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September 21, 2023

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Three players set season highs for passing, rushing, receiving in victory at Kent State; team receives votes in two polls

The BG football team proved worthy of the nine top-25 votes it received this week in the Associated Press poll with a 41-22 victory against the Kent State University Golden Flashes Saturday in Kent, Ohio.

“It’s good to win a game like this,” head coach Dave Clawson said. “The last two years the defense have kind of carried us and that’s really the first game we had in two years that we struggled on defense, and the offense carried the team.”

Quarterback Matt Johnson made his first career start against the Golden Flashes and led the Falcons to a victory on every drive except the final drive. Johnson completed 19 of his 25 passes and collected 357 passing yards. The last time a BG quarterback threw for more than 300 yards in a game was last season’s matchup against Kent State when Matt Schilz threw for 355 yards. Schilz threw for 400 yards against Kent State in 2011, which was the last time a quarterback threw for more than Johnson’s 357 yards passing.

“We had a good game plan going in,” Johnson said. “After the first series, we saw that they weren’t doing anything different than what we practiced. So, we felt extremely confident and I felt extremely confident. There weren’t any tricks, there weren’t any surprises, so personally and as a team I think we felt pretty confident.”

Running back Travis Greene rushed for 146 yards against Kent State Saturday, which marked the first time a BG player ran for more than 100 yards since Anthon Samuel ran for 181 yards this past November against Ohio University. Greene’s 146 rushing yards was also the first time a BG player ran for more than 100 yards against Kent State since quarterback Tyler Sheehan ran for 109 yards against the Golden Flashes in 2008.

There were two wide receivers who were able to surpass the 100-yard receiving yard mark against the Golden Flashes Saturday: Shaun Joplin and Ryan Burbrink. Joplin led the team with 113 yards receiving on the day and marked the first time since the home game against the University of Idaho last season that he has hit the 100-yard mark and the first time since the this past meeting with Kent State that a BG receiver has reached the same plateau.

Thanks to a 92-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to wide receiver Ryan Burbrink, Burbrink was able to reach the 100-yard for the first time in his career, collecting 101 yards against Kent State Saturday.

“We had diagrammed that [play] all week,” Burbrink said. “I felt [Johnson] did all the work. He didn’t leave me in the backside, he led me over there and it was all on him.”

The Falcons’ victory against the Golden Flashes earned them their second victory on the season, seven votes in the AP Top 25 poll and three in the USA Today Top 25 poll.

BG will be traveling for the second straight week, this time at Indiana University. The 1-1 Hoosiers lost to the United States Naval Academy this past weekend and defeated Indiana State University in their first game.

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