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November 30, 2023

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Week 12 breakdown: Falcons catching fire at right time

BGSU+getting+ready+to+take+the+field+against+Kent+State
Drake Harlett
BGSU getting ready to take the field against Kent State

The Bowling Green Falcons entered Wednesday night’s game in search of a few things- bowl eligibility and the ability to maintain the fire they’ve demonstrated on the field in recent weeks. 

Well they certainly did, as the Falcons walked out of Kent State with a dominant 49-19 win to achieve that accomplishment and also snag their fourth straight win, all in MAC play. 

 

Head coach Scot Loeffler was very pleased with the team’s performance from Wednesday night and felt like they were creative to adapt to some injuries and win the game. 

“I thought everyone played well, we’re going to find creative ways. With Terion [Stweart] being out, that’s normally a buck and a half that you’ve got to make up and he’s a really good football player,” said Loeffler. “So we had to find different ways to make up for the yardage that we lost with Terion and I thought T.K. [Ta’ron Keith] played superb. I think the first back to ever have 100 yards rushing and 100 yards in receptions.” Said Loeffler “I thought O.J. [Hiliare] played well. Abdul [Ibrahim] did some really good things. Austin’s [Osborne] always Mr. Reliable, and Harold [Fannin] was Harold, Finn [Hogan] played well, I thought we had just a lot of guys that contributed. That’s what we’re going to have to do one way or the other.” 

So far this yea, you cannot mention a Bowling Green win without mentioning two things: Consistency and turnovers. 

“The turnover battle is absolutely huge; focus and attention to detail,” said Loeffler. “Being able to dial in at that moment. Just like I said, to keep these guys to worry about the now rather than let’s worry about the future, worry about what happened in the past. Those are challenges right now. Now it’s constant, it’s in your hand constantly. You’re hearing noise constantly. So, you know, blocking out that noise and focusing on what you need to do is challenging. I think we’ve done a better job with that. But at the end of the day, it’s been the turnovers.”

A part of the trenches who leads the way on the defense is senior defensive lineman Dontrez Brown 

“It’s just the emphasis on getting the ball back,” said Brown. “That’s one of our every-game reminders is get the ball back as the defense. We practice it every day trying to force turnovers. Scout team does a good job giving us a good look and we just always trying to get the ball back.” 

Loeffler, as just mentioned, preached a lot about Wednesday’s performance from all sides of the ball.

But that game for BG? It’s over.

Now it’s time for the next-

Toledo. 

“We talk about this every day; this is a big game for both programs, it’s why it’s a rivalry game,” said Loeffler. “I know they [Toledo] emphasize it, we emphasize it, and that’s why this game is special. You know both teams are working 365 days a year to play in this and to perform well. So yeah, it’s an exciting rivalry game and that’s what makes college football awesome.” 

It’s a special rivalry to Loeffler, his coaches, his players,  as well as the Bowling Green and Toledo communities. But with it being such a short week to prepare, he wished it was played on a Saturday. 

“I really wish this thing was on Saturday and it had a full week of preparation, but obviously him [Jason Candle] and I don’t make the schedules,” said Loeffler. “But you know, I wish it was a regular seven-day week and we really wish this thing was on Saturday. It’s what college football looks like and it’s good for the Toledo businesses, it’s good for the Bowling Green businesses,” said Loeffler “But you know, we had a great crowd up there at Toledo last year. They had a great crowd. We brought a lot of people up there and I’m hoping that the stadium is full of brown and orange, so it’d be great.” 

Loeffler, even when asked about being bowl eligible, is very pleased, but says he’ll worry about that in a few weeks.

Keeping the trophy south on I-75 is more important to him right now. 

“Yeah it’s great, no question about it but we’ll worry about that in a couple of weeks,” said Loeffler. “It was great last night, it’s an accomplishment but we’ve got to be laser-focused on our task at hand here. It’s about the battle of the I-75 trophy and going to play against a super football team, so it’s going to be fun. Just like I said, I’m hoping that this place is packed and could have just a really good college football game.” 

Last year’s game between these two schools was more than just a good college football game. It was an absolute classic. 

For Keith, he scored the heroic game-winning touchdown a year ago in this game and loves to reflect on that moment but knows this is a new year and a new game. 

“Last year, it was a special moment. But we just got to focus on coming here and protecting our house. You know, just playing, focus on Toledo. What’s in the past is in the past and this is a new year,” said Keith on Thursday. 

A new year and a new game is right. Last year, as much fun as it was, is now in the past, and you have to defend what’s in front of you and when you have the 9-1 red-hot Toledo Rockets coming into town.

But every juggernaut has its kryptonite, and for Toledo, that’s been Scot Loeffler and Bowling Green.

Loeffler in his first year snapped Toledo’s nine-game winning streak in the series with a 20-7 win, and last year of course Bowling Green pulled out a miracle win in the closing seconds to defeat the soon-to-be MAC champions on their home turf. 

With Bowling Green also getting red hot and winning their fourth consecutive game, this game can go any way possible for both teams. 

So gear up, grab your popcorn, and get ready to watch one of the best rivalries in the country come Tuesday night. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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