The last time Bowling Green lost to a Mid-American Conference east division opponent, you still had a chance to cast a vote for Mitt Romney for president. Well, the Ohio Bobcats broke the Falcons’ 17-game streak against that division with a 30-24 victory in Athens on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons had not lost a MAC east division game since 2012 against Buffalo. They had won three consecutive east titles and Ohio had finished in second place two of those years. So this win for Ohio had to be particularly satisfying.
Bobcat quarterback Greg Windham ran for a touchdown and threw for another as Ohio scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 23-7 lead at halftime. They pushed the lead to 30-10 with four minutes to go in the third quarter and then held off a late rally by the Falcons.
Windham came into the game as the better running option among the Bobcats quarterbacks, but he proved he could throw ball too against a Bowling Green defense that has struggled all year. Windham finished 20 of 27 for 190 yards passing, including a 15-yard scoring pass to Sebastia Smith. Windham also rushed for 43 yards on nine attempts, and had a 5-yard touchdown run. Maleek Irons led Ohio in rushing with 64 yards on 10 carries, including touchdowns runs of 17 and two yards.
The Bobcat defense created four turnovers on the day, intercepting Bowling Green quarterback James Morgan three times and also forced a Falcon fumble. Those turnovers were key as they led to three Bobcat scores.
Morgan, a redshirt freshman, finished 22 of 38 for 253 yards and two touchdowns, with those three interceptions. Fred Coppet led Bowling Green on the ground with 66 yards on 19 attempts, including an 8-yard touchdown. Teo Redding and Scott Miller led Bowling Green with six catches apiece and both caught a touchdown.
The Falcons made it interesting late in the fourth quarter, when Morgan threw a “Hail Mary” on fourth and 27 and the ball bounced off several player’s hands in the end zone and into the arms of Miller for the touchdown. The Falcons were down only six points with 1:24 left in the game. However, the Bobcats were able to recover the ensuing on-side kick and run the clock out.
The Falcons had 24 first downs compared to 22 for the Bobcats, but Ohio won the total yards battle, 386-367. The Bobcats also won the time of possession, 31:33 to 28:16.
The Bobcats improve to 4-2 overall and are in first place in the MAC east with a perfect 2-0 record. The Falcons fall to 1-5 and 0-2 in MAC play. The Falcons will travel to Toledo next Saturday to face rival Toledo, while Ohio will stay home to take on Eastern Michigan.