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February 22, 2024

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Falcons defeat Ohio 26-14 to extend their win streak

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Anthon Samuel, running back, dives for a touchdown against Eastern Michigan. Samuel had two touchdowns and 181 yards against Ohio Wednesday.

In a blacked-out Athens, only one team came out victorious.

The Falcons defeated the Bobcats 26-14 to continue their win streak to six games; the longest win-streak since 2004.

The Falcons defense and special teams really shined through under the national spotlight; not even ESPN nor the Bobcats special black-jerseys could distract them. The special teams resulted in one blocked punt and a safety, while the defense held the Bobcats to -4 yards in the second quarter.

The Bobcats had 244 yards of total offense, 167 of which came on the first drive of each half. Ohio opened the game with a 72-yard drive and a 95-yard drive on its first drive of the second half.

Ohio started off strong as Tyler Tettleton scrambled for a touchdown on the Bobcats’ first drive of the game, but stalled until the third quarter. Tettleton, despite being a dual-threat quarterback, never seemed comfortable in the pocket. Linebacker Gabe Martin and defensive tackle Chris Jones were always in the pocket making things uncomfortable for the all-conference quarterback.

“They’re a very good offense, it’s not an accident that they score 35-40 points a game,” Head Coach Dave Clawson said. “We knew they were going to make plays but I was really proud the way our defense stepped up after them and made some plays.”

Ohio’s special teams looked just as uncomfortable, as the punting team resulted in two blocked punts and two dropped snaps — the second resulting in the Cameron Truss safety. BG was able to capitalize on all the miscues for a 19-point second quarter.

Offensively the Falcons were full of run-plays. Anthon Samuel had 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns and really commanded the play clock. The offense ran several draw plays that were so effective, even the television crews were following the wrong player.

“I really was rested,” Samuel said. “I felt it was a minor setback for a major comeback. Over the two weeks I was just waiting patiently and looking at the other [running backs].”

The run game allowed quarterback Matt Schilz to stay in the pocket and only need to throw 17 times. Schilz had 91 yards and one touchdown on a 55 yard pass to Chris Gallon in the second quarter. Schilz, in shotgun, snapped the ball and immediately pump-faked to his right for a fake screen and, instead, had the option to hand it off to Samuel. Schilz pulled the ball up and threw it down the center of the field to a wide-open Gallon who jogged into the endzone. The play had the Bobcat defense confused enough to tackle both the wide-receiver Schilz pump-faked to and Samuel, while leaving Gallon untouched.

Kicker Tyler Tate would add a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter and punter Brian Schmiedebusch averaged over 50 yards a punt with a long of 57.

The win puts BG second in the MAC East, trailing Kent State who plays Miami this Saturday. Kent’s conference record is 5-0 compared the Falcons’ 5-1. BG hosts Kent in 10 days; the exact amount of time the Falcons had off before this win.

“Today, we were fresh and they weren’t,” Samuel said. “That’s what happened.”

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