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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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87th Battle of I-75: Falcons look to tie series against Toledo

The BGSU Falcons football team looks to keep their shot at bowl eligibility alive on Nov. 10, as they take on rival Toledo in the Battle of I-75.

The Falcons (3-6) are fresh off a bye week, following a surprise upset victory over Buffalo on Oct. 30. The Rockets (4-5) have been reeling lately, losing three out of their last four games including a heartbreaking 52-49 loss at Eastern Michigan last Tuesday, Nov. 2.

This will be the 87th meeting in the series history, with Toledo holding the slimmest of edges with a 41-40-4 series record over the Falcons, who have the opportunity to re-tie the series with a victory.

Toledo has dominated the rivalry since 2010, as they have won ten out of the last eleven meetings, and trounced the Falcons in the Glass Bowl last year by a score of 38-3.

Bowling Green hopes to stay alive for bowl eligibility, as they sit at 3-6 and need a minimum of six wins to qualify for a bowl game. Getting there would mean a win over Toledo, a win at Miami on Nov. 16 and a win over Ohio at home on Nov. 26. The Falcons sit at the bottom of the MAC as well at 1-4 overall, but the win over Buffalo was a step in the right direction, as it was their first conference win since 2019.

As for Toledo, this season has been fairly disappointing as Jason Candle’s squad was expected to win the Mid-American Conference’s West Division, but sit at just 4-5 (2-3 MAC). They need to win two more games to get to a bowl game, but it shouldn’t be too tough of a task as they travel to Bowling Green before heading to Athens to take on Ohio, on Nov. 16, and then host Akron Nov. 27, to cap off the year. All three of those squads have a combined seven wins on the year.

Bowling Green’s offense, which had been fairly stagnant all year, turned the page against Buffalo and scored 56 points, and Falcon fans hope that is signs of things to come. Falcon quarterback Matt McDonald threw for 263 yards and scored five total touchdowns against Buffalo. On the year McDonald sits at over 2000 yards and a 10-7 touchdown to interception ratio. When going to the air, Austin Osborne (48 receptions, 393 yards, one touchdown), Christian Sims (34-367-2) and Tyrone Broden (31-543-5) have represented solid targets. Broden in particular was a huge part of the win over Buffalo hauling in passes for over 100 yards and two scores. Expect the Falcons to throw early and often against a solid Rocket defense.

Toledo might have a losing record, but they have had one of the better offenses in the country. Carter Bradley began the year as the quarterback, and while he wasn’t bad by any stretch, the Rockets switched over to DeQuan Finn in Oct. and he has been a good dual-threat quarterback for Toledo (1200 yards passing, 8-1 touchdown to interception ratio, 348 yards rushing, six touchdowns). Bryant Koback is probably the Rockets biggest weapon as the running back has racked up over 800 yards and the ground and almost 250 yards receiving with nine total touchdowns. Devin Maddox is the go-to guy for Finn, as he has hauled in 31 passes for 478 yards and three touchdowns.

The Falcons defense started off very strong, including a great performance against Minnesota, but they have been back on their heels lately. They rank 103rd in the country in scoring defense and 87th in yards per play. They also have been brutally bad on third down (100th in the country) and red zone defense (115th in the country). Linebacker Darren Anders has been a breakout star for the Falcons on defense, recording a MAC-best 91 tackles with 8.5 for loss and three sacks. The cornerback duo of Devin Taylor, a Virginia Tech transfer, and Davon Ferguson, a Kansas University transfer, have been solid against the pass in the secondary this year while Jordan Anderson has been an eraser at safety, recording 43 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups.

The Rocket defense has been very up-and-down, but they rank in the top fifty in the nation in most team defensive stats, including being number 19 in the nation in opponent yards per play. The Rockets run to the football as a team well, as they have four players with over 60 tackles. Desjuan Johnson has been big for Toledo, recording four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss while forcing two fumbles. Jamal Hines has been solid as well, with 62 tackles including four sacks and seven pass breakups.

The Falcons will be the underdog at home, but the last time they were underdogs at home against Toledo in 2019, they pulled off the shocking upset over the Rockets. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 10, at Doyt Perry Stadium. For more information, check out

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