With a national TV audience watching, the Bowling Green Falcons rolled to a 62-24 home win over Ohio University on Wednesday night. The Falcons continued their dominance over their fellow Mid-American Conference east division opponents. This was their 17th straight win against east teams and they are now 21-1 against the division since the start of 2012.
With the victory, the Falcons took another big step in assuring their third straight appearance in the MAC Championship Game. The Falcons need to win only one of their remaining three games to clinch the berth, or have Buffalo and Kent State each lose one of their remaining games. The Flashes and Bulls play each other tomorrow night, so one of those will be eliminated then.
The Falcon offense was very efficient in this one. They had the ball for just under 23 minutes, but made the most of their opportunities. Matt Johnson continued his assault on the record books. He finished the game 26 of 35 for 365 yards and four touchdowns, without an interception.
"We're just a bunch of guys playing in the backyard," said Johnson. "We are all family, playing for each other and having fun."
Gehrig Dieter had his first career two-touchdown game while finishing with 136 yards on nine catches. Roger Lewis had 102 yards on six catches and a touchdown, and Ronnie Moore had 93 yards on four catches, with a touchdown. In all, eight different Falcon receivers caught passes.
"Our receivers do a nice job of battling for the ball," said head coach Dino Babers. "Matt Johnson throws such a catchable ball that it makes our receivers even better."
Travis Greene had three touchdowns on the ground and finished with 106 yards on 13 carries. The Falcons amassed 581 yards of total offense on just 69 offensive plays, for an average of over eight yards a play.
In any other game, the Bobcats would have appeared to have enough offense to win. The gained 543 yards of total offense and had 34 first downs. They also held the ball for over 37 minutes.
Starting quarterback Derrius Vick passed for 162 yards and ran for another 54 before leaving the game with a leg injury on the second play of the second half. His replacement, J.D. Sprague finished 10 of 24 for 162 yards. Sprague was picked off by Bowling Green's Denard Turner, who returned it 85 yards for a touchdown. It was the third longest interception return in Falcon history.
A.J. Ouellette, Daz'Mond Paterson, and Maleek Irons all had rushing touchdowns for Ohio, as they gained 273 yards on the ground as a team.
The Falcons improved to 5-0 in the MAC, 7-2 overall and will travel to Kalamazoo next Wednesday night to face the Western Michigan Broncos. The Bobcats fall to 2-3 in the MAC, 5-4 overall, and will return home Tuesday night to face the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Bobcats need one more win in their final three games to become bowl eligible.