In another example Saturday of the inherent difference between the Mid-American Conference and the Big Ten, the Michigan State Spartans started slow but woke up and rolled the Bowling Green Falcons 35-10 in the season-opener for both teams in East Lansing.
At first glance, that 25-point spread seems a bit more respectable than the game actually was. The Spartans first drive was foiled by a fumble on the one yard line that would lead to a BG field goal to put the Falcons up 3-0, a score that would hold until just over 11 minutes remained in the first half. Michigan State would go on to ring up 35 unanswered points, stopped by a Cameron Jefferies fumble return on the first play of the fourth quarter for the final Falcons score.
BG would be outgained offensively on the day 465-212, and would convert only two of their thirteen third downs. The BG defense did force 3 MSU turnovers and score, a defensive effort that should it continue through the MAC season will provide BG some much needed scoring opportunities against more potent offenses.
QB James Morgan would finish the day 10-31 for 145 yards and an INT, while the Falcons’ leading rusher was Andrew Clair, gaining 22 yards on four carries. Seven Falcons caught passes, none caught more than two, and no one had over 40 yards.
All in all, not an unexpected result, but how the Falcons got to the final outcome is somewhat concerning. Bowling Green seemed overmatched and underperformed most of the afternoon and the results on both sides of the ball require improvement for any sort of tangible season improvement from last year.
Bowling Green (0-1) returns to the friendly confines of Doyt Perry Stadium next Saturday as they host the South Dakota Coyotes. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00PM.