OXFORD — Sparked by a strong defensive effort, Bowling Green out-scored Miami 21-0 in the second half on
the way to a 35-14 victory Thursday.
The Falcons are now 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-American Conference, having won four of their last
five games. Miami is 1-10, 1-6.
“I think in a lot of ways that’s the most complete game that we’ve played all year,” said BG head coach
Dave Clawson. “Certainly it was our best defensive effort of the year. I love how hard we played on
defense. We tackled well. We didn’t allow any break-out plays. We just kept coming and coming.
“It wasn’t a great first half, but I just felt we picked up steam in the second half.”
For the game Bowling Green forced five turnovers, including three interceptions, and had six sacks for 38
yards in losses.
The Falcons allowed scoring drives of 89 and 85 yards in the first half, but Miami finished with only 295
yards in total offense. In the second half Bowling Green forced three three-and-outs, two turnovers and
the RedHawks turned the ball over twice on downs while being shut out.
“I thought our defensive staff really did a nice job with their game plan, studying their (Miami’s)
protections and bringing some blitzes that got home,” Clawson said.
Meanwhile BG’s offense struggled somewhat during the game, but the Falcons did score three times after a
Miami turnover. The Falcons lost a fumble at the goal-line and also dropped two passes that would have
resulted in touchdowns.
“Offensively, it was probably not our best effort in terms of our execution,” Clawson said. “We left a
lot of plays out there.
“We missed the opportunity to put the game away a couple of times, but I love the way we finished the
game running the football.”
The Falcons started quickly, forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff. Jerett Sanderson made the hit on
Miami’s Jamal Rogers and P.J. Mahone recovered the ball at the 20-yard line. Two plays later, Freddie
Barnes scored on a reverse, aided by a big block from quarterback Tyler Sheehan, With the PAT, BG was up
7-0 less than a minute into the game.
Later in the first quarter, Miami put together an 89-yard drive to tie the score.
Sanderson stopped Miami’s scoring threat on the first play of the second quarter after the RedHawks got
the ball on BG’s 15-yard line after a botched punt. Sanderson made an interception at the 4-yard,
returning it 11 yards. Seven plays later the Falcons executed a wide-receiver screen and Barnes went
59-yards for the TD as Willie Geter and Shane Steffy had good blocks on the play.
Miami tied the game with 5:08 left in the first half when quarterback Zac Dysert capped an 85-yard
scoring drive with a 1-yard run, his second rushing TD of the game.
The Falcons were denied a touchdown in the final minute of the first half when it was ruled that Barnes
had fumbled the ball into the end zone, resulting in a touchback and Miami’s possession. A video review
upheld the ruling on the field.
In the second half, Mahone’s interception gave BG possession at the Miami 17-yard line. Four plays later
Barnes scored on a 2-yard pass to put the Falcons ahead to stay, less than four minutes into the half.
The Falcons increased their lead to 28-14 late in the third quarter on Geter’s 20-yard touchdown on a
screen pass from Sheehan, which included a nice block from Tyler Donahue. This time the video review
went in Bowling Green’s favor as the play of initially ruled dead at the 1-yard line, but it was changed
to a TD after review.
“I wanted to make sure we got the points,” Clawson said about his challenge on Geter’s score.
Chris Bullock closed out the scoring for the Falcons with a 13-yard run with 2:06 left in the game.