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April 18, 2024

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Falcons improve to 4-1

Bowling Green went into Saturday’s homecoming game against Kent State with high hopes and came away with a 24-7 win, but not as large of a victory as they would have liked.

“I think any coach would have been disappointed,” said head coach Urban Meyer. “You want perfection. It just wasn’t a clean game on our end.”

The Falcons missed a field goal in the fourth quarter, threw an interception and had trouble scoring once in the red zone.

“We need to score,” Meyer said. “We had receivers open and we stalled at bad times. That score could have been a lot worse, but then you are facing a quality team.”

BG set a school record with 100 offensive plays opposed to the Golden Flashes 45, and held the ball for nearly three-quarters of the game (43:34 to 16:26).

“I thought we did a great job,” Meyer said. “You look at 43 minutes to 16 minutes of possession time. You look at the spread of the offense that took the ball and completely dominated possession time.”

After two unsuccessful drives by Kent State and one by the Falcons, BG finally got on the board. Junior quarterback Andy Sahm threw a five-yard pass to sophomore tight end D’Monn Baker with 3:42 left in the first quarter. It was Baker’s first career touchdown and put the Falcons on the board first, 7-0.

“The most important drive of the game was that first drive where we executed and then we turned it over, but we came back the next time and had a 14 play drive and scored,” Meyer said.

BG’s next drive was dominated by sophomore quarterback Josh Harris, who had back-to-back carries of 22 and 15 yards to place the ball on the Golden Flashes’ 10-yard line.

“When you step up in the pocket and there is nobody there, so you run,” Harris said. “You run as fast as you can and get as many yards as you can before people turn around and realize you have the ball.”

With 13:27 left in the first half, Harris ran into the end zone from one yard out to increase the Falcons’ lead to 14-0.

Senior defensive lineman Ryan Wingrove forced Kent State to fumble the ball on their next possession. Junior linebacker Chris Haneline recovered the ball for BG. Sahm led the Falcons down the field to the Kent 10-yard line, but was unable to produce a touchdown. Sophomore Shaun Suisham’s field goal extended the Falcons lead to 17-0.

“Bowling Green’s defense did a super job,” said head coach Dean Pees. “We could not make our minds up to do what they were doing to us on defense. If we blitzed them, they kept throwing down the field, and if we laid back then they just kept on running.”

Kent State fumbled on the their next two drives, but the Falcons were unable to produce a score.

However, on the Golden Flashes next possession they drove the ball 91 yards in eight plays to score on a nine-yard pass with 40 seconds left in the half.

The Falcons went into the locker room at half-time with a 17-7 lead over the Golden Flashes.

“The players took charge of the half-time locker room,” Meyer said. “I was pleased to see that. We have good seniors and they took charge of that half-time.”

BG started the second half with the ball, but turned it over to Kent State on an interception by Sahm.

“I was disappointed,” Sahm said. “I missed a couple wide open passes. That wasn’t me at all. I’m frustrated about that. I think we really threw the ball well at times, then we struggled at times. We had trouble sticking the ball in the endzone when we were in the red zone. I had some critical mistakes that cost us some points.”

The Golden Flashes were unable to capitalize and gave the ball back to the Falcons, who would score the final points of the game. Harris threw a five-yard pass to senior wide receiver Kurt Gerling, the first touchdown pass of Harris’s career.

“It’s homecoming at Bowling Green and the Bowling Green Falcons are 4-1,” Meyer said. “The whole week’s a lot better now because we won a game.”

The win improved BG to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

Note: BG is now 4-1 for the first time since 1994. Saturday’s victory clinches a winning home record for the Falcons this season. A first-half catch increased senior Kurt Gerling’s streak of consecutive games with a reception to 34. Senior Karl Rose had his fifth career interception in the fourth quarter. Junior Robert Redd matched his career-high with nine receptions. Sahm established a career-high with 21 completions, eclipsing his previous best of 20 set in 1999 against Toledo.

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