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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Falcons beat Zips; now 5-2

AKRON, Ohio – Last year, Akron came into Bowling Green for their Homecoming game, stuffed the Falcons on two, fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter, and left with a narrow win.

This year, BG came to Akron for their Homecoming game, stuffed the Zips on two fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter, and left with a narrow win, 16-11.

Revenge, in this case, is semi-sweet.

Like last year, this game was winnable for the losing team. Akron put together three sustained drives in the first half, but came away with just three field goals. Akron kicker Zac Derr finished the game 3-for-3 from 38, 32 and 26 yards.

“Those three field goals could have been 21 points very easily,” BG coach Urban Meyer said. “Then, we might not be sitting here (after the game) with smiles on our faces.”

The Falcon defense kept the Zips out of the end zone, in large part, due to another multiple-takeaway game. They intercepted Akron quaterback Charlie Frye three times.

“BG brought a lot more heat the closer we got to the end zone,” Frye said.

The Falcons took a bite out of Akron’s lead on the shoulders of freshman Cole Magner, who scampered 23 yards up the right sideline in the second quarter to make it 9-7 Akron.

Magner, playing both in the backfield and under center because injuries kept quaterback Josh Harris out, and limited quarterback Andy Sahm and running back Joe Alls, rushed 14 times for 86 yards. He completed two of three pass attempts.

“It was easy to run with with the blocking I had,” Magner said. “I’ve been working hard in practice all week, (the coaching staff) prepared me well.”

The Falcons tied the game early in the third quarter on a safety when Akron running back Junior McCray was tackled in the end zone. The diminutive McCray, a junior who stands just 5-4, led the Zips with 62 yards on 20 carries.

BG took the lead later in the quater when Sahm found Robert Redd in the corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 16-9.

The BG defense then took over, halting the Zips deep inside Falcon territory.

On the ensuing BG drive, however, Akron made the game’s end a little dicey when they corraled Sahm in the end zone for a safety. It was ruled that Sahm threw the ball away for intentional grounding–an automatic safety if done in the end zone.

Akron’s last chance for a rally ended on the next drive, an incomplete pass on fourth down.

“I’m spent. I don’t have any emotion left from the last two weeks,” Akron coach Lee Owens said. The Zips have effectively seen any chance of a division title end with back-to-back losses. “The thing is, I don’t want our team to get discouraged.”

BG improved to 5-2 overall, 3-2 in the Mid-American Conference. They will be idle next week before facing Miami in Doyt Perry Stadium Nov. 4. Akron dropped to 2-5 overall, 2-2 in the MAC. They will travel to Marshall next week.


This is now the fourth time in the last 15 games BG has not allowed a touchdown. The last time was the 35-0 win over Buffalo Sept. 8 . This is the seventh straight game BG has held their opponent to under 100 yards rushing. Akron finished with 85 yards on 35 attempts. BG entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in rushing defense.

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