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The BG News
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November 30, 2023

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BGSU Football sets record high total offensive yards, Falcons bounce back from Indiana loss

Steven W. Echard

Matt Johnson runs the ball for his rushing touchdown in the second quarter Saturday.

The BG football team highlighted Family Weekend at the University with a 48-7 victory against the Murray State University Racers Saturday.

BG’s victory against the Racers was a shootout for the offense that failed to score a touchdown the previous week against the Indiana University Hoosiers.

“This was a game that we needed,” head coach Dave Clawson said. “We certainly didn’t play well a week ago and we had to bounce back. [As a coach], you want to make sure your team takes the opponent seriously and prepares the way they should prepare, and we prepared better this week than we prepared for Indiana.”

The Falcons amounted 660 total yards against the Racers Saturday, which eclipsed the team’s previous record under Clawson, which was set against the Kent State University Golden Flashes in the second week of the season.

BG quarterback Matt Johnson played for the first three quarters of the game. He completed 19 of his 22 passes for 244 yards, threw two touchdown passes, ran for 40 yards and scored one touchdown on the ground as well.

“The offensive line did a great job giving me a clean pocket,” Johnson said. “The receivers did a great job getting open. They read the coverage as well. They knew where they had to be and they made my job easier because I just had to play pitch-and-catch. The running backs did a good job in protection, too.”

Johnson’s 86.4 passing percentage marked the fifth best in BG history.

Redshirt freshman James Knapke threw his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard pass to Ronnie Moore to put the Falcons ahead 48-7 following the successful PAT attempt by kicker Tyler Tate.

BG’s running backs stepped up their game against Murray State as well. Running back Travis Greene ran for 45 yards in 11 attempts for an average of 3.9 yards per carry against Indiana but ran for 134 yards in 17 attempts for an average of 7.8 yards per carry against the Murray State Racers.

“Last week, it was a struggle offensively,” Greene said. “We just over thought the game and thought it was going to come easy to us. This week we got back to the basics and dominated today.”

Running back Andre Givens also improved his production with 47 yards in eight attempts averaging 5.9 yards per rush. This was 15 yards gained in three carries against the Indiana Hoosiers.

The Falcons had four rushing touchdowns against the Racers, each of which were scored by a different player. Johnson, Greene, Givens and running back Willie Houston had a touchdown Saturday.

“On offense, we were sharp, we converted third downs,” Clawson said. “So, again, we got back on track against a team that we should do that to. It’s a good win but now we’re back in the [Mid-American Conference] East next week. We’ve got to get ready for Akron.”

The Falcons return to Doyt Perry Stadium on Saturday as they take on the University of Akron Zips at 2:30 p.m.

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