“Not for long” has become the story of Bowling Green when playing Power 5 teams in 2018.
The Falcons faced Oregon, Maryland, and now Georgia Tech and held first quarter leads over all three opponents. Bowling Green led Oregon 10-0, Maryland 7-0, and Georgia Tech 3-0. But once again, the Falcons learned it’s not how you start but how you finish. Georgia Tech (2-3) demolished Bowling Green (1-4), 63-17 in Atlanta.
The worst run defense in the nation yielded an unacceptable 372 rushing yards to Georgia Tech’s triple option attack. Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets didn’t allow Bowling Green to record a single defensive stop until the game was already out of hand. Georgia Tech scored on each of its first seven possessions before its first punt. Then, the Yellow Jackets ran up the score with a pick-six and a 62-yard touchdown run with 3:38 remaining in the contest.
In typical Georgia Tech fashion, the Yellow Jackets attempted seven passes all afternoon. Where the Yellow Jackets exerted the most of their damage was on the ground, where they accumulated an FBS season-high eight touchdowns. Backup quarterback Tobias Oliver actually led the team in yards with 117 thanks to that 62-yard run, but the carries were well distributed among Georgia Tech’s various quarterbacks and running backs.
Jordan Mason, along with Oliver and starting quarterback TaQuon Marshall, registered two touchdowns on Bowling Green’s hapless defense. Several of these scores involved untouched, uncontested runners, such as Mason’s 33-yard scamper to start the third quarter.
Bowling Green’s offense was witnessing some success in the early going, even after the 3-0 lead. In the second quarter, Doege launched a 30-yard touchdown pass to inch Bowling Green within a 14-10 deficit. Doege experienced his first 300-yard passing game of his young career, earning 305 yards and one touchdown. He did throw two interceptions in addition, including the late-game pick-six.
Scott Miller served as Doege’s No. 1 target, leading the way with 117 receiving yards on 10 catches. Miller became the 17th player in Falcons’ history to achieve the 2,000-yard receiving mark in his career, per Bowling Green football’s Twitter account.
With the loss, Bowling Green loses its fourth game in four tries against FBS opponents this year. The non-conference slate has officially concluded for Mike Jinks and the Falcons. Jinks now has recorded an 0-11 record against FBS opponents in September, falling to 7-22 in his third year with the program.
Bowling Green has shown no signs of improvement since a disappointing 2016 campaign. The Falcons fell from 4-8 to 2-10 last season, and this year isn’t looking promising. The struggling defense will look to make amends in MAC play, facing its bitter rival, Toledo, next Saturday.