Johnson wins QB battle (12-7-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Saturday, 07 December 2013 08:22
BG quaterback Matt Johnson (right) releases the ball as teammate David "Chief" Kekuewa (left) attempts to shrug off a sack attempt by Northern Illinois's Blake Holder (89). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
DETROIT — The casual observer who heard a Heisman Trophy candidate was playing Friday night at Ford Field, might have been confused during the Mid-American Conference championship game.
With all the hype heaped on Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, it was Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson’s play which was worthy of a highlight film.  PHOTO GALLERY
A redshirt sophomore, Johnson led the Falcons to a 47-27 upset win over nationally-ranked and previously undefeated Northern Illinois.
Johnson was 21-of-27 passing for 393 yards with touchdown passes to five different teammates. The yardage and TD passes were both career highs for Johnson. He set a MAC championship game record with the five TD passes.
He also rushed 10 times for 33 yards and did not turn the ball over. BG’s offensive line gave him time to throw, allowing only two sacks.
‘‘He made some tight window throws,’’ NIU head coach Rod Carey said about Johnson.
Meanwhile, Lynch, a dual threat, was 21-of-40 passing for 219 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 126 yards and two scores, but the Falcons made it tough on him all night long.
‘‘Two turnovers are unacceptable,’’ Lynch said. ‘‘I expect a lot out of myself, and I didn’t live up to my expectations.
‘‘I never really got into that rhythm, and my two interceptions didn’t help.’’
Johnson was ready for the challenge of playing in the title game.
‘‘It feels great because we were the team that Northern Illinois was playing, and that they were going to go and bust the BCS. That motivated us all week, and we brought it out onto the field,’’ Johnson said.
Johnson was left off the All-MAC team, which was announced earlier this week.
“Not really, maybe a little motivation,’’ Johnson said when asked about the slight. ‘‘It didn’t bother me as much because I had an opportunity to play for a ring, and we did it as a team. It wasn’t just me or one other player, we did this as a team and I’d rather have the ring than be named second or third team All-MAC.”
GREENE: Travis Greene became the single season rushing leader for Bowling Green, as his 133 yards gives him 1,575 yards on the season surpassing Fred Durig’s mark of 1,444 yards set in 1951.
The 100-yard game was Greene’s ninth of the season, a Bowling Green single season record.
With his 156 all-purpose yards Friday, Greene increased his season total to 1,700 yards which ranks second in Bowling Green single season history behind only Freddie Barnes’ 1,965 yards in 2009.
MOORE: BG’s Ronnie Moore had a career night in the first quarter of the game.
The freshman made four catches for 145 yards and carried the ball once for 11 yards, all in the first 13 minutes of the game.
Moore scored on a 36-yard pass, and his 61-yard reception set up a field goal.
TIGHT ENDS: BG’s tight ends had a big night as both Alex Bayer and Tyler Beck scored TDs.
Beck’s score was BG’s first of the game, as he swerved through NIU’s defense for a 28-yard score.
It was Beck’s only catch of the night.
‘‘I was even more excited about that one, than my own,’’ Bayer said about Beck’s score. ‘‘For him to score a touchdown in a game like this, I couldn’t have been for happy for him.’’
Bayer made a nice grab for a 12-yard TD from Johnson in the third quarter.
Bayer finished with seven receptions for 124 yards, both career highs.
‘‘To be honest, looking at the game plan, I didn’t think I was going to get much action at all,’’ Bayer said. ‘‘And even on some of the passes that I did (catch), they weren’t originally supposed to go to me.’’
FOSTER: BG’s Aaron Foster had a career first in his 50th game as a Falcon.
Foster grabbed his first career interception, and returned it 37 yards, setting up a BG touchdown.
‘‘You can imagine it was a great feeling,’’ Foster said about the interception.
Foster said after the interception, he was thinking about scoring.
‘‘Coach always wants us to take it down the near sideline, but he wasn’t getting that today; there was no way I was doing that.’’
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 December 2013 09:58

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