BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons fall behind 17-0 midway thru 2nd quarter, aren't able to close gap in suffering 27-15 loss to arch-rival Toledo at Glass Bowl Sunday
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons fell behind 7-0 midway through the first quarter when Toledo’s Terrance Owens connected on a 66-yard touchdown pass to Alonzo Russell. Late in the first period the Rockets began what would be an 11-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 27-yard field goal by Jeremiah Detmer at the 12:14 mark of the second quarter. On BG’s next possession Matt Schilz was intercepted by Cheatham Norrils at the Falcons’ 41, and five plays later David Fluellen scored on a one-yard run to make it 17-0 Rockets with 8:43 still to play. Late in the second quarter Bowling Green drove 55 yards in eight plays and Tyler Tate kicked a 32-yard field goal on the last play of the first half to make the score 17-3. Toledo took the second-half kickoff and raced 75 yards in four plays, with Fluellen scoring on a 22-yard run. BG took the ensuing kickoff and had a six-play, 72-yard drive that finished with Anthon Samuel scoring on a 23-yard run (the PAT kick was no good). Early in the fourth quarter BG scored on a two-yard TD run by John Pettigrew, but the Falcons’ two-point conversion attempt failed. Toledo then drove 57 yards on 14 plays, knocking 7:46 off the clock before Detmer kicked a 42-yard field goal with 5:42 to play for the game’s final points.
BiG PLAY: Toledo was facing a third-and-13 situation on its own 34 on the Rockets’ second drive of the first quarter. But a blown coverage by the Falcons allowed UT to do much more than convert the long-yardage third down: Terrance Owens found Alonzo Russell down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown pass that got the Rockets on the board first. What’s more, that pass was a sign of things to come for the beleaguered BG pass defense, which was shredded for 322 yards by UT. It was the first of several punches Toledo landed early – punches that the Falcons never seemed to recover from.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: Sophomore running back Anthon Samuel had a big game against the Rockets Saturday, finishing with 112 yards rushing and a touchdown on 16 carries, for an average of 7.0 yards per rush. Samuel scored on a 23-yard run on BG’s first drive of the second half, and also had runs of 22 yards and 17 yards. Samuel also caught three passes for 14 yards. ... Honorable mention goes to redshirt freshman WR Ryan Burbrink, who led the Falcons with seven catches for 71 yards, and junior WR Shaun Joplin, who caught five passes for 61 yards.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Senior LB Dwayne Woods finished with 10 tackles, tied for the team lead. Among those 10 tackles were a pair of tackles for lost that set Toledo back seven yards. Woods also broke up one UT pass on the night. ... Honorable mention goes to junior CB Cameron Truss, who finished with 10 tackles, including seven solo stops, and also had one pass broken up; and senior DT Chris Jones, who had four tackles, two of which were sacks that set the Rockets back 11 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: Let’s give the nod to freshman kickoff specialist Anthony Farinella, who averaged 63.3 yards on his three kickoffs. What’s more, Farinella allowed Toledo just 35 yards on its two returns and had one touchback, giving him a net yards per kickoff of 45.0 yards per kick. … Honorable mention goes to junior punter Brian Schmiedebusch, who had four punts for 184 yards for an average of 46 yards per kick. He landed one inside the Rockets’ 20, had two punts cover 50 yards or more and had only one touchback. Even more, he didn’t allow any return yardage, so his net punting was 41.0 yards per kick.
BiG NUMBERS: For the second week in a row the Bowling Green pass defense was shredded by an efficient opponent. Toledo completed 21-of-29 passes for 322 yards, giving them an average of 11.1 yards per attempt (which ain’t good) and 15.3 yards per completion (which is worse). But the most disturbing number has to be the one that shows the Rockets completed 72.4 percent of their passes in the contest. Close behind that was Toledo’s 13 pass plays that gained double-figure yardage, including three for 22 yards or more.
BiG QUESTION: I’ve seen and heard from a lot of people who feel the Falcons came out flat, which is especially bad if you consider this is BG’s prime rivalry game. I didn’t think it was a problem of a lack of emotion … I just thought the Falcons didn’t play well. In fact, I thought the Falcons really played poorly in a game in which they couldn't afford to do that. Can Bowling Green shore up its play on both sides of the ball -- and on special teams -- in time to stay in its next game, which comes on the road against nationally ranked Virginia Tech, which will be out for blood following an embarrassing loss at Pittsburgh?