Mark A. Cunningham

Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh: 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Bowling Green's team and fans showed their mettle at the MAC Championship Game. As a reward, both groups get a return trip to Detroit for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. It's BGSU's first bowl trip to Detroit in 10 years. But without Dave Clawson around to coach the team, will their be a drop off come game time?

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BGSU Came up Short in Pizza Bowl, 30-27

The Falcons were dominated by Pittsburgh's defense, who sacked Matt Johnson seven times.


FINAL: Pitt Outlasts BGSU, 30-27

Chad Voytik, replacing an injured Tom Savage, is helping out the Panthers tremendously. They were the first to get on the board after completing a 98-yard drive in under four minutes with a naked bootleg for a rushing touchdown for himself.

But Matt Johnson just doesn't quit. On the following drive, Johnson went 5-for-5 for 76 yards, finishing with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Burbink, tying the game back up 27-27 with less than four minutes to go in regulation.

As good as the Bowling Green defense is, James Conner has been a real task to bring down, rushing the ball 5 times for 32 yards to put Chris Blewitt in range for a field goal, which was good from 39 yards away.

Down by 3 with 1:13 to go in the final quarter, Bowling Green took over on their own 15-yard line. But even after Johnson's first pass was completed to Alex Bayer for a first down, a holding call and a pair of sacks gave the Falcons a world of hurt, having to make something happen on a 4th & 40-to-go from the 1-yard line.

Even though they probably practiced it a billion times in practice, the screen play with 14 backward laterals didn't work for the Falcons.

James Conner is the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl MVP, running the ball 26 times for 229 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers finish the year off with a 7-6 record while BGSU finishes 10-4.


Teams are Tied at 20 Heading Into Fourth Quarter

"Well that escalated quickly."

Receiving the kick to start the second half, "BooBoo" Gates returned the ball for a 94 yards, the second-longest kick return in bowl history. We also had a little bit of a food fight on the return, which is always worth the watch.

Tom Savage, who came off the field holding his ribs after his last drive in the second half, did not return to the field as freshman Chad Voytik took over on offense for Pittsburgh. The offense isn't completely night and day with the new quarterback, but there haven't been any deep passes by the freshman. He helped put them within field goal range on his first drive, but Chris Blewitt's kick was just off the mark.

Okay, get it out of your system if you haven't already: Blewitt blew it.

Both teams would later have to settle for field goals on their next possessions to tie the game at 20-a piece.

James Conner is leading the way for the Panther offense. His 196 rushing yards (20 carries) are a new career-high as a freshman. For Bowling Green, Travis Greene has 15 carries for 47 yards


WATCH: BooBoo Gates' 94-Yard Kickoff Return TD

BoobBoo Gates opened the second half with an electrifying 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. But as great as this kick was, this impromptu boxing match might have been even better.



HALFTIME: Pitt Holds Slight Edge Over BGSU, 17-10

Starting off on the 8-yard line, Tom Savage completed a deep 46-yard pass to Tyler Boyd for his fifth catch of the day. 10 plays later, the Panthers had to settle for a 23-yard field goal off the foot of Chris Blewitt to complete the 85-yard drive in under six minutes.

Tyler Boyd scored on a big 54-yard punt return after the Panther defense forced a three-and-out, giving them the 2-possession lead.

The Falcons were almost forced to punt again until a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call on Aaron Donald gave BG an automatic first down on the drive. Matt Johnson then completed three passes for 49 yards, with the last one being a 29-yarder to tight end Alex Bayer for a touchdown.

Savage is 8-for-13 through the air for 124 yards and Matt Johnson has completed 7 out of his 10 passes for 101 yards with a touchdown. Boyd caught all but one of Savage's completions with 111 receiving yards. For BG, Alex Bayer caught two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown.


Pitt Leads BGSU 7-3 in the Early Goings

A pair of throws to Shaun Joplin on Bowling Green's second drive brought the shi- I mean Falcons to the red zone. Pitt stepped up within the 10-yard line, making BG settle for a field goal.

However, the Panthers responded quickly with a 7-play, 50-yard drive of their own, which was capped off with a 15-yard touchdown rush by James Connor, putting them ahead 7-3 after the point-after.

The Panthers are really letting Tom Savage throw the ball, and he's doing a fairly good job at it so far (4-for-5, 32 yards). By comparison, Johnson is 3-for-4 for 51 yards.

One quick note before we get going in the second quarter: Pitt has three special teams returns for 76 yards (17-yard punt return by Tyler Boyd and two kick returns by Lafayette Pitts for 59 total yards).


2013 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl: Drinking Game

As the MAC Champion Bowling Green prepares to take on ACC rookie Pittsburgh today in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, we present another round of drinking game rules to help you (hopefully) celebrate the MAC's first bowl win of the 2013 season.


Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Open Chat: Come Hangout

Pull up a seat, grab a plate and dig in. There's plenty of Hot n' Ready (virtual) pizza and football to go around in our LCPB open chat.


Bowling Green To Wear Gray Uniforms Tonight

The Bowling green Falcons have decided to mix things up tonight vs. Pitt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, opting for a gray uniforms with orange numbers, brown piping, orange pants and orange helmets. It's an interesting look, and one that certainly will bother many traditional BG fans as gray is not a school color, but hey, can't knock a team for trying.


2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Predictions

It's a mixed bag of predictions as some people wisely choose Bowling Green, while others lean towards the Panthers, who needed a blocked extra point just to get into a bowl game. What is this world coming to?


2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Preview

Just 24 hours remain until Bowling Green and Pittsburgh finally get around to having a rematch of the 27-17 whoopin' that the Falcons put on the Panthers at Heinz Stadium back in 2008. Can BGSU pull off another win over Pitt?


Spread Offense: The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Bowling Green is the favorite against a team from a BCS conference. Wait, WHAT?


2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Five Names To Know

Are you ready for some post-Christmas #MACtion? We hope so! Just to make sure, here are five names to know from the Pittsburgh Panthers and Bowling Green Falcons to better prepare yourself for the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.


Little Caesars Bowl: Who Are the Pitt Panthers?

As bowl games rapidly approach, we wanted to help you, our faithful readers, by supplying important information about the opponents that our favorite MAC teams must face in their post-season contests. Here is the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl edition of our opponent Q-and-As.


BGSU Is Going To The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Bowling Green's team and fans showed their mettle at the MAC Championship Game. As a reward, both groups get a return trip to Detroit for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. It's BGSU's first bowl trip to Detroit in 10 years.

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