BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons allow Buffalo just 197 yards TO, collect 7 sacks while offense scores 3Xs in middle 2 quarters in 21-7 win at Crew Stadium Friday
BiG OVERVIEW: After a scoreless first quarter, BG saw a 15-play, 78-yard drive wasted when a 28-yard field-goal attempt by Tyler Tate was blocked by Buffalo’s Derek Brim early in the second quarter. On the Falcons’ next possession quarterback Matt Schilz completed his first four passes for 48 yards to push BG deep into Bulls territory. A pass interference call on a third-down incompletion extended the drive, and John Pettigrew’s 1-yard run on fourth down gave the Falcons a touchdown with 5:26 left in the half. BG forced another Buffalo punt, and on the next series Schilz connected with Shaun Joplin on a 48-yard touchdown strike with just 1:56 left in the half. In the third quarter the Falcons controlled field position early and made it pay off with an eight-play, 47-yard drive where Pettigrew ran the ball five times for 32 yards, then caught two passes for eight yards to set up a 7-yard TD run by Schilz. In the fourth quarter a bad pass by Schilz was intercepted by Buffalo’s Colby Way on the BG 41 and returned to the 19, and two plays later Alex Dennison scored on a 4-yard run to spoil the potential shutout.
BiG PLAY: The game was scoreless as Bowling Green mustered a 12-play drive that pushed the Falcons deep into the red zone. Facing a fourth-and-goal from Buffalo’s 1, the call was for a running play – by a team that, to that point, had just 10 yards rushing (on 14 plays!). But John Pettigrew found a seam on the left side of the line and knifed into the end zone for a BG touchdown with 5:26 left in the half. The TD seemed to lessen the pressure on the Falcons’ offense, which scored twice more to clinch the win.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: Senior running back John Pettigrew played well in relief of starter Anthon Samuel, carrying the ball a whopping 29 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. Pettigrew was the only BG runner who finished with positive rushing yardage, and he had more net yardage than Buffalo had positive yardage (80 yards; their 51 negative yards resulted in the 29 yards net). He also caught three passes for 31 yards. … Receiving honorable mention is junior quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed 18-of-30 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown in less-than-ideal throwing conditions. He did throw three interceptions. … Freshman wide receiver Chris Gallon had five catches for 65 yards, all of which covered double-digit yardage (three for 14 yards, one for 12 and one for 11) and three of which led directly to first downs. … Junior wide receiver Shaun Joplin caught three passes for 77 yards, including a 48-yard TD catch late in the second quarter. His other catches covered 19 and 10 yards and both resulted in first downs.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Lots of options here, but for the second week in a row let’s give the nod to senior linebacker Dwayne Woods, who seemed to be all over the field to lead the BG defense. Woods finished with six tackles to tie for the team lead, and five of the six resulted in no gain or a loss for Buffalo. He was credited with 3.5 tackles for loss (that resulted in 19 yards lost) and a pair of sacks that set the Bulls back 16 yards. He also broke up a pass. … Junior cornerback Cameron Truss posted four tackles and also recovered a fumble and broke up a pass. … Sophomore safety Ryland Ward finished with five tackles and broke up a pass. … Sophomore linebacker D.J. Lynch tied for the team lead with six tackles. … Senior defensive tackle Chris Jones finished with five solo tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack, and also forced a fumble. … Sophomore defensive end Bryan Thomas had four tackles, including a pair of tackles for loss and one sack. … Listen, I could go on, but you get the point: There were a lot of fine efforts by the defense Friday.
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: I’ve got to be honest: I don’t think there are a lot of candidates worthy of this award. Let’s give this honor to senior Stephen Stein, who made three extra points in less-than-ideal conditions because of the high winds and cold.
BiG NUMBERS: The Falcons allowed Buffalo just 197 yards of total offense, marking the fourth time in 12 games BG held an opponent to less than 200 yards of total offense. The 42 yards lost in sacks and 53 yards in tackles for losses are impressive. But here’s a crazy statistic for you: Buffalo ran 60 plays against the Bowling Green defense, and there were more plays that resulted in a negative outcome for UB (an incompletion, no gain or negative yardage) than positive plays. Only 26 of the 60 plays the Bulls ran resulted in a “positive” game, as there were 18 incompletions and 16 “no gain” or worse plays.
BiG QUESTION: What is next for the Falcons? Full credit goes to BG from bouncing back from the disappointment of the Kent State loss to finish with a solid victory over a decent Buffalo team. Now Bowling Green will wait for the rest of the bowl process to play itself out … which begins this week and will become clearer when the BCS pairings are set.
Click here to read The Blade game story from Saturday’s contest. Click here to read the notebook from Saturday’s contest. Click here to read the in-game chat from Saturday’s game. Click here to view a photo gallery from Saturday’s contest, courtesy of The Blade's Jeremy Wadsworth.