BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Fred Coppet ended his tenure at BGSU with a career-best 160 yards as the Bowling Green Falcons finished the 2016 season Friday with a 27-19 victory over the Buffalo Bulls at Doyt Perry Stadium. The Falcons' victory was their third in a row and marks the team's first season-ending three-game win streak since 2001.
Bowling Green's rushing attack thrived for the third straight game as the Falcons tallied 346 yards on 67 attempts. Three backs registered 100 or more yards for the second straight game. BGSU has 984 yards on the ground in the last three games – nearly as many (1,186) as they had in the first nine games.
It is the first time . . .
The Falcon offense continued to pile up yards in the first half but had a difficult time finishing drives. Three times, the team could not convert on fourth downs in Buffalo territory and midway through the second, the Bulls took advantage. Buffalo went 65 yards in two plays, the final of which was a 38-yard TD run by Jordan Johnson. The extra point was missed, but BGSU's lead was cut to 7-6.
Bowling Green answered right away. James Morgan hit Scott Miller on a 15-yard pass to get the team near midfield. Coppet then showed his burst by cutting upfield for a 52-yard touchdown scamper that gave the Falcons a 14-6 lead.
Buffalo scored another touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Grant Rohach to Jacob Martinez just before halftime. However, the Falcons continued to move the ball and added two short Jake Suder field goals in the third quarter for a 20-12 lead.
Following the second field goal, Rohach drove the Bulls to the BGSU 34 but was sacked for a 12-yard loss on a fourth down play. The Falcons drove the resulting 54 yards in eight plays, seven of which were running plays. Leonard Skattebo plowed into the end zone from one yard out for BGSU's final points of the day and a 27-12 lead. It was the first rushing touchdown of Skattebo's career.
The Bulls cut the lead to 27-19 on a four-play drive later in the quarter. Jamari Eiland finished with a 7-yard reception,
The hosts picked up three first downs on seven plays while moving to Buffalo’s 22-yard line before turning the ball over. Chris Ford recovered UB and the Bulls went on a final drive with 1:43 remaining.
Tavaraus Wade made a key tackle on a 14-yard Buffalo reception, leaving UB at the one-yard line.
With nine seconds remaining, a mishandled snap allowed BGSU to tackle Rohach and keep the clock running, but an injured Falcon stopped the clock with four seconds left.
Rohach managed to get off two more passes into the end zone – both intended for tight end Mason Schreck, but they fell incomplete and Bowling Green survived with a 27-19 win.
Buffalo finished with 401 yards of total offense. Rohach completed 20 of 35 for 334 yards with two TDs. Marcus McGill was the leading receiver, gathering six catches for 142 yards. Jacob Martinez and Eiland had scored receiving TDs. Johnson added a rushing TD and picked up 61 of UB’s 67 yards of rushing.
BGSU finished the game with 492 yards in 88 plays, including 146 passing yards from Morgan in 21 attempts.
Coppet amassed 160 yards and two touchdowns in 20 carries to surpass his previous single-game high of 141 set earlier this season. He surpassed 1,000 yards in a season for the first time (1,030) and scored eight rushing touchdowns. For his career, Coppet finishes with 2,833 yards (fifth all-time at BGSU) and 19 scores. His 1,030 net yards in 2016 tie Paul Miles in 1972 for the 10th most in a season in school history.
Wilson rushed 25 times for 107 yards and ends the season with 503, while Cleveland had 109 yards on 16 carries. His season concludes with 649 yards and a 6.43 yards per carry average, the fourth-highest average in program history.
Scott Miller caught six passes for 89 yards to lead BGSU and ends 2016 with a team-best 74 catches and 968 yards. Ronnie Moore caught two passes for ten yards in his final game with BGSU; his career ends with 198 catches and 2,701 yards, as well as a 42-game streak with at least one reception.
On defense, BGSU had 6.0 sacks, 9.0 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Tavaraus Wade and Trenton Greene led the team with eight tackles, and Greene had two sacks and a fumble recovery. Terrance Bush, Gus Schwieterman, David Konowalski and Shannon Smith added quarterback sacks to the total.
The six sacks are the most for a Falcon team since recording seven in a 21-7 win over Buffalo on Nov. 23, 2012 in a home game played at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Bowling Green concludes the 2016 season with a 4-8 record and a 3-5 mark in the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons end the season with a three-game winning streak for the first time since beating Ohio, Northwestern and Toledo to end 2001.
Buffalo is 2-10 overall and 1-7 in the MAC.
(Courtesy of BGSU Athletics/MRO Edit)