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April 18, 2024

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BG falls in final minutes

It only took one play for the BGSU football team to lose their hopes of defeating Western Michigan.

Senior cornerback Ron Rogers intercepted a pass by junior Andy Sahm with 1:15 left in the game and ran it back for a 40-yard touchdown return to give the Broncos a 37-28 Homecoming victory.

That was the play that decided the game. The Falcons had just gained a first down and had the clock on their side. All they needed to do was to move the ball into field goal range to win the game.

This task proved to be harder then it seemed.

“Without question it was an exciting football game,” said Western Michigan head coach Gary Darnell. “It was everything we could possibly handle. When a defense scores points it changes the complexion of the game.”

“I think with all due respect to coach Darnell and Western Michigan they were a better team,” said head coach Urban Meyer. ” I thought it was a great football game. That was not a good game by Bowling Green. I thought there were some great efforts. I thought the try to was there, the effort was there, but you can’t have those kind of penalties and turnovers and still be in a ball game.”

The Falcons had a season-high 90 penalty yards.

“The penalties can’t happen,” Meyer said “Right now our goal to win each week is you have to play great defense. We’re not good enough on the other side of the ball to get in a shoot-out and win a game. You have to stop someone and we didn’t stop them.”

Going into Saturday’s game the Falcons had the third-highest number of non-offensive touchdowns in the country with only four and were ranked fifth in the nation in turnover margin.

BG turned the ball over four times (three interceptions and one fumble) opposed to the Broncos one forced fumble.

“Anytime you have the turnovers like we had the score probably could have been worse,” Meyer said. “We can’t have those kind of turnovers.”

Despite the penalties, turnovers and bad weather (rain) the Falcons had a season-high 419 yards of total offense including a season-high 217 yards rushing.

“I thought we ran the ball well,” Meyer said. “(John) Gibson had 116 yards. We rushed for 217 yards against a very good defense.”

The Broncos got on the board first on a 45-yard touchdown pass 21 seconds into the game, but the Falcons came right back. Sahm had a 17-yard touchdown run to tie the game 7-7.

However, the game did not remain tied for long as the Broncos kicked a field goal on their next possession to give them a 10-7 lead.

Both teams punted the ball two times before senior defensive back Sergio Lund forced a Western Michigan fumble. Senior linebacker Khary Campbell recovered the fumble and ran it back 34 yards.

On the next play Sahm threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Robert Redd to give the Falcons a 14-10 lead.

BG did not regain the lead the rest of the game and Western Michigan scored one more touchdown, but missed the extra point to give them a 16-14 lead a half-time.

The Falcons had 177 yards of total offense at half-time opposed to the Broncos 175.

Western Michigan came on strong in the second half of the game scoring two touchdowns, one on a 21-yard fumble return and one on a 14-yard pass, to increase their lead to 30-14.

The Falcons came back from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter with a 60-yard drive. Sahm scored a one-yard touchdown run with 5:59 left in the game after sophomore quarterback Josh Harris had a 12-yard touchdown run. The touchdown was set up by a career-long 41-yard run by senior tailback John Gibson.

BG only trailed by two points, 28-30, until the interception return that decided the game.

“Bowling Green is a great team,” Ron Rogers said. “They work hard. They play hard. They never give up.”

The Falcons are now 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference, while the Broncos improved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the MAC.

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