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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Big wins don’t normally come on the first game of the season. But when you’re coming off a 4-8 season all wins are big, especially against a Big Ten opponent.

After their 32-31 victory over Minnesota, the Falcons look to be recovered.

“We played a lot of kids last year that weren’t ready to play,” BG coach Gregg Brandon said. “A lot of those kids came back and fought through the adversity.”

One of those ‘kids’ was probably Tyler Sheehan. The Falcons whole secondary could also take on that distinction.

Sheehan won the starting job in the offseason by proving that he could excel in Brandon’s pass-happy offense.

Last season he was a true freshman that was only put into pressure situations. He struggled, never throwing a touchdown pass.

Now Sheehan is the Mid-American Conference player of the Week, coming off a game in which he threw for 388 yards and two scores.

“He did a great job managing the game. That’s what we talk about with the quarterbacks all the time,” Brandon said. “Don’t try to put an ‘S’ on your chest.”

The secondary did a tremendous job in Saturday’s game too. They yielded just 188 yards passing and intercepted Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber twice.

They also nearly won the game by intercepting the Gophers’ Hail Mary attempt at the end of the game and tossing a series of laterals that would have rivaled the famous California-Stanford play had it gone all the way.

The victory was a much-needed boost for a team that’s not as popular as it used to be on campus. The athletic department had to scratch and claw to make an NCAA-mandated quota which required them to average 15,000 fans at every home game.

Now people have a reason to be excited, similar to the 2003 season when the Falcons beat Purdue to open the season in similar fashion.

“It was a great win for the team and a great win for the program,” BG Director of Athletics Greg Christopher said.

Perhaps overshadowed by the Appalachian State victory over No. 5 Michigan, the game did not receive a lot of national publicity. That’s what happens when you’re the second-biggest upset.

Nonetheless, the win gives the Falcons a great deal of credibility should they win seven or eight games this season. Whether or not they win the conference, beating a BCS school would have a big impact on the old farts who place teams in bowl games.

Most importantly the Falcons have proved that they’re serious about winning a MAC East title this season.

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