Nobody gave the visiting Bowling Green Falcons even a “punchers chance” in their season opening game against the Oregon Ducks. But, the Falcons did indeed punch the Ducks in the face in route to a 10-0 lead and 10-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they had three more quarters to play! The Ducks used big plays to gash the Falcons defense and coasted to an easy, 58-24 win on Saturday night in Eugene.
The Falcons raced to a surprising 10-0 lead on the strength of a Nate Needham 36-yard field goal and a Jarred Doege 6-yard touchdown pass to Scott Miller. Then the Oregon offense took control and scored 37 unanswered points to take a 37-10 lead. Two of the scores for the Ducks during that stretch were touchdown passes of 40 and 33 yards from quarterback Justin Herbert.
The Falcons did get another touchdown pass from Doege to Andrew Clair from nine-yard out to make the score 37-17 at halftime.
The second half wasn’t much better for the Falcons. The Ducks’ Ugochukwu Amadi picked off a Doege pass and returned it 38-yards for a touchdown. Herbert torched the Falcons secondary for two more long touchdown passes, 83-yards to Taj Griffin and 48-yards to Jaylon Redd.
Herbert finished 10 of 21 for 281 yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions. Half of his completions went for touchdowns. Redd caught two passes for 81 yards and both were touchdowns.
Doege ended the game 22 of 38 for 253 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. Clair, a Sophomore running back, gained 113 yards on 25 carries and caught two passes for nine yards and a touchdown. Senior Scott Miller had a big game for the Falcons, catching 13 balls for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Miller was targeted an incredible 20 times in the game.
The Ducks had 504 yards of total offense while the Falcons managed 389. The Falcons won the time of possession stat 38:03 to 21:57 but it was mostly due to the Ducks scoring so quickly. The Falcons turned the ball over three times and they resulted in 21 points for Oregon.
The Falcons are now 0-1 on the year and will open the home portion of their 2018 schedule next Saturday against the visiting Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten Conference.