"I thought it was a complete ball game by . . .
"Bowling Green is a physical football team. They played hard. I give them a lot of credit. It's not easy when things aren't going well and a few things go against you. They hang in there, and they battle. A lot of credit to those guys. In saying that, I really feel good about our guys and what they got accomplished not only today on the field, but through this whole pandemic and how they handled it."
Tuggle rumbled for a career-high 185 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, including a career-long run of 70 yards for a score. He posted his second career 100-yard rushing performance.
"It was nice to actually show the explosiveness that we have been talking about for the longest," said Tuggle of the offense's performance. "It was pretty good to put that on display, especially after this long period that we had off."
Ohio's defense has now logged five interceptions and six takeaways overall in the last two games, with redshirt junior free safety Alvin Floyd recording his third career interception and redshirt junior safety Tariq Drake redshirt freshman safety Jett Elad each notching their second career interceptions.
Coming off an 18-day layoff, the Bobcats earned their fifth-straight win over the Falcons, including their third-straight in games played at Peden Stadium in the series.
Ohio's defense allowed just 10 points for the second game in a row after posting a 24-10 win over Akron on Nov. 10. The stretch marks the fewest points the Bobcats have given up in back-to-back games since shutting out Austin Peay, 38-0, and knocking off Akron, 43-3, in 2013. Bowling Green's 10 points mark the fewest the Bobcats have allowed the Falcons to score against them since shutting them out, 24-0, on Oct. 18, 1997.
The Bobcats raced out a 45-10 halftime lead and never looked back. Ohio's 45 first-half points equaled the most scored in a half by the Bobcats in the Solich era, with the feat also occurring in a 59-14 triumph at Western Michigan in 2018.
Ohio set the tone with a seven-play, 54-yard scoring march on the first drive of the contest. A 20-yard scramble by redshirt freshman quarterback Kurtis Rourke and a 12-yard completion from Rourke to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Shane Hooks set up an eight-yard touchdown run by Tuggle.
After the Bobcats forced Bowling Green to go three-and-out on its first possession, Tuggle quickly made it a two-score game by scampering a career-long 70 yards for a touchdown on the first play of Ohio's ensuing drive.
"It was great blocking from my line, that is all I can say. Great blocking by the receivers," said Tuggle.
The Falcons got on the board with 44 seconds left in the first quarter as a 32-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore placekicker Nate Needham trimmed Bowling Green's deficit 11 points. That margin didn't hold for long, however, as redshirt junior running back Julian Ross ran the ensuing kickoff back a career-long 96 yards for a touchdown to help up the Ohio lead to 21-3. The return for a score marked the first for Ross in his career and gave Ohio multiple kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single season for the first time since the Bobcats returned three to the house in 2008.
Bowling Green responded with a five-play, 73-yard scoring drive to start the second quarter, with redshirt junior quarterback Matt McDonald capping it off with a 26-yard scoring strike to freshman wide receiver Javonte Kinsey.
Rourke retaliated by engineering a 15-play scoring drive that covered 75 yards, chewed nearly nine minutes off of the clock and ended with redshirt senior tight end Ryan Luehrman scoring on a five-yard reception. Rourke completed five passes on the drive and converted a 3rd-and-7 with a nine-yard run, a 3rd-and-5 with a 14-yard run and a 3rd-and-13 with a 13-yard completion to redshirt junior wide receiver Isiah Cox.
After another three-and-out for the Falcons, Rourke drove the Bobcats to the Bowling Green 29-yard line with completions of nine yards to Luehrman, six yards to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tyler Walton and nine-yards again to Luehrman to move the chains on a 3rd-and-5. Rourke was injured when he was hit on the third-down conversion to Luehrman, however, and was forced to exit the game. He was relieved by redshirt senior quarterback Armani Rogers, who scored on a 29-yard run on the next play, giving the transfer from UNLV his second rushing touchdown in as many games as a Bobcat.
Floyd quickly put an end to Bowling Green's next possession by picking off McDonald at the Falcons' 33-yard line. A 23-yard by Tuggle on Ohio's second play of the ensuing drive set the table for a Rogers to throw a two-yard touchdown to Luehrman, giving the Athens native his first career game with multiple touchdown receptions and seven receiving touchdowns for his career. The touchdown pass by Rogers marked his first as a Bobcat.
A Bowling Green drive was halted by an Ohio interception for the second possession in a row when Drake picked McDonald off at the Bobcats' 35-yard line and returned it 52 yards to the Bowling Green 13 with two seconds remaining in the half. Ohio sent out redshirt freshman placekicker Tristian Vandenberg to try a 30-yard field goal, and he converted to send the Bobcats into halftime with a 35-point advantage.
After forcing Bowling Green to punt on its first drive of the second half, the Bobcats moved 96 yards in 10 plays, with Tuggle taking the ball the final 43 yards for his third rushing touchdown of the afternoon. Tuggle accounted for 61 rushing yards on the drive while Rogers added 33 and a 12-yard completion to Luehrman.
The scoring march gave Ohio a 52-10 lead with just over seven minutes to play in the third quarter, and that score held for the remainder of the contest. The Bobcats allowed Bowling Green to manage just 41 yards over its final four drives of the game. Elad's interception on the second play of the fourth quarter highlighted the final 15 minutes of play.
Ohio finished the game with 436 total yards, and 355 of them came on the ground. In addition to Tuggle's effort, Rogers accounted for 65 rushing yards while Rourke added 43. Rourke finished the game 10-of-11 passing for 63 yards before leaving due to his injury.
For Bowling Green, McDoanld finished the game 9-of-20 passing for 125 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Senior tight end Quintin Morris led all receivers with six receptions for a game-high 69 receiving yards.
Redshirt junior running back Andrew Clair totaled 118 yards on 15 carries with a long run of 42 yards. Defensively, sophomore middle linebacker Darren Anders posted a game-high 13 total tackles for the Falcons, which included five solo stops and a tackle for loss.