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(Updated 1:20 a.m. 8-30) Falcons roll past Tulsa, 34-7 (8-29-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 23:47
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BG's William Houston (middle) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a touch down against Tulsa in the fourth quarter. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
In a total team effort the Bowling Green State University football team made a strong season-opening statement Thursday night.
The Falcons played well on offense, defense, and special teams in a dominating 34-7 win over Tulsa. PHOTO GALLERY
‘‘There is no question the guys came to play,’’ BG head coach Dave Clawson said about the win over the Golden Hurricane, who were 11-3 last season.
‘‘The defense was outstanding. Tulsa is an excellent offensive team; they have really good skill. And to play like we did against an offense of that caliber, I couldn’t be more proud of those guys,’’ Clawson continued. ‘‘I’m also proud of the offense. It didn’t come easy. In the first half we had almost 200 yards of offense ... We just weren’t scoring points. The key was going to be to finish drives.’’
Offensively, the Falcons produced 396 yards in the game and scored four touchdowns in the second half.
Matt Schilz got the start at quarterback, and Matt Johnson came in after the first two series and played the rest of the way.
‘‘We told both quarterbacks that if they both continued to practice the way they were practicing, they would both play,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Before the game we had made a decision to put Matt Johnson in the third or fourth series, depending how things were going.’’
Johnson’s play sparked the Falcons, who led 6-0 at the half.
For the game he was 11-of-23 passing for 151 yards with one interception. Johnson also ran nine times for 50 yards.
‘‘He made some plays with his feet, and once he got us moving we stuck with him,’’ Clawson said.
Johnson threw an interception on his third series, but Clawson did not make a change.
‘‘I didn’t want to pull him after the pick,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘I didn’t want him to think that if he made one mistake, we’re going to pull him.’’
Johnson said he was nervous until after he took his first hit from the Tulsa defense and completed his first pass.
‘‘As the third and fourth quarter went on I felt more confident in myself, and felt like I had more control,’’ Johnson said.
Travis Green rushed 22 times for 88 yards, and William Houston came in as the short-yardage back and rushed 10 times for 29 yards, scoring three times on 1-yard runs.
‘‘He’s a load; I’m glad we have him,’’ Clawson said about Houston.
Defensively, BG’s No. 1 defensive unit shut down the Hurricane. Tulsa’s only score came late in the game against the No. 2 defense.
‘‘We had to play with confidence; you can’t go out there really scared,’’ BG senior Jerry ‘BooBoo’ Gates said.
Gates, Cameron Truss and Paul Swan each had seven tackles for the Falcons. Bowling Green limited Tulsa to 222 total yards, with only 51 on the ground.
‘‘We’re physical, and really the only way to defend the run game is to win the battle up front,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Our kids up front were really stout and we tackled very well.
‘‘The other thing that helped was that our offense really controlled the clock.’’
On special teams, Ryan Burbrink returned a punt 67-yards for a TD; Truss made a big tackle on a fake punt; and Gates recovered a fumbled Tulsa punt. The Falcons scored short-field touchdowns after the plays by Truss and Gates.
‘‘We really challenge those guys every week to make a difference in the game,’’ Clawson said about the special teams.
Bowling Green got field goals of 34- and 28-yards from Tyler Tate in the first half.
In the second half, the Falcons took the kickoff and went 75 yards for a touchdown, the first of Houston’s three scores.
BG was able to overcome a 15-yard penalty for an illegal block on the drive. Johnson connected with Shaun Joplin for a 19-yard gain on the scoring drive and Ronnie Moore contributed a 37-yard run on a jet sweep.
The Falcons put the game away with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
With four seconds remaining in the third quarter, Truss stopped punter Cole Way on a fake punt, a yard short of a first down.
‘‘It was a good reaction by the guys out there,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘I would like to think part of that comes from experience, and maybe part of it is dumb luck. But we made a big stop there.’’
Four plays later Houston scored again with the big play on drive an 12-yard pass from Johnson to Beck.
Tulsa’s Trey Watts fumbled a punt at the 8-yard line with 8:21 left in the game. Gates, who had caused a fumble earlier in the game which stopped a Tulsa scoring threat, made the recovery and Houston needed only two carries to complete BG’s scoring.
Tulsa’s touchdown came with 5:56 left in the game.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 08:33
 

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