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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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BG puts Marshall in past

Last week at this time, the Bowling Green football team was on a magic carpet ride. For the first time in 16 years, it was 3-0. It had upset teams from the Big 12 and Big East and already surpassed last year’s win total.

Then along came Marshall and Thundering Herd quarterback Byron Leftwich, who did his best John Elway impersonation in the second half Saturday. Leftwich rallied Marshall from an 11-point deficit to defeat the Falcons 37-31 in Huntington, W. Va.

The loss dropped BG to 1-1 in the Mid-American Conference and leaves Toledo as the only undefeated team in the MAC.

Head coach Urban Meyer must now deal with the first real letdown in his tenure.

“One of the most difficult things I have ever done was walk into that locker room afterward,” he said. “Marshall won the game. It wasn’t a case of us outplaying them and losing.”

Meyer said he called South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, who hired him at Notre Dame, and talked to him for about a half hour on how to get his team through their first brush with fallibility.

As the initial shock of the season’s first loss starts to wear off, he said there were some positives to be taken from the loss as they get set to take on Kent State.

“This is an indication of where we need to get,” he said. “Marshall knows how to win.”

In the days prior to the Golden Flashes’ arrival for a 2 p.m. homecoming kickoff Saturday, Meyer is stressing his belief that Kent should not be taken lightly. Despite the fact that they went 1-10 last year and despite the fact they have not won in BG since 1972, Meyer called Kent “one of the better teams in the conference.”

Whatever their final place in the MAC standings, Kent has beaten BG twice in their last four meetings.

Meyer is impressed by Kent’s true freshman quarterback Joshua Cribbs. Cribbs has started just two of the Flashes’ four games, but is still sixth in the MAC in total offense and 10th in pass efficiency. He also appears to be making a name for himself as a scrambler: He is sixth in the MAC in rushing, averaging 81.0 yards per game.

“They have a good receiver corps and several guys who can run, but the key is their quarterback,” he said. “He is very athletic. Athletic quarterbacks are the way to go.”

Running back John Gibson, who has become the pounding north-south runner the Falcons have been using to wear down opposing defensive lines in the second half, said the team needs to guard against letting a game slip by them this weekend.

“Kent played us really tough last year,” he said. “We have to make sure we don’t let one drop after a loss.”

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