Game notes: Football vs Akron

Maxwell Marko and Maxwell Marko

Bowling Green football goes up against an Akron team that is 0-8 on the year. This is the first time BGSU has been favored against a FBS school in two years. Read about why from Shayne Nissen before kickoff. 

Fellow first-year head coach Tom Arth and the Zips start Kato Nelson at quarterback. In six games this year, Nelson has 106 completions with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. 

Nelson is also a formidable rusher for the Zips. On 65 attempts he has a rushing total of 136 yards. 

Grant Loy returns to the QB position. Behind him will be the running back committee of Andrew Clair and Bryson Denley. Both have dealt with injuries, so it is unclear how much they can consistently contribute.  

Offensive lineman Caleb Bright, running back Davon Jones, safety Jamari Bozeman and defensive tackle DeMontae Haigler are all out for today’s game.

During senior day festivities Jamari Bozeman, Austin Dorris, Melvin Jackson III, David Konowalski, Jack Kramer, Nico Lautanen, RB Marlow III, Brandon Perce, Antonyo Sotolongo, Matt Tanner, Grant Tinnerman, Darius Wade and Jordan Wayne-Prather were all honored alongside their parents. 

First Quarter

Bowling Green won the coin toss and elected to defer. They’ll receive to start the second half.

Nelson completes a 10-yard pass to Nate Stewart to move Akron to their own 45 yard line. A facemask penalty on the next set of downs brings the Zips into BG territory. Two stops behind the line of scrimmage would stop the Zips from entering the end zone.

Cory Smigel hits a 35-yard field goal to give Akron the lead. 

Akron leads 3-0. 

A botched onside kick puts Bowling Green at their own 44 yard line. Loy is sacked on third and 14 and the Falcons will have to punt. Matt Naranjo gets a can’t hold on to the snap and is tackled in the backfield. Zips start with the ball at the BG 32 yard line. 

The second red zone stop of the first quarter for the Falcons limits the Zips to just three points as Smigel hits a 35-yard field goal. 

Akron leads 6-0. 

Another low kick by Akron is scooped off the turf by Presley Motes at the 25-yard line. Loy continues to feel the pressure from the front seven of the Zips, he’s had to roll out and throw some passes away.

A big play to Quintin Morris down the sideline puts the Falcons at the three-yard line. A 44 yard reception to Morris. A good read from Loy, as he spotted Morris between defensive backs. 

Andrew Clair scores on the ensuing two-yard rush to give Bowling Green the lead. An eight play drive for 72 yards. 

Bowling Green leads 7-6.

The Zips go three-and-out on their next drive. Karl Brooks brought Nelson down in the backfield for a nine-yard loss. A short punt from Jonah Wieland puts the Falcons at the 45-yard line. 

A holding and false start call brings BGSU back to the 36-yard line and they’ll be forced to punt right back to Akron. 

At the end of one quarter, Loy has gained 60 yards through the air, while Morris and Dorris have 60 combined receiving yards. 

End of the first quarter: BGSU leads 7-6.

Second Quarter

Falcons start their first drive of the second quarter at their own 30-yard line. A 20-yard screen pass to Clair gets them to midfield, but Bowling Green gets stood up on the next three plays and punts the ball away. 

Akron, pinned to their own nine-yard line, elects to go with a screen pass, but it gets blown up for a one-yard loss. Corner Davin Wilson jumps a route on third down and intercepts the pass to put BGSU at the 20-yard line. 

A quick-paced drive heavy on the rush allows the Falcons to sneak in a deceptive touchdown pass to Morris. A two-yard completion which went over the heads of the entire Akron defensive-front.

Bowling Green leads 14-6. 

On the second play of the Akron drive, Brooks intercepts a pass over the middle of the field and returns it to the Akron eight-yard line.

Loy rushes in from six yards out for Bowling Green’s third touchdown of the day.

Bowling Green leads 21-6. 

In what seems to be a continuing theme when kicking into the wind, Nate Needham decides to roll the kickoff up the middle of the field. Zips collect at the own 35-yard line. Brooks continues his strong day with a sack on third down and forces Akron to punt. The Falcons respond with a punt of their own after a three-and-out. 

After a promising start to their next drive, Akron is pushed back after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty brings the ball back to their own 45-yard line. Konowalski and Brooks come together to sack Nelson.

BGSU gets the ball back with about 1:37 left in the first half. In their last ditch effort to put points on the board before the end of the half, the Falcons couldn’t get anything going. Akron gets the ball back, but their hail mary attempt goes for naught. 

End of the second quarter: BGSU leads 21-6

Third Quarter

Bowling Green receives the ball to start the second half. Julian Ortega-Jones collects a 19-yard reception to pick up steam for the Falcons. They work the ground for the rest of the drive. Clair picks up 19 yards on seven carries, but not enough to pick up a first. On fourth down, BGSU tries to convert with a touchdown strike, but Alvin Davis breaks up a potential Morris grab. 

With the Zips on their own 22-yard line, Perce breaks up a pass on third down and Akron punts. 

Falcons run the ball on third and 10. Clair gets wrapped up immediately and the ball goes the other way on a Naranjo punt. 

Nelson fumbles the ball deep in Akron territory. Konowalski recovers and the Falcons take over on the 6-yard line. 

Bryson Denley pushes through the line for the touchdown on the ensuing drive. 

Bowling Green leads 28-6.

The Falcon secondary continues to annoy the wideouts of Akron. Two pass breakups from Caleb Biggers and company set up another three-and-out for the Zips. 

Rain sets in at Doyt Perry Stadium as the Falcons take over on offense with 4:08 left in the third quarter. They get a second life on their next drive as a running into the kicker penalty will bring the offense back out. 

Marlow III couldn’t grab a deep shot down the near sideline and despite the second opportunity, Bowling Green punts again. 

However, this time a muffed snap falls right in front of the Zips and they get the ball on the BGSU side of the field. 

End of the Third Quarter: BGSU leads 28-6. 

A snap is fumbled on fourth down by Nelson, but he recovers. Unfortunately, Jerry Roberts and Konowalski pounce on him 17 yards in the backfield.

An angry run from Denley brings Bowling Green on the cusp of the redzone, at the 23-yard line. Denley and Clair team up to take care of the rest of the field. A 4-yard Clair rush is what caps off the touchdown drive. 

Bowling Green leads 35-6. 

Denley and Clair have now combined for 132 yards rushing to this point. The duo have shared 43 rushing attempts on the day.

Quarterback hurries from Darren Anders and Konowalski allow the Bowling Green secondary to capitalize on third down and force another punt. 

With eight minutes remaining, Darius Wade enters the game at quarterback for the Falcons. A run-run-pass formula from BGSU doesn’t go anywhere and they punt. 

Naranjo, despite the ball slipping through his hands, collects himself and boots one to the Akron 10-yard line.

T.J. DeShields enters the game at quarterback for the Zips. His third appearance on the season. He throws his second interception of the year on third down, as Ty Redding makes a leaping grab on the near sideline. 

Redding’s pick is the third of the game for the Falcons. BGSU, trying to burn as much time off the clock as possible, feeds Clair on three straight attempts. From fourth and three, Clair gets the first down.

BGSU runs out the rest of the clock.

Bowling Green now improves to 3-6 on the year and 2-3 in the MAC. 

Final: BGSU wins 35-6.