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September 21, 2023

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BGSU to play Miami University, hoping for another win

The BG football team is headed south to Oxford, Ohio Tuesday to take on the Miami University RedHawks in a midweek, classic Mid-American Conference rivalry battle on the grid iron.

This game will be the first for both teams since Oct. 26 when the Falcons lost a close game to the University of Toledo Rockets 28-25 at Doyt L. Perry Stadium and the RedHawks lost to the Ohio University Bobcats 41-16 at Peden Stadium in Athens.

BG was ahead 25-21 heading into Toledo’s final drive of the game, which would prove to be a game winner for the Rockets.

“Great football game with a disappointing result,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “They made the plays at the end that they needed to win the game. I love the heart and determination of our football team to come back. We showed a lot of guts and courage to come back and we put ourselves in a position to win.”

However, Miami was not able to keep its last game as close as the BG-Toledo game. The RedHawks found themselves down 24-10 at halftime against Ohio, but were only able to earn six more before the end of the game when Ohio defeated Miami 41-16 in the 2013 edition of the Battle of the Bricks.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose a rivalry game,” interim head coach Mike Bath said. “It was very disappointing in a different couple facets because I didn’t think we went out and performed the way we should’ve. We need to be better.”

Unlike BG, Miami has had a rough year on the football field. The RedHawks started the season 0-4 with losses against Marshall University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Illinois. Following the team’s fifth-straight loss of the season against Central Michigan University, head coach Don Treadwell was fired.

Since then, Miami has lost three-straight MAC games under Bath’s leadership. These losses were to three MAC-East teams including the University of Massachusetts Minutemen (17-10), the University Akron Zips (24-17) and Ohio University.

In the past four years, BG has won three of the four matchups with the RedHawks, including two of those wins being at Yager Stadium in Oxford.

“Obviously, they’ve struggled this year,” Clawson said. “I think when you watch a team that’s 0-8, you pick out the best things they do and say if they put this game together, they can certainly cause problems.”

The rivalry dates back to 1962 when BG and Miami first took the field in a 24-24 tie. Both teams have played nearly every year since then as members of the MAC and Miami leads the series 28-18-4.

The rivalry intensified in 2003 when the Falcons and RedHawks faced each other twice. The first came on Nov. 4 in Oxford when the No. 15 ranked RedHawks defeated the Falcons 33-10.

However, the two teams met up again in the MAC Championship game, which was held in BG. Despite a close first half, BG lost to the No. 15 ranked Miami team 49-27. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 440 yards and four touchdowns in the second meeting of the two teams in 2003.

Since 2003, BG has won four of the eight meetings with Miami including three of the past four games.

BG won 37-12 this past season at home and 37-23 in 2011 in Oxford. Miami’s last victory against BG came in 2010 during the infamous “fog game” when the RedHawks won on a last second field goal to give them the 24-21 win.

The last time Miami defeated BG in Oxford was on Oct. 13, 2007 when the Falcons won 47-14

“I believe we have a really good football team this year,” Clawson said. “We need to bounce back, we’ve still got a lot to play for. Certainly one of our goals every year is to get to November with a chance to win the MAC-East and win the MAC. Those goals are still in front of us.”

The game between BG and Miami is set for an 8 p.m. start on Tuesday in Oxford. Follow @BGNewsSports for live updates during the game at Yager Stadium.

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