Bowling Green State University football coach Scot Loeffler called Saturday’s 38-7 Mid-American Conference loss to Buffalo a “debacle” that should not have happened.
BGSU cannot afford another, he said.
“There’s still a ton of football to be played. The MAC is chaotic,” Loeffler said. “We see teams week-in and week-out, do what we did. Hopefully, we don’t go down this path again.
“I wanted to be competitive in every single MAC game and where I’m disappointed is we were not competitive on Saturday. I’m beyond disappointed, like flabbergasted disappointed.”
The rest of the Falcons’ (2-4 overall, 1-1 MAC) schedule is against the Mid-American Conference. 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior linebacker Brock Horne remains optimistic.
“I think we must remain focused on the goal,” Horne said. “Obviously, we still want to win the MAC. That goal is still in front of us.
“Buffalo is 3-0 in the conference and everyone else on our side (MAC East) is 1-1. As long as can put some wins together and stack days, we can move on from this and just put it behind us.
Horne said there are a lot of upsets in the MAC.
“Teams that aren’t supposed to win a game, win a game, which makes things wide open,” he said.“There is not a frontrunner per se, so I think that just presents a unique opportunity for us to go out and just compete every Saturday, and then Tuesdays and Wednesdays when it comes to that, to win some games.”
Bronson Warner, a 6-3, 305 junior offensive guard, agreed.
“Everyone is kind of all over the place right now, so we know we still have a shot at making it to the conference championship. So that goal is still out there,” Warner said.
Loeffler, in his fourth season at BGSU, has seen it all before and knows that one loss is often more than enough to reach the MAC championship game.
So, how do you turn that around. You cannot give up long plays, like the 92-yard touchdown run by Buffalo redshirt-freshman running back Mike Washington.
“It really came down to miscommunication. It was a little bit of my fault,” Horne said. “I think that we just play within the scheme of the defense and just communicate, talk, that we are going to be able to make plays.
“There were plays to be made Saturday, and lots more that probably should not have happened and could be prevented. I think just communication is one way to exposing plays.”
Then, there was Buffalo fifth-year senior linebacker James Patterson’s fumble recovery and 97-yard TD return just when it looked like the Falcons were going to punch the football into the end zone.
The Falcons had four fumbles, losing three of them.
“I’ve never seen more crazier turnovers in my career. Ball on the one-yard line going in to score, they rip it from our young running back,” Loeffler said.
“(BGSU sophomore back) Jaison (Patterson’s) going in to put us in position to be on the 4-yard line, we get stripped from behind. The short yardage played down here on the 90-yard touchdown, we’re in a bare front and they’re running inside zone.
“As an offensive coach, you’re jumping up and down for three to four yards, two yards versus a bare front, and we miss fit the gap and it goes for 90. They were in the right defense. The bare front, run an inside zone? Come on,” Loeffler said.
In addition, BGSU’s first drive ended when junior safety Marcus Fuqua intercepted a pass thrown by BGSU senior quarterback Matt McDonald and returned it 20 yards to the Falcons’ 40, leading to a Buffalo field goal.
“Matt (McDonald’s) interception was a versus a three-man rush, three deep, five underneath, three-man go. He’s seen that defense 100 times and the ball should be on the check down,” Loeffler said.
“We did some things that were completely absurd, completely outside the box. And like I said, I don’t know why, but I have to take responsibility. I have to figure it out.”