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Bowling Green Falcons vs Purdue Boilermakers football recap: Falcons score late, win 35-28

Bowling Green offense does it's job late this time to defeat Purdue in West Layette once again.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday at home, the Bowling Green Falcons felt they let one slip way against Memphis.  This week on the road in West Layfette, Indiana they didn't let it happen again.  The Falcons got a 12-yard touchdown run from Travis Greene with just nine second left in the game to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 35-28.

The winning drive started at Bowling Green's own 20-yard line with just under three minutes to play, after Purdue kicker Paul Griggs missed a 27-yard try.  The Falcons got some more help on the drive with two big personal foul penalties on the Boilermaker defense.  The last of those penalties moved the ball all the way to the 12-yard line as it appeared the Falcons were setting up for a winning field goal.  But Greene eliminated the need for that.

The Falcon offense again sputtered during stages of this game, but got the score when they needed it in this one.  Bowling Green quarterback, Matt Johnson again went over the 400 yards passing mark, but he did it differently than he had in the previous three games.

Purdue was intent on not letting Johnson beat them over the top, so instead Johnson used a shorter passing attack to move the chains.  He ended the game, 43 of 59 for 402 yards with a touchdown and an interception.  Gehrig Dieter was his favorite target in this game with 10 catches for 96 yards.

Greene led the Falcons on the ground with 70 yards and two touchdowns.  The Falcons out-rushed the Boilermakers 137 yards to 77, as the much maligned Falcon defense held their own in the ground game.  That's not to say it was all good for Bowling Green's defense.  They did allow freshman quarterback David Blough, who was starting his first career game, to throw for 340 yards and two touchdowns.

The game started as expected with Bowling Green marching right down the field and scoring.  The Falcons went 78 yards in 14 plays and got an 11-yard TD run from Greene to take a 7-0 lead.  The drive took under four minutes and the Boilermaker defense got an early look at how the Falcons like to play on offense.

A shotgun snap that went over Johnson's head led to a Purdue fumble recovery on the Falcons next drive and set the Boilermakers up at their own 25-yard line.  Blough ran the quarterback sneak for the last yard on fourth down and got his first career touchdown, and the game was tied 7-7

Bowling Green and Purdue would trade touchdowns early in the second quarter, on a Donovan Wilson two-yard run for the Falcons, and 45-yard touchdown pass from Blough to DeAngelo Yancey for Purdue.  The game was tied again at 14-14.

The Boilermakers looked like they were going to take the lead just before half, but Paul Griggs missed a 20-yard chip shot.  Worse yet, they left just over two minutes on the clock for the Falcon offense.  But Johnson and the Bowling Green offense didn't even need that long.  They marched 80 yards in just 1:19 to take the lead at half time 21-14.  That 10-point swing in the last two and half minutes of the first half gave the momentum back to the Falcons.

The Boilermakers took the ball first in the second half and scored to tie the game, 21-21 on a Jarrett Burgess five-yard touchdown run.  That was the only scoring for both teams in the third quarter.  The Falcons took the lead again, 28-21 on a four-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Ronnie Moore with eight and half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

It only took the Purdue two plays and 36 seconds to tie it up again when Blough hit Gregory Phillips hooked up for a 62-yard catch-and-run touchdown.  The score was tied at 28-28 and the two teams traded possessions before setting up Bowling Green's winning drive.

Bowling Green ended the game with 539 yards of total offense to 426 for Purdue.  That total seems almost disappointing to the Falcons after two straight games with over 600 yards of total offense.  The Falcons racked up 39 first downs to 25 for the Boilermakers.  Bowling Green continues to be plagued with penalties as they were flagged 10 times for 98 yards.

The Falcons remained undefeated all-time against Purdue with a 3-0 record.  They also are 2-0 this season against Big Ten opponents, after beating Maryland earlier in week two.

The Falcons even their record on the year to 2-2, after a tough non-conference schedule that saw them play three Power 5 teams (Tennessee, Maryland & Purdue), and maybe the best non-Power 5 team in the country in Memphis.  The Falcons will open play in the Mid-American Conference next Saturday traveling to Buffalo.