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2023 MAC Football Week 8 Game Recap: Bowling Green Falcons 41, Akron Zips 14

After a slow start, Bowling Green dominated Akron to get back to .500 for the first time since Week 2.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Georgia Tech Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Bowling Green hosted Akron on Senior Day, leaving the Homecoming fans happy despite the sopping, relentless rain with a hellacious 41-14 win over the visiting Zips. With the win, BGSU moves to 4-4 (2-2 MAC), while Akron falls out of postseason contention with a 1-7 (0-4 MAC) record. They’ve now lost their last six contests.

Here’s what went down:

  • Connor Bazelak got the start despite some nagging injuries keeping him out of the Buffalo game.
  • Driving down the field, the Falcons would score first on an Alan Anaya field goal making it 3-0 BG. The drive took just over five minutes.
  • Jeff Undercuffler Jr. got the start for the Zips, supplanting Tahj Bullard. Despite driving down the field, Noah Perez would miss the 45-yard field goal attempt for the Zips. Score remained 3-0 Falcons.
  • Camden Orth would take over for BG on their next drive. After a nine-yard first down play, the Falcons would go three and out.
  • Lorenzo Lingard would score on a 13-yard rushing touchdown to put the Zips up 7-3 after the PAT.
  • After true freshman Jackson Kleather ripped a 63-yard punt for BGSU to pin Akron back deep, Jalen Huskey would come up with his fourth interception of the year. Huskey jumped the route on a run-pass option to get the ball.
  • On the ensuing drive, Terion Stewart would get his fifth rushing TD of the year to put the Falcons up 10-7 after the PAT.
  • After Akron punted, BG would punt and down the ball at the Akron one-yard line.
  • Akron’s Dante Jackson had to improvise on a botched punt play, gaining 22 yards to move the Zips into the BG half of the field to keep the drive alive— but Jeff Undercuffler Jr. fumbled the ball, and Falcons DL Dontrez Brown recovered, getting the ball to the red zone. Alan Anaya would connect on a 33-yard field goal to increase their lead to 13-7 at the half.
  • Despite Akron moving the ball to start the second half, an unsportsmanlike conduct on head coach Joe Moorhead stopped any momentum to be gained.
  • BG would drive it down the field, and Terion Stewart would rush it in for his second rushing touchdown of the game to make it 20-7 after the PAT.
  • BG’s Darren Anders would force a fumble and Dontrez Brown once again was “right place, right time”, recovering his second fumble of the day.
  • After a pass interference call against Akron, Akron let Terion Stewart cook for his third rushing touchdown of the day, and the score would be 27-7 Falcons after the PAT.
  • Trent Simms would get an interception on the next Akron drive, and Connor Bazelak would toss a touchdown to Harold Fannin Jr. to make the score 34-7 after the PAT.
  • Tahj Bullock would enter the game for Akron, and would be sacked on fourth down in Akron territory.
  • Camden Orth would drive the Falcons down and earn a passing TD to Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim to make the score 41-7 after the PAT.
  • Akron would drive down the field for consolation, getting a four-yard rushing touchdown from Drake Anderson to put the score at 41-14 after the PAT.
  • Freshman QB Lucian Anderson III would get some time at the end of the game, for BGSU, leading the game-ending drive.


Bowling Green

Terion Stewart is a bad, bad man. He accumulated 131 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on the day to punish the Zips in short field situations. He’s continuing to prove that he is reliable at running the football. Stewart’s season rushing yard total now sits at 670 rushing yards; with four games regular season games left, and a potential bowl game should it happen, it’s possible for him to be the first 1,000 yard rusher for the Falcons since Fred Coppet in 2016.

Welcome back Harold Fannin, Jr. After missing some time for injury, and not making much of an impact recently, he scored a touchdown in the third quarter and made his presence felt again.

Defense, defense, defense. The defense was very good in this game. They held Akron to 279 yards, and came up with two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Bowling Green was penalized three times for 30 yards. This is definitely their cleanest game in a long time in terms of penalties.

This was a game that Bowling Green needed. While it started slow, they figured out how to win comfortably. Bowling Green needs to find out what they can do to dominate from the start, and won’t have to solve many issues at halftime.


Akron had some flashes of brilliance early on their first drive. After rushing for 37 yards on their first drive, they only made it up to 45 rushing yards and both touchdowns were rushing.

This was just a bad day for the Zips for everything after that first drive. Despite the fake punt, and taking advantage of a few plays, Akron could not get anything going with four turnovers.

Akron’s defense allowed 297 yards to Bowling Green, which sounds fine until you realize four turnovers gave BGSU short field. The Zips let the Falcons run all over them, but held the passing game to 83 passing yards.

Akron is now ineligible for a bowl game. All they can do is just move on to next week.

Plays of the Game

The first play of the game is by Terion Stewart. Evading tackles and finding the space to get through, this was his second rushing TD of the game. (Credit: BGSU Football/X)

The other play of the game goes to Darren Anders forcing a fumble, and Dontrez Brown recovering the football to help BG separate themselves from Akron. (Credit: BGSU Football/X)

Up Next

Both teams are set to play on Nov. 1 to start weeknight #MACtion, with Bowling Green hosts Ball State, while Akron hosts Kent State. Time and TV listings are to be determined at a later date.