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Bowling Green Takes Command of Akron in Second Half to Claim 21-6 Victory

BG uses strong running game and stout defense to control Zips

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Bowling Green Falcons used a dominate second half performance on both sides of the ball to claim a 21-6 victory over the host Akron Zips on Saturday afternoon. The Falcons have won two straight games and now sit 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference and 3-8 overall on the season. The Zips fall to 2-5 and 4-6 overall. The Zips will need to win their last two games (at Ohio and at South Carolina) to become bowl eligible.

The running game was the difference in this one as the Falcons rushed for 221 yards on the day, including 112 by sophomore running back Andrew Clair. Bowling Green controlled the ball most of the second half, including possessing the ball all but about three minutes of the fourth quarter.

BG quarterback Jarret Doege started the game just 2 of 8 passing but ended up nicely, going 19-27 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Falcon wide receiver Scott Miller had another big day with 100 yards on six catches. Miller now has 11 career 100-yard receiving game. He’s tied with Charles Sharon for third all-time at BG in 100-yard games. Roger Lewis leads with 13 career such games.

First half was mostly a battle of punts and field position on a cold, chilly day at InfoCision Stadium. The Zip’s Nick Gasser managed field goals from 38- and 32-yards out to give the Zips a 6-0 lead with just over two minutes left to play in the half. Suddenly, the BG offense came alive and went 80 yards in the final minutes of the half to take a 7-6 lead on a Doege to Dorian Hendrix touchdown pass from 7-yards out. BG running back Clair had 94 yards on eight carries in the first half alone.

Akron quarterback Kato Nelson finished the game 12 of 28 for 148 yards passing. The Zips were led in rushing by Van Edwards with 69 yards and Dylan Meeks with 30 yards. The Falcons out gained the Zips in total yards 399 to 227, and first downs, 22-15.

The Bowling Green defense that has been maligned much of the season stepped up in this one. The Falcons allowed the Zips just 79 rushing in the game and recorded four sacks. BG defensive lineman Nico Lautanen had seven tackles and 1.5 sacks on the day.

BG will end the season next Friday at home against the MAC East division leading Buffalo Bulls. The Zips will travel the same day to Athens to take on the Ohio Bobcats.