the offense getting 445 yards because they were just 2-for-4 in the red zone -- and both scores were field goals. The defense struggled to get the Flashes stopped. And the special teams were probably the worst unit of the three ... two kickoffs out of bounds, two missed field goals, fumbled punt, bad kickoff return by BooBoo Gates to start a drive on the five.
4:38 p.m. -- Tired of losing my internet connection, so I'm going to shut this down. Going to write two stories, then drive home. I promise to take a BiG look at the contest late tonight ... 'Til then, thanks for following along!