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Offense a game apart, and that’s not good

Defense? Check.

Special teams? Check.

Enthusiastic crowd? Check.

Offense … well …

Bowling Green football coach Urban Meyer lauded everything except his offense in Saturday’s 24-21 loss to Miami. The game featured outstanding work from the defensive line and linebacker corps, hindering Miami’s running game and forcing them to the air (Miami quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did pass for 305 yards, however). It featured Robert Redd returning a punt for a touchdown, the first for BG in five years. It featured a crowd of nearly 27,000 people, spilling over into the north and south bleachers of Doyt Perry Stadium. The end zone seating has not been a popular place with fans recently. Meyer called the crowd “electric.”

“It was a great atmosphere for a college football game and probably one of the best I’ve ever been involved in,” Meyer said. “The student body came out in full force.”

The game also featured anemic performances by Falcon quarterbacks. Andy Sahm, Cole Magner and Josh Harris combined for just 185 yards through the air on 14-for-30 passing. Sahm was intercepted once.

“If I had to grade the effort from the beginning of the season to now, I don’t think we’re progressing (at quarterback),” Meyer said. “It was a disappointing game at the quarterback position Saturday.”

Redd’s fourth-quarter touchdown return was the fifth non-offensive touchdown for BG this season. It was the marquee performance of a special teams game that included seven punts by Pat Fleming, which tied a career high. His punt average was 46.6 yards, and he planted five punts inside the Miami 20, both career bests.

“I always tell our guys ‘Who wants the ball in the fourth quarter, who wants it with six minutes left in the game?’ Rob Redd kept coming up to me,” Meyer said. “If you say that, you’d better do something with (the ball) when I give it to you.”

As he had following the previous two losses, Meyer stressed the team’s effort was not an issue. Execution was.

“We’re not a productive team on offense right now, and that’s being addressed,” he said. “That’s a serious concern that we need to get better.”

BG will be the favored team for, most likely, the last time this season when they travel to Ohio to face the 1-7 Bobcats Saturday. Despite the fact that BG is one win away from clinching their first winning season in seven years, with Northwestern and Toledo – who have both been ranked this year – to follow, Meyer said there is no more urgency attached to playing Ohio.

“I think we’re trying to get our sixth win for a lot of reasons,” he said. “(Ohio) is a (Mid-American Conference) East opponent. If we win this game, we are by ourselves in third place and that’s pretty good.”

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