Two teams in the Mid-American West Division seemingly going in opposite directions, continued on their set paths Saturday, as the Miami Redhawks beat the home standing Bowling Green Falcons, 40-26.
The win was the second straight over a MAC east opponent for the Redhawks. They now stand 2-2 in the division and 2-6 overall. The Falcons drop to 0-4 and 1-7 overall. The defending MAC champs have not won a game against a FBS opponent this season. And, they now have lost two straight against the MAC east after not losing a divisional game in nearly three years.
It looked promising early on the for the Falcons, when on the third offensive play from scrimmage quarterback James Morgan hit wide receiver Scott Miller with a short pass that turned into a 72-yard touchdown. Bowling Green had a quick 7-0 lead.
The Redhawks would come back and tie the score later in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Alonzo Smith. The team would then trade field goals and the score was tied at 10-10.
It hard to say the turning point of the game would come with 10:53 left in the second quarter, but that’s how it felt after the ensuing series of events. After the game-tying field goal by the Redhawks, the Faclons’ Will Watson appeared to take the kick-off back for a touchdown. However, a block-in-the-back penalty wiped the touchdown out and set the Falcons up deep inside their own territory at the 10-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Morgan threw a swing pass to Ronnie Moore that was dropped and ruled a fumble since it was thrown backwards. The Falcons managed to come up with the ball during the scramble in the end zone, but the Redhawks had a safety and a 12-10 lead.
Miami would take the ensuing free kick by the Falcons at their own 42-yard line, and proceed to go 58 yards in 10 plays, capped by a Gus Ragland to Sam Shisso eight-yard touchdown pass. The Redhawks had a 19-10 lead, which proved to be a deficit the Falcons could never overcome.
Ragland had a nice game through the air for Miami, completing 22 of 35 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Kenny Young led a balanced Miami attack with 118 yards on the ground on only eight attempts. Wide receiver James Gardner led the Redhawks in receiving with 120 yards on nine receptions.
Morgan would finish 30 of 49 for Bowling Green, with 389 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Fred Coppet led the Falcons on the ground with just 49 yards on 10 carries. The Redhawks would outgain the Falcons on the ground, 214 to 57. Miller had another big day for the Falcons as he caught 11 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
The real story for Miami was their defense. They forced four Bowling Green turnovers that proved to be critical in the game. Meanwhile, the Bowling Green defense did little to stop the Redhawks throughout most of the game. Miami held a 38:39 to 21:21 advantage in time of possession on the game and seemed to come up with big plays whenever they needed them.
The Redhawks will now play at Eastern Michigan next Saturday, while Bowling Green will be off next weekend before traveling to DeKalb next Tuesday (November 1) evening to battle Northern Illinois.