Bowling Green lost to Ohio 52-10 in their second road game of the season.
The rushing defense was once again poor this game. The Bobcats only threw the ball 15 times in the contest. BGSU Head Coach Scot Loeffler knows that the rushing defense needs to be better.
“We just didn’t tackle. It’s been our theme on defense. We’re not a very good tackling team right now,” Loeffler said.
Ohio did not play last week as their game with Miami was canceled, but the Bobcats didn’t look like they missed a step.
The Bobcats returned the opening kickoff to their own 46-yard line. From there, Bowling Green missed many opportunities to hold the Ohio offense. A missed sack by BGSU linebacker Darren Anders led to Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke rushing for a first down to the BGSU 34-yard line. Then, an offsides penalty gave the Bobcats a free first down. Eventually Ohio running back De’Montre Tuggle scored from eight yards out to make it 7-0.
After a Bowling Green three and out, Ohio did not waste time to gain momentum. Tuggle took the ball on the first play of the drive 70 yards for the touchdown. Ohio took the commanding 14-0 lead.
After falling down to begin the game, Bowling Green started to show some life. They held Ohio to a three and out and put together a good drive. Facing a third and four, BGSU quarterback Matt McDonald found his tight end Quintin Morris open for a 36-yard pass to the Ohio 18-yard line. The drive for the Falcons stalled and they settled for a field goal. Nate Needham kicked the 32-yard field goal to make the score 14-3.
The momentum seemed to be leaning towards the Falcons, but that changed quickly. On the kickoff after the Bowling Green field goal, Ohio kick returner Julian Ross took the kick 96 yards for the touchdown. This extended the Bobcats lead to 21-3.
The Falcons bounced back on the next drive. BGSU running back Andrew Clair started the drive with a 35-yard run to take the ball to the Ohio 38-yard line. McDonald found Morris again for a 17-yard pass to get inside the redzone. After a holding call canceled a Clair touchdown, McDonald found freshman receiver Javonte Kinsey for the 26-yard touchdown to make it 21-10.
After that touchdown, the rest of the game was all Ohio.
They continued to have their way in the run game. The Bobcats were able to rush for four first downs on the drive. Two of the first downs were converted by Rourke scrambling for the first down and more. The rushing attack led the Bobcats to the BGSU 5-yard line. The Falcons’ defense bit on the play fake and Rourke found his tight end Ryan Luehrman for the five yard touchdown to put the Bobcats up 28-10.
Bowling Green went three and out after a poor kick return to their own 12-yard line, which Ohio capitalized on. And after Rourke was hurt after a hit by Anders, senior quarterback Armani Rogers came in. With his first play in the game, Rogers took the option for himself and ran the ball 29 yards for the touchdown and a 35-10 lead.
The Falcons continued to collapse on the next drive. On the first drive, McDonald threw an interception to Ohio junior safety Alvin Floyd. From there, the Bobcats used the run game to plow through the Falcons. Rogers had a nine-yard run, which was followed by a 23-yard run by Tuggle to get down to the one. From there, the Falcons bit on the play fake again as Rogers found Luehrman again for the one yard touchdown, putting the Bobcats up 42-10.
In the last seconds of the half, McDonald forced the ball down field on fourth down and was picked off by junior safety Tariq Drake, who returned it to the BGSU 13-yard line. With two seconds left, the Bobcats settled for a 30 yard field goal by Tristian Vandenberg, going into the half up 45-10.
Although the Falcons started out strong, they fell flat as the game went on.
“At the beginning of the game, offensively, I thought we were starting to play fairly well. Then we self-destructed, obviously, at the end of the half. Had opportunities and didn’t capitalize,” Loeffler said.
In the first half, the offense seemed to have taken a step back. They had some long drives but also went three and out twice, and McDonald threw two interceptions that led to 10 points for Ohio. The running defense was still non-existent as Ohio had 230 yards rushing as a team. Tuggle alone had 124 rushing yards alone with two touchdowns.
Bowling Green started the half on fire. Clair had a 42-yard run that got the offense to the Ohio five-yard line. But from there, the Falcons could not punch it in and turned the ball over on downs. Ohio methodically drove down the field from their own 4-yard line and Tuggle continued to feast on the day with his third touchdown, this one from 43 yards out to make the score 52-10.
McDonald ended the game with 9 of 20 passing with 125 yards. He had one touchdown, but threw three interceptions.
Loeffler noticed what was different with McDonald today.
“There were times where Matt could have gotten to his third read and checked the ball down and lived another day. He forced two balls, I believe, I haven’t watched the tape yet. But, I believe he should have gotten to his flat control twice and didn’t,” Loeffler said.
The only positive to come out of this game was that Clair looked good. He rushed for 118 yards on 15 carries today. Clair also took a screen pass for 21 yards.
BGSU will go on the road again next Saturday to take on Akron.