|BGSU football noter: Trip to Columbus successful for Falcons (11-23-12)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 23 November 2012 23:32|
COLUMBUS — Bowling Green went into its game with Buffalo at Columbus Crew Stadium on Friday not knowing what to expect in terms of a crowd, game atmosphere, and how the team would react after dropping a 31-24 decision to Kent State last Saturday.
By all accounts, it was a winning situation for the Falcons, who posted a 21-7 victory over the Bulls to finish 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
“It was a great bounce-back win,’’ said BG head coach Dave Clawson. ‘‘We were certainly concerned after last week; that was a devastating loss.
“Our guys have invested a lot in the season,’’ he continued. “I just thought we had a group that had showed up and played hard for 11 weeks. I didn’t think that would disappear in Week 12.’’
The announced crowd was 11,846, more than the game would have drawn at Perry Stadium. The biting cold and blistering wind did help empty the stands early.
“The atmosphere was great,’’ said Greg Christopher, BG’s athletics director. ‘‘Between the pre-game event and then just walking around the stands, there were a lot of faces that you just don’t see at our games. It really attracted a different Bowling Green crowd. So it accomplished the mission of bringing the university to Columbus.’’
Christopher said the athletics department staff would evaluate all aspects of the game and then a decision would be made at a later date about another game being played in Columbus.
BG will be probably be on the road for the day after Thanksgiving in 2013, so the next possible game in Columbus would be in 2014.
Clawson was pleased with the support shown by BG’s fans for the game.
“Just a shout-out to all the Bowling Green fans and all the Bowling Green alums in this area,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘It’s a great venue. It’s a great playing surface; it’s a beautiful stadium and Our guys enjoyed it.’’
Ryland Ward was one of seven players from the Columbus area to play for the Falcons in the game.
“It was good ... It feels even better being here with my team and getting a win,’’ Ward said.
PETTIGREW: With top tailback Anthon Samuel unable to go in the second half, senior John Pettigrew came in and carried the rushing load.
He finished with 93 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries and added a career-high three receptions for 31 yards. He rushed 21 times for 76 yards in the second half as BG controlled the ball for 17:41 of the final 30 minutes.
“That guy has had a great year for us,” Clawson said about Pettigrew. ‘‘He was a guy two years ago, that I didn’t think he would ever play a down for us. Last year, it was the 12th game of the year before he played against Buffalo and he stepped in and had a really good game. I was impressed that a guy who hadn’t played for 11 games had himself ready for game 12.
“Last year’s game against Buffalo really motivated him to learn things and work hard,’’ Clawson continued. ‘‘He has been invaluable for us ... If I had to do it over again, I would redshirt him in ’09.’’
SAMUEL: Samuel suffered a thigh bruise during the game and was limited to nine carries for a minus-4 yards.
He came into the contest needing 30 yards to each 1,000 yards.
“I would hope that if we get a bowl bid ... he should be fine.’’ Clawson said. ‘‘We could have had him in an emergency, but when you have John Pettigrew what’s the point?’’
SCHILZ: In an uneven performance, BG’s Matt Schilz had a strong first half going 14-of-21 for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception. In the second half, he was 4-of-9 for 32 yards with two interceptions. He did run for a touchdown in the second half.
Schilz ranks third in Falcon history with 7,673 passing yards. He moved past Josh Harris (7,53 yards) during Friday’s game.
BOWLS: While BG is not guaranteed a bowl game, eight victories, a 6-2 conference record and seven wins in last eight games is a pretty good résumé.
“We certainly hope that we put ourselves maybe above a couple other teams in the conference,’’ Clawson said. “Our record and our finish makes us totally attractive.
“We don’t have a lot of control over that, but we hope we played at the end of the year makes (bowls) want to have us.’’
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