It was a tale of two halves as the team's combined for 48 points in the first 30 minutes, but just 23 after halftime. It was also a thriller throughout, as the teams combined for seven lead changes.
The Falcons answered with a 75-yard drive of their own to tie the game. The 11-play drive took only 2:58 on the clock. James Knapke ran and passed for 56 yards, and Travis Greene ran three times for 15 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run to cap the possession.
BGSU closed the first quarter by holding Buffalo without a first down on its next possession, and the Falcons took over at their own 46 after a short punt. That allowed Bowling Green to move into position for Tyler Tate, who drilled a 32-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.
The teams traded the lead throughout the second quarter. Buffalo scored on a quick five-play drive with a touchdown pass from Licata to Ron Willoughby. Bowling Green reclaimed the lead less than three minutes later thanks to a one-yard plunge from Knapke, but the Bulls took it right back just four plays later on an eight-yard run by Taylor.
With 6:50 left in the first half, another shootout was brewing as Buffalo led, 21-17.
The scoring binge, however, was briefly interrupted by a surge of turnovers. The Bulls' Jake Stockman recovered a fumble by Ronnie Moore on the ensuing kickoff. The Falcons prevented a score when Gabe Martin intercepted Licata inside the BGSU five-yard line, but they gave it back to Buffalo when Knapke fumbled during a sack.
The Nick Gilbo recovery provided Buffalo with some momentum, and the Bulls cashed it in six plays later. Taylor carried the ball all six times, and he scored from one yard out for a 28-17 lead with just 2:02 left in the first half.
BGSU desperately needed a score, and the offense came through. Four Knapke completions covered 59 yards, and Tate buried another field goal, this time from 35 yards out. The Falcons went to halftime down just 28-20.
Bowling Green received the second half kickoff and wasted no time in cutting the Buffalo lead further. Fred Coppet busted a 35-yard run up the middle on the opening play. Two plays later, Knapke connected with Moore for a nine-yard touchdown. Tate's extra point pulled BGSU within 28-27.
At that point, the Falcons' defense took over as it pulled together for its most successful 15 minutes of football this season. The team allowed only one first down and 27 yards in Buffalo's 14 plays. More importantly, the Falcons allowed no points.
Meanwhile, the Bowling Green offense put together another scoring drive during the middle of the third quarter. This one covered 65 yards in 10 plays, and Tate finished it with another field goal. The shot from 31 yards out gave the Falcons a 30-28 lead.
Tate lined up for another field goal early in the fourth quarter, but before he could attempt the 40-yard kick, the Falcons were called for delay of game. After the penalty, Tate's 45 yard attempt was blocked. Buffalo used this swing to reclaim the lead.
The Bulls continued to pound the Falcon defense with their rushing attack. Taylor had four more carries on the drive, including runs of 14, 19 and 12. The final one went around the left end into the end zone and provided Buffalo with a 35-30 lead with just 8:38 to play in the game.
The Falcons failed to get more than one first down on their next possession, and it appeared that Buffalo would push across points to secure the game. The Bulls ran eight more times, including seven by Taylor. Patrick Clarke lined up for a 33-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bulls an eight-point lead, but he missed wide right.
The miss allowed BGSU to win the game with a touchdown, and as the offense did against Indiana, the Falcons made the most of the opportunity. Knapke found Moore for 40 yards down the left sideline to open the drive, then found him again one play later for 36 yards down the right side. Coppet bulldozed into the end zone from four yards out to complete a blazing fast four-play, 80-yard drive.
BGSU failed to convert their two-point attempt, but it still led 36-35 with 2:11 remaining. After UB returned the ensuing kickoff to the Bowling Green 48, the Falcons defense defense squashed the immediate threat as they held the Bulls to a loss of two yards on the first two downs and forced two Licata incompletions.
The offense took over on downs and ran out the clock to secure the one-point win.
The Falcons put together 508 yards of offense and ran 76 plays. The team gathered 321 through the air (8.2 per play) and 187 on the ground (5.1 per play). Bowling Green also converted six of 14 attempts on third down and seven of eight red zone chances.
The BGSU defense held Buffalo to 71 plays and 368 yards. The total defense was a season-best for the Falcons. The Bulls passed for only 134 yards. Buffalo was just 5-for-13 on third downs and only 5-for-7 in the red zone.
Knapke finished the day by going 20-for-39 with 321 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also had 10 carries for 56 yards and another score.
Greene and Coppet largely shared background duties and had very similar days. Greene ran for 74 yards, while Coppet amassed 61. Both had a touchdown run.
Moore caught nine of Knapke's passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. Greene and Ryan Burbrink each caught four passes.
Gabe Martin led the defense with 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. He also had an interception.
For Buffalo, Licata threw for 134 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He also had a rushing touchdown. Taylor carried 36 times for 219 yards and three scores. Willoughby led the Bulls' receivers with four catches for 34 yards, including a touchdown.
This marks the fourth consecutive thriller between Bowling Green and Buffalo at Doyt Perry Stadium. BGSU won in overtime in 2006, while the Bulls returned the favor in 2008. Buffalo won by two in 2010. The 2012 contest between the two was held in Columbus, Ohio.
Buffalo falls to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the MAC. Bowling Green is now 4-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Bulls return to the road for a matchup at Eastern Michigan next week (1 p.m. ET).
The Falcons will resume their season when they travel to Athens, Ohio to face the Ohio Bobcats (2 p.m. ET)