BiG TWITTER POST: BGSU defense limits Ohio to 244 yards of total offense while Falcons block 2 punts & get safety on 3rd in 26-14 victory over OU Wednesday
BiG OVERVIEW: Ohio took the opening kickoff and drove 72 yards on 11 plays, with Tyler Tettleton scoring on a 5-yard run. Then late in the first quarter BG’s Brian Sutton blocked a punt that rolled out of bounds on the Bobcats’ 20, and four plays later Anthon Samuel scored on a 15-yard run. On the Falcons next offensive possession quarterback Matt Schilz pump-faked, fakes a handoff to John Pettigrew, then found Chris Gallon alone behind the Ohio defense for a 55-yard touchdown pass. On the Bobcats’ next possession the OU punter mishandled the ball and BG dropped him to gain possession on the 35 and set up a 35-yard field goal by Tyler Tate. Then with time running out in the first half a bad snap allowed Cameron Truss and Jude Adjei-Barimah to tackle the punter in the end zone for a safety that made it 19-7 at the half. Ohio’s first possession of the second half resulted in a 14-yard, 95-yard drive that Tettleton capped with a 3-yard TD pass to Chase Cochran. Then late in the third period the Falcons blocked another punt, with Adjei-Barimah doing the honors to give BG the ball on the Bobcats’ 29. Samuel finished off a seven-play scoring drive with a 4-yard TD run that ended the scoring.
BiG PLAY: There were several choices here, but in my mind the most important play of the game came late in the first quarter with BG trailing 7-0. The Falcons defense forced Ohio to punt from its 28, but Brian Sutton came in and blocked a Grant Venham punt to give the Falcons the ball on OU’s 20. The block set up Bowling Green’s first touchdown, and it set the tone for every Bobcat punt for the rest of the game. You could see the Falcons’ confidence grow every time they succeeded against Ohio’s punting unit, and BG’s success on punt block was the key to this victory.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: There are a few choices for this award, but the obvious pick is sophomore running back Anthon Samuel. He missed the Eastern Michigan because of injury, but came back with a vengeance against the Bobcats, finishing with a career-high 181 yards on 29 carries. He also scored two of Bowling Green’s three touchdowns. He also caught one pass for five yards. … Receiving honorable mention is the offensive line for the Falcons, as starters Jordon Roussos, Dominic Flewellyn, Chief Kekuewa, Fahn Cooper and Alex Huettel helped the BG ground game finish with 197 net yards. Ohio also did not sack Falcons quarterback Matt Schilz.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Hearts may have sunk when junior safety BooBoo Gates suffered an ankle injury early in the game and did not return. But junior Josh Pettus stepped in for Gates and was impressive, leading the Falcons with 11 tackles and adding a half tackle-for-loss. … There were plenty of honorable mentions, including sophomore rover Gabe Martin, who finished with 10 tackles, including a half tackle-for-loss, and added a pass breakup. … Senior LB Dwayne Woods had one of his best games this season, finishing with nine tackles. Junior cornerback Cameron Truss posted seven tackles and also had a half tackle-for-loss – Bowling Green had nine in the game, which resulted in a whopping 72 yards in losses.
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: Obviously there are lots of choices here, but let’s give the nod to sophomore Jude Adjei-Barimah, blocked one Ohio punt and played a part in a tackle of the Bobcats punter that resulted in a safety. Close behind is sophomore Brian Sutton, who blocked the first Ohio punt and covered the kick that Adjei-Barimah blocked. And big props to junior punter Brian Schmiedebusch, who put together his second strong effort in a row. Schmiedebusch averaged 50.5 yards per kick for his six points, five of which traveled at least 50 yards with a long of 57. Four of the punts landed inside the Ohio 20, and the Bobcats’ four returns finished with minus-9 yards. That gave Schmiedebusch a net punting mark of 52.0 yards per kick.
BiG NUMBERS: The Falcons allowed Ohio to gain 72 yards on their first drive, which resulted in a touchdown. The Bobcats first drive of the second half netted 95 yards and another touchdown. OU’s other eight drives? Those drives combined for 60 yards, and it took 40 plays for the Bobcats to generate that yardage. On Ohio’s last drive the Bobcats did net 63 yards, but a big third-down sack allowed the Falcons to get the stop on fourth down and seal the victory.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons finish the deal? Bowling Green has given itself an opportunity to win the Mid-American Conference’s East Division title. The next game is the big game, and that game – against Kent State at the Doyt on Saturday, Nov. 17 – will be for first place in the East. A win by the Falcons over the Golden Flashes, followed by a win in the regular-season finale against Buffalo, would punch BG’s ticket for the MAC Championship Game.