Oxford, Ohio – The Bowling Green football team handed Miami (Ohio) its largest loss in the 70-game history of the rivalry and the Falcons became bowl eligible with a 45-3 win over the RedHawks Tuesday night in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.
Bowling Green improved to 6-3 on the season and remained in contention for a Mid-American Conference East Division Championship with the victory. At 4-1 in MAC play, the Falcons trail just 5-0 Buffalo in the standings, but the two teams are yet to play this year.
After leading 7-3 after one quarter of play, Bowling Green took over with a 17-point second quarter and a 21-point third quarter.
Matt Johnson was 20-of-26 passing for 252 yards. He threw three touchdowns and rushed for another before being replaced after three quarters. Travis Greene had his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, going for 112 yards and going over 1,000 for the season. His 1,018 yards are the most since PJ Pope went for 1,098 in 2004.
Defensively, BooBoo Gates starred, recovering two fumbles, including one that he returned 11 yards for a touchdown to give Bowling Green a 38-3 lead midway through the third.
The Falcons scored on their first four drives of the game, going 80 yards on their first possession, which culminated with a six-yard Shaun Joplin reception for a score. Bowling Green had first downs on five consecutive plays during that opening drive, setting the tone early.
After Miami kicked a 51-yard field goal to cut the deficit to four points at 7-3, Bowling Green answered with a 13-play, 76-yard drive that was capped with a 29-yard Tyler Tate field goal.
Miami's next drive lasted just two plays as Paul Swan forced a fumble and Gates recovered at the 29. Johnson quickly hit Heath Jackson for 11 yards and Fred Coppet rushed up the middle for 12 more. Eventually, William Houston rumbled in from two yards out to give BGSU a 17-3 lead.
The Falcons started their fourth possession with just 3:36 left in the half and Johnson led a nine-play drive, hitting Alex Bayer with an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-3.
Bowling Green wasted little time adding on to the lead in the third quarter. After an interception on the first possession, the Falcons quickly got the ball back as Ted Ouellet sacked quarterback David Frazier and forced a fumble that was recovered by Bryan Thomas. BGSU chewed up 5:04 off the clock before Johnson rushed in from one-yard out for the 31-3 lead.
One play later, Gates got his 11-yard defensive touchdown and the Falcons completed the scoring when Chris Pohlman made an acrobatic 38-yard catch for a score with 2:43 remaining in the third.
For the game, Bowling Green had 30 first downs and held the RedHawks to just 228 total yards of offense. The Falcons held the ball for 32:29 and forced three turnovers while committing just one. Nine different Bowling Green receivers caught a pass.
Bowling Green will return home to host Ohio Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The contest will be aired exclusively on ESPN3.
*Heath Jackson started on Tuesday night, his first career start.
*Chris Pohlman caught a 30-yard touchdown pass in the game, his first career touchdown.
*Travis Greene's 112 yards took him over 1,000 yards for the season. He is the 11th Falcon all-time to surpass the 1,000 yard ledger and first since P.J. Pope in 2004. Greene is the 37th player to surpass 1,000 career rushing yards.
*Matt Johnson went over 2,000 yards passing with his 252 yard performance on Tuesday night.
*Shaun Joplin's 6-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter took him over 1,500 career receiving yards.
*Both Paul Swan and BooBoo Gates recorded their 200th career tackles in Tuesday night's game.
*BooBoo Gates had two fumble recoveries in the game, including one which he returned 11 yards for a touchdown. Gates has now scored a touchdown four different ways (fumble recovery, interception return, kickoff return, punt return). He is the only player in school history to accomplish that feat.
*The 42 point victory was the Falcons' largest win in 2013. They defeated Murray State earlier in the year by 41 (48-7).
*The win over Miami at Yager Stadium was Bowling Green's third consecutive win in the series, and third straight at Yager Stadium over the RedHawks.
*The defense allowed just three points on Tuesday night, the fewest point total for a Falcon opponent since Eastern Michigan scored just three on October 27, 2012.
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo football team saved its best all-around performance of the season for the national stage as the Bulls defeated Ohio, 30-3, at UB Stadium on Tuesday night on ESPN2 in a showdown of two 6-2 teams. Branden Oliver set a Division I era school record with a career-best 249 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Bulls to their seventh straight win.
Oliver outgained the entire Ohio team as the UB defense held the Bobcats to a season-low 233 yards of total offense. It was his fourth career 200-yard game.
"I just knew that these kids were ready to play, and they certainly showed that out on that football field for four quarters," head coach Jeff Quinn said. "I thought our defense again came up big, Bo (Oliver) had more yards rushing than they had in total offense, which says a lot about our football team. If you have a great defense, you have a chance to win a lot of football games, and that has been the formula for our success right now."
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulls did what they've done all season – capitalized on a forced turnover. Khalil Mack forced and recovered a fumble and the Bulls drove 72 yards on just six plays for the game's first score. Oliver took the direct snap and scored from two yards out with 12:24 left in the second quarter to give the Bulls a 7-0 lead.
Ohio kicked a late field goal to make the score 7-3 and bring a quiet first half to an end.
On Ohio's first possession of the second half, Buffalo was awarded a safety after Mack and Jarrett Franklin forced an intentional grounding in the endzone. That play seemed to change the tone of the game, as on UB's ensuing possession, the Bulls marched 46 yards on eight plays and Oliver scampered the final 13 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
It opened the floodgates as the Bulls scored on their next two possessions. Joe Licata connected with Alex Neutz on scores of 25 and 24 yards to make the score 30-3. Neutz's second touchdown catch was the 28th of his career, tying Naaman Roosevelt for the school record.
Neutz finished with a team-high four catches for 79 yards. Oliver added three catches for 19 yards to total 268 all-purpose yards. Licata went 13-of-22 for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense was led by Franklin who had a career-high eight tackles and 1.5 sacks. Blake Bean and Jake Stockman each added six tackles in the game. Mack finished with five tackles, a half sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Buffalo improves to 7-2 overall and perfect 5-0 in the MAC. The Bulls will next play at Toledo next Tuesday night on ESPNU.