After their loss to nationally ranked Florida, Falcons evaluate performance

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Jerry “Boo Boo” Gates, BG defensive back, comes in contact with a Morgan State player and pulls him back to stop the run in a game this past season.

Bowling Green held their own against then 23rd ranked Florida Gators in the swamp.

The Falcons got the lead early and kept it the entire first quarter with a 1-yard push from Running Back John Pettigrew to conclude a 12-play 89-yard drive.

Florida would respond with two touchdowns before the half to lead 14-7.

Bowling Green missed a chip-shot field goal that would have cut the lead to four just before the halftime whistle.

The Falcon defense handled the SEC powerhouse by keeping Florida quarterback to just 114 passing yards for one touchdown on 16 pass attempts.

The Falcons shut down Florida’s opening drive of the second half to immediately drive down the field for their second rushing touchdown of the game, this one credit to a 12-yard run from Running Back Anthon Samuel to tie the game at 14-14.

Samuel would later draw a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty due to excessive celebration, which would shorten the Falcons kickoff field.

Florida would respond with a field goal to enter the fourth quarter.

“I think when you play a game like this, the big key is to try to stay in the game as long as you can,” said Head Coach Dave Clawson. “You get to the fourth quarter with a chance to win.”

The fourth quarter favored the Gators as they converted a 3rd and seven into a 50-yard pass touchdown to stretch their lead to 24-14. They would later add another field goal and the Falcons would miss another short field goal to finish the game at 27-14.

Falcons’ special teams almost blocked a punt early and punter Brian Schmiedebusch had several long punts. Schmiedebusch also had a botched punt from his own endzone for only 10-yards which lead to a Gator field goal after a defensive stop.

Content with the performance but disappointed with the result, Quarterback Matt Schilz threw for 204 yards and an interception to his young receiving corps. Three Falcons receivers recorded their first career receptions in the game including Michigan transfer Je’Ron Stokes.

“We’re bummed,” said Schilz in the ESPN press conference. “We thought we had the game there against a really good team, so everyone is really bummed right now.”

Redshirted freshmen Chris Gallon and Ryan Burbrink led the Falcons in receiving with 6 receptions for 69 yards and 8 receptions for 45 yards respectively. Burbrink was named the Pizza Hut athlete of the week due to his ability to continue the drives and gain valuable first downs.

Stokes and Shaun Joplin each had 4 receptions for valuable yardage despite a few key dropped balls by Joplin, an all around impressive haul for the young receiving corps.

Samuel and Pettigrew controlled the run game for a total of 77 yards between the pair, showing a nice improvement in the run game from last season especially against a strong defense. Pettigrew was reigning MAC freshman of the year.

“We played them tough,” Schilz said. “But it’s still a loss.”