BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons roll to 251 yards rushing, 486 yards TO while limiting Miami to just 3 yards rushing and 256 of TO to dismantle RedHawks 37-12 Sat
BiG OVERVIEW: Miami took the opening kickoff and drive 56 yards before the Falcons stopped the drive, and Kaleb Patterson kicked a 36-yard field goal with just 4:36 having been played. The Falcons then got the ball for the first time and drove 61 yards in 11 plays, with John Pettigrew scoring on a 2-yard run to make it 7-3 with 5:32 left in the quarter. BG began a drive late in the first period that eventually covered 50 yards on just six plays, with quarterback Matt Schilz throwing a 7-yard scoring strike to Anthon Samuel with 12:47 on the clock before halftime. After a three-and-out, the Falcons drove 61 yards on a 14-play drive that consumed 8:12 of the clock and ended with a 26-yard field goal by Stephen Stein with 3:27 left in the period. Miami answered with a quick drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Patterson with 1:37 before halftime. The RedHawks made things interesting in the third quarter by driving 80 yards on seven plays to score their lone touchdown, which came on a 2-yard pass from Zac Dysert to Andy Cruse with 9:17 still to play. After an exchange of punts, BG raced 68 yards on six plays, with Schilz throwing a 13-yard TD toss to Chris Gallon with 2:01 left in the third. On Miami’s next play, Dysert threw an interception that BooBoo Gates returned 37 yards for a touchdown. BG tacked on an insurance TD in the fourth quarter by driving 48 yards in four plays, with Pettigrew scoring from 29 yards out.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons had seen Miami cut the lead to 17-12 with a third-quarter touchdown, and BG had just taken the ball on its 32 with 4:33 left in the period. After a false start call made it first-and-15 for the Falcons, Matt Schilz connected on a 25-yard catch-and-run pass to Je’Ron Stokes that gave the Falcons a first down and got the drive kick-started. That play is a close second in importance to the last play of that six-play, 68-yard drive, when Schilz found Chris Gallon in single coverage near the goal line and underthrew a ball that the Miami defender couldn’t stop for, but Gallon could – and did, for a 13-yard TD that gave them a two-score lead at 24-12.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: There are lots of choices again for this award. Let’s give the game ball to sophomore running back Anthon Samuel, who carried the ball 22 times for a game-high 171 yards (also a career high for him). Samuel also caught three passes for 25 yards, including a seven-yard TD catch from Matt Schilz. … Receiving honorable mention are junior quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed 20-of-27 passes (74.1 percent) for 235 yards and two touchdowns with one interception; senior running back John Pettigrew, who ran the ball 10 times for 55 yards and two touchdowns, one from 29 yards out; freshman wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, who caught a team-high five passes for 49 yards; and the offensive line -– center David “Chief” Kekuewa, guards Dominic Flewellyn and Alex Huettel as well as tackles Fahn Cooper and Jordon Roussos –- who helped the Falcons finish with 251 yards rushing and allowed just one sack.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: This is a tough one because there were a number of defensive players who fared well in the victory. Can I give co-players? If yes, the two are junior safety BooBoo Gates, who tied for the team lead with eight tackles and had an interception that he returned 37 yards for a touchdown, and senior defensive tackle Chris Jones, who had five tackles, including 3.5 for loss (for 14 yards in losses) and 2.5 sacks (for 13 yards in losses). ... Honorable mention goes to junior linebacker Paul Swan, who moved to middle linebacker to replace the injured Dwayne Woods and tied with Gates for the team lead with eight tackles; and sophomore linebacker D.J. Lynch, who stepped in for Swan at the “buck” linebacker had had seven tackles, including a pair for loss.
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: Let’s give the nod to senior place-kicker Stephen Stein, who was perfect on four extra-point attempts and also added a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter. … The BG kickoff return unit didn’t have flashy numbers – the Falcons averaged just 17.7 yards on kickoff returns – but did a good job of giving the offense good field position. Miami’s net yardage on its four kickoffs was just 14.0 yards, and on one kick BG started on its 39. … Freshman kickoff specialist Anthony Farinella is worthy of honorable mention after averaging 58.6 yards on seven kickoffs. He also received solid help from the kickoff coverage team as Miami averaged just 18.4 yards per return, and Farinella had a pair of touchbacks. … Freshman punt returner Ryan Burbrink averaged 6.3 yards on three punt returns, including a nine-yard return.
BiG NUMBERS: The BiG number from this game is 37:11. That is the Falcons’ time of possession for the contest, and it was a huge factor in allowing the defense to negate Zac Dysert and the Miami offense. It was extremely difficult for Dysert to get anything going when he was standing on the sidelines watching BG run its offense. The RedHawks actually held the ball for a slightly larger amount of the first quarter, but the Falcons dominated in the second, holding it for 11:55 of that quarter. In the third period BG had the ball for 9:08, and in the fourth quarter the Falcons had the ball for 8:54. In short, Bowling Green held the ball for almost 62 percent of the game, which is a lot.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons avoid a letdown after back-to-back impressive performances? BG dominated a FCS school in Rhode Island, then used a dominating second half to knock off Akron before pounding Miami on Saturday for three wins in a row. Next up is a Massachusetts team that is winless in its first six games but has played a rugged schedule and has had a bye week to prepare for BG. The Falcons will need to keep the pedal to the metal to knock off the Minutemen on the road.