BG vs. Tenn

BGSU football kicked off their 2021 season in Knoxville against the Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday night at a sold out Neyland Stadium. The Falcons came into the matchup as underdogs, but held their own against the heavy favorites.

“I told our players in there that there’s no such thing as moral victories, and there’s not,” head coach Scot Loeffler said. “But, with this young team, there was a ton to build off of in this game.”

The Volunteers would jump out to a 14-0 lead with two early first quarter touchdowns. Joe Milton, the Michigan transfer and starting quarterback, scored from four yards out and running back Jabari Small added a one yard touchdown.

The Falcons controlled the second quarter, shutting out the Volunteers. A pair of field goals, including a career high 50-yard field goal from senior Nate Needham, trimmed the lead to 14-6 heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Volunteers dominated, putting 24 unanswered points on the board to cruise to the 38-6 victory. 

Darren Anders forced one fumble in the second half, winning the turnover battle in the end for the Falcons. 

Despite the loss, Loeffler found growth in his young team.

“I thought our defense tackled better. I think we’re making improvement in that end,” he said. “It was pretty evident that without having two of our best targets, we can throw the football better. There’s a lot to build on.”

Senior quarterback Matt McDonald finished 26 for 40 and 185 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Cavon Croom and Austin Osborne finished with 45 yards receiving for the Falcons.

Milton finished 11 for 22 and 140 yards and one touchdown. He added 44 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in his first start for the Volunteers. Running back Tiyon Evans finished with 16 carries for 120 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons welcome South Alabama to the Doyt for the home opener next Saturday.

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