As expected, Bowling Green found themselves leaning very heavily on the run game tonight. Not only did Falcons run the ball early, but they also did so often and as a result three running backs saw their rushing totals eclipse 100 yards. The effort was rewarded with a decisive 42-7 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes.
The game began in a fairly innocuous manner when both teams failed to pick up a first down in their first two drives. The interception bug struck Bowling Green on their second drive as quarterback James Morgan threw a pass over the middle that was easily interception and returned for wonderful field position in Bowling Green territory.
However, Kent State quickly went three and out to leave an opportunity on the field. The entire game Bowling Green was daring Nick Holley to throw the ball, something that quickly became apparent he was still not entirely comfortable doing.
After another punt, Bowling Green took over and James Morgan engineered a 16-play, 89 yard drive that was part ground-and-pound and part savvy-quick throws beating the blitz. Donovan Wilson would punch in the touchdown and it was all down hill from there for the Golden Flashes.
The rest of the first half went something like this for Kent State: punt, punt, punt, punt. They rarely had much of an opportunity to move the ball and Holley just couldn’t find room on designed runs or his erratic passes.
Once again, Justin Rankin was largely unused as he would churn out positive yards on each of his five carries only to exit for the sideline after that. A brief glimmer of was caught when Holley threw a quick slant to Ernest Calhoun who ran for a long touchdown after breaking a tackle.
While Kent State couldn’t move the ball, Bowling Green found little opposition beside their own turnover troubles. The two drives following their first touchdown, Bowling Green went on 16-play and 9-play long touchdown marches, grinding Kent State's run defense into the ground.
It could have been worse than the 21-7 scoreline as to end the half; Kent State freshman Jamal Parker intercepted his second pass, this one in the end zone, to save another score.
To start the second half, Bowling Green fumbled to further breathe life into the Kent State sideline. It was short-lived as after five plays, the Golden Flashes were once again forced to punt.
The Bowling Green running game took over from there. For the remainder of the evening, Kent State rarely tackled any Bowling Green running back before they picked up at least six yards. The offensive line just lit up the tired Golden Flashes defense, as the touchdown parade went on and on until the clock mercifully ran out, leaving Bowling Green with a dominating win.
When it was all said and done, Josh Cleveland, Donovan Wilson, and Fred Coppet all ran for over 100 yards en route to combined 66 team rushes for 420 yards. The victory moves a suddenly-resurgent Bowling Green team to 3-8 on the season. Kent State fell to 3-8, ending any hope of a 5-7 APR bowl appearance.