It’s a long way to the top

COLUMBUS – Beating the top-ranked team in the country on the road would be an accomplishment for any program. Doing it with a youth-laden team from the Mid-American Conference would be a miracle.

For the Falcons, (3-3, 2-1) there was no miracle this past Saturday, as BG fell 35-7 at the hands of No. 1 ranked Ohio State.

Although BG left Columbus winless for the fourth time in the school’s history, coach Gregg Brandon saw a lot of positives on the field that the team can carry with them throughout the season.

“We’re still improving as a football team, and I was very encouraged by the effort,” Brandon said. “We struggle at times to finish plays and finish drives, but that’s the sign of a youthful team.”

Despite putting up only seven points, BG’s offense was productive against one of the top ranked defenses in the country. A balanced attack helped BG gain 339 yards of total offense, but poor field position made it difficult to put points on the board.

On the other side of the ball, OSU continually started drives near or past midfield due to failed directional punts or misplaced kickoffs by BG.

“Our kids fought with them and stood toe to toe, but we just didn’t win enough battles,” Brandon said. “It’s like war, you can’t give up ground, and we just gave up too much land. Their weapons create that because you just don’t want to kick it right to those guys.”

BG was able to pull within two scores with a touchdown drive to start the second half. Quarterback Anthony Turner completed six passes and rushed for 17 yards on the drive to lead the Falcons to their lone score. The touchdown catch was a one-handed, highlight reel grab by Corey Partridge, his first touchdown of the season.

“It was a great feeling, the best feeling in the world to score a touchdown in front of the Ohio State fans and make 100,000 people sit on their hands,” Partridge said.

Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. led the Buckeye offensive attack, using their speed and agility to carve though the Falcon defense. Ginn caught 10 passes for 122 yards, including a back-breaking 57 yard touchdown reception to put OSU up by 28 in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons now have their eyes set toward Homecoming this Saturday, when they’ll take on a win-less Eastern Michigan team at Doyt Perry Stadium.

The players, like coach Brandon, believe they can take a lot of good out their performance at OSU and apply it to this week and the weeks to come.

“The biggest thing we have to do from this is grow and carry it on to the MAC,” Turner said.