BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons roll to 538 yards of total offense, limit Rhode Island to just 171 yards and get punt return TD to pound Rams 48-8 at Doyt Saturday
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter as BooBoo Gates got things rolling with an 80-yard punt return for a TD and the Falcons drove 81 yards on eight plays to score on a 7-yard touchdown run by Anthon Samuel. BG scored on the second play of the second quarter when Matt Schilz capped a six-play, 90-yard drive with a 15-yard TD toss to Chris Gallon. Rhode Island took advantage of some miscues by the Falcons in all three phases to score on a 2-yard run by Robbie Delgado run midway through the quarter, but BG responded with a five-play, 65-yard drive that was capped by a 31-yard touchdown run by Samuel. Just before halftime the Falcons had a seven-play, 78-yard drive to score just 13 seconds before halftime, with Schilz again connecting with Gallon, this pass covering 6 yards. Late in the third quarter the Falcons drove 80 yards in seven plays, with Samuel scoring on a 6-yard run. And in the final period a 19-yard scoring strike from Matt Johnson to Herve Coby with 10:40 on the clock closed the scoring.
BiG PLAY: The play that set the tone for the day came after the Bowling Green defense had stopped Rhode Island on its first drive. The Rams punted the ball to BooBoo Gates, who promptly swung left and then downfield. He threaded his way through URI’s punt coverage and eventually scored on an 80-yard punt return. It allowed the offense and defense to both relax and play well in an easy win.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: Unlike last week, there is no shortage of candidates for this award. Top prize goes to sophomore running back Anthon Samuel, who finished with 127 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. That’s an average of 7.5 yards per carry, and it includes four rushes of 10 yards or more, including a long of 31 yards. Samuel also caught three passes for 42 yards, with a long of 35. ... Among those receiving honorable mentions are junior quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed 20-of-27 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns; freshman wide receiver Chris Gallon, who caught four passes for 43 yards and had the two TD passes from Schilz; junior tight end Alex Bayer, who caught a team-high five passes for 47 yards; and freshman wide receiver Jermal Hosley, who in his first college game caught three passes for 53 yards.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Sophomore rover Gabe Martin put together a strong effort for the Falcons. He led Bowling Green with nine tackles, including three solo and six assisted tackles. He also had a pair of tackles for loss that pushed Rhode Island back a total of eight yards. ... Honorable mention goes to junior linebacker Paul Swan, who again finished among the team leaders with seven tackles; junior safety BooBoo Gates, who had four tackles and also forced a fumble; and sophomore defensive end Charlie Walker, who has been dinged a little recently but still had three solo tackles, including a tackle for loss, as well as a quarterback “hurry.”
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: The Falcons got a crucial punt return by junior BooBoo Gates, who had an 80-yard punt return for BG’s first touchdown and finished with 90 yards in returns (he also did fumble a punt return). … There really wasn’t anyone worthy of honorable mention as the Falcons struggled at times in each of the phases of special teams.
BiG NUMBERS: The Falcons didn’t struggle much on offense, as 538 yards of total offense would attest. That’s an average of 7.4 yards per play (BG ran 73 plays), which obviously is very good. But Bowling Green got its yardage in big chunks, posting 21 plays that covered at least 10 yards (28.8 percent of their plays). In other words, every fourth play BG ran gained at least 10 yards. Those big gains included 15 passes of 10 yards or more (the passing game averaged 9.8 yards per attempt and 13.8 yards per completion, both very strong numbers) and six in the rushing game, which averaged 5.3 yards per carry.
BiG QUESTION: All of the Falcons' success Saturday comes with an asterisk: It came against Rhode Island, a winless team in the FCS. That begs the obvious question: Will this team's successes on both offense and defense continue into next week, when the Falcons return to Mid-American Conference action against Akron?
Click here to read The Blade story from Saturday’s contest. Click here to read the notebook from Saturday’s contest, which includes a look at the Falcons young receivers and the move of Kendall Montgomery to defensive end. Click here to read the in-game chat from Saturday’s game. Click here to view a photo gallery from Saturday’s contest.