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28 point third guides Toledo

The UT-BG rivalry game can simply be looked at as a tale of two halves.

After trailing by 20 points at halftime, Toledo scored 42 second-half points to come back and beat Bowling Green 49-41 Tuesday in the Glass Bowl.

The Rockets put together a masterful performance on offense, defense and special teams in the second half, and the Falcons watched hopelessly, unable to answer UT’s barrage.

“We just didn’t weather the storm,” said BG head coach Gregg Brandon. “We still had 30 minutes of football left and we didn’t get it done, we didn’t finish.”

Down 27-7 at the start of the third quarter, the Rockets came out of the locker room on fire. Facing a fourth and eight on BG’s 37-yard line, UT head coach Tom Amstutz decided to go for the jugular as Bruce Gradkowski hit a streaking Lance Moore down the sideline for a touchdown to begin the fireworks.

The result left Brandon stunned.

“Fourth and eight, you’ve got to be able to stop them,” he said.

BG went three and out on the next drive.

Gradkowski, who threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns, hit Scooter McDougle on a delayed screen that totaled 34-yards and put UT on the two-yard line. Gradkowski plunged over the line for a one-yard score to get the Rockets within six at 27-21.

After Shaun Suisham missed a 41-yard field goal off the right goal post, the Rockets offense stormed down the field.

A pass interference call on cornerback Terrill Mayberry moved UT down to the BG 36. Four plays later, Gradkowski connected with Steve Odom for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Rockets their first lead of the game at 28-27.

With BG needing to put points on the board, the offense started at its own 20. On the first play, Omar Jacobs hit Steve Sanders in the flat, but the ball was jarred loose by Keon Jackson and recovered by the Rockets at the 22.

Jalen Parmalee’s five-yard touchdown run gave the Rockets a 35-27 lead, bringing the third quarter to a close.

Safety Keon Newson spoke about the Falcons need to make a play to thwart the UT attack.

“As the game grows later and later, the need to make a play is kind of lingering in the back of everybody’s mind. Sometimes guys get into a situation where they’re trying to do too much and they’re overcompensating for other players when they don’t have to,” he said.

One devastating quarter of play saw the unstoppable BG offense stopped and the leading Mid-American Conference scoring defense run over as Toledo put up 28 unanswered third quarter points.

“I think they did a good job of mixing things up,” said Newson, who had three tackles and one interception. “(Toledo) found some weaknesses in our defense and attacked the right areas.”

The Falcon offense did not wake up until there was six minutes left in the game and they were desperate, trailing 42-27.

P.J. Pope caught a six-yard touchdown pass to get BG within eight, but Odom recovered the onside kick attempt, leading to a 31-yard McDougle touchdown run, his second score of the game.

Pope caught a five-yard touchdown as the Falcons hurried downfield for a quick score, but once again Odom recoverd the onside kick to finally put the game away.

BG’s offense was stymied throughout the second half and the team’s inability to respond to the huge momentum swing only furthered the Rockets assault.

“UT played great defense, they had a good scheme for us,” Jacobs said. “Obviously they did their homework. (They) made great second-half adjustments.”

From the opening minutes of the game, the Falcons appeared on track to dismantle Toledo after Cole Magner caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Omar Jacobs.

On the ensuing kickoff, Odom was leveled by Mike Crumpler, resulting in a fumble recovered by Daniel Sayles. Jacobs then found Sanders for a 17-yard gain on the next play, and Pope ran in for a one-yard touchdown to put BG up 14-0 with 12:58 remaining in the first.

But the Falcon offense had to settle for three field goal attempts on drives in the first half, two of which were successful. Those missed touchdown opportunities left the Rockets with a chance to get back in the game.

“That was in the back of my mind at halftime, that if we could have scored a couple touchdowns instead of kick field goals, we’d have put them away,” Brandon said. “But we let them hang around.”

Falcon Notes

Jacobs passed for 415 yards and four touchdowns … Pope ran for 98 yards and caught 10 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) … Magner had nine catches for 113 yards … Crumpler led the team with 11 tackles … BG had 554 total yards, but allowed 517 to UT after giving them only 172 yards at half.

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