Doyt Perry Stadium -- Bowling Green, OH
By EVAN MEYER
As the 2016 Mid-American Conference football season draws to a close, Tuesday night’s game at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green matches two teams looking not only to end the campaign on a high note, but to gain some momentum heading into next season.
The homestanding Bowling Green State Falcons ended their seven-game losing streak last week when they traveled to Akron, defeating the Zips, 38-28, after scoring twice inside the last two minutes of regulation to secure victory.
Meanwhile, the Kent State Golden Flashes last week gave nationally ranked Western Michigan all it could handle until midway through the fourth quarter when the Broncos pulled away for a 37-21 win.
Here is more on the two teams:
LAST TIME OUT: The Golden Flashes were in action last Tuesday night when they fought the Western Michigan Broncos tooth and nail until midway through the fourth quarter. The Western Division leaders broke the game open with a safety and then a touchdown after a free kick to defeat KSU 37-21 at Dix Stadium.
It was a damp and chilly evening, so the running of QB Nick Holley was paramount to the Flashes offense. He responded with 141 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown, although he completed just 9-of-21 through the air for 73 yards.
The Flashes defense came up with a big play early in the game when DB Najee Murray picked up a fumble and ran 47 yards for a touchdown, while fellow DB Nick Cuthbert had a career high 19 tackles (11 solo).
KSU SEASON TO DATE: The Golden Flashes finished their non-conference schedule with a 1-3 record. The lone win came at home against Monmouth, while the losses were at Penn State, at defending National Champion Alabama, and to North Carolina A&T at home in four overtimes the longest game in school history.
KSU opened MAC play with a heartbreaking home loss to arch-rival Akron. Since then, the Flashes have gone 2-2 with losses at Miami and home to Ohio, while collecting wins at Buffalo and at CMU with a field goal as time expired. The Flashes end the season on Friday November 25th at home against Northern Illinois.
OFFENSE: KSU is averaging 21.9 points & 306.5 yards per game
RUSHING: Nick Holley 182 carries - 916 yards nine touchdowns
PASSING: Nick Holley 64-127-3 741 yards three touchdowns
RECEIVING: Justin Rankin 25 receptions - 308 yards – one touchdown
DEFENSE: The Flashes are allowing 27.1 points & 356.8 yds per game
TOTAL TACKLES: Nate Holley 80-31-111
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Terance Waugh 12-74 yards
SACKS: Waugh 8-58 yards
INTERCEPTIONS: Jerrell Foster 3-33
PUNTING: Derek Adams 57 – 39.9 avg. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Shane Hynes 15-20 FG / 24-24 PAT
KICK RETURNS: Kavious Price 8-20.4 yds per return
PUNT RETURNS: Zaquon Tyson 10-71
KSU NOTES: The BGSU game is KSU’s final road game of 2016. Kent State is 2-1 in MAC road games so far this season…QB Nick Holley has nine rushing touchdowns over his last five games and was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for 141 yards rushing and TD vs WMU…RB Justin Rankin scored his fourth touchdown of the season (third on the ground) in the fourth quarter against the Broncos… The KSU defense is 22nd in the Football Bowl Subdivision in turnover margin with a +7 (+8 in MAC play)…LB Nick Cuthbert’s 19 total tackles vs. WMU marked the first time a KSU linebacker has had that many stops in a game since 2007…Before the WMU game three of the four losses in MAC play were by a total of 12 points
THE SERIES: The game is the 84th in a series that began in 1920 with the Falcons holding a decisive 58-19-6 overall mark. The game will be the 41st in Bowling Green where the Falcons have a 25-11-4 mark against the Flashes…BGSU has won the last three meetings including last season’s 48-0 shutout win at Dix Stadium…KSU’s last win in the series was 2012 at BGSU 31-14 a victory that clinched the Eastern Division title for the Flashes
LAST TIME OUT: The Falcons ended their seven-game losing streak last Wednesday night when they traveled to Akron and defeated the Zips 38-28 at InfoCision Stadium. BGSU built a 28-10 lead early in the third quarter before UA scored 18 unanswered points tying the score 28-28 early in the fourth quarter.
Late in regulation, the Falcons got an interception that led to a Jake Suder field goal to give them the lead for good then the Zips fumbled a short kickoff, BGSU recovered and scored the winning touchdown on a 22-yard run by junior RB Donovan Wilson.
The key to the victory was a Falcons running game that totaled 218 total yards. Both Wilson (21 carries for 119 yards) and senior Fred Coppet (16 carries for 116 yards) each went over 100 yards and both had scores.
Redshirt freshman QB James Morgan was 11-for-23 passing for 105 yards, while the defense forced six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions). The defensive 11 was led by senior LB Trent Greene, who had eight tackles and sophomore DB Marcus Milton. He had a fumble return for a touchdown and his interception in the fourth quarter led to Suder’s field goal that put the Falcons ahead to stay.
BGSU SEASON TO DATE: Many in the pre-season MAC predictions tabbed the Falcons as winning the Eastern Division.
In the opener at Ohio State, they intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown early in the first quarter. From that point on, the Buckeyes outscored BGSU 77-3 ( a 77-10 loss) It would be a portent of things to come. After narrowly beating FCS member North Dakota a loss at Middle Tennessee started the Falcons on a long losing streak, which included a 77-3 drubbing at Memphis.
In MAC play, they had narrow losses at home against EMU and then on the road at Ohio and Toledo before significant setbacks to Miami and NIU. They end the season on Friday November 25th at home against Buffalo
OFFENSE: BGSU is averaging 22.9 points and 379.4 yards per game
RUSHING: Fred Coppet 165 carries – 765 yards two touchdowns
PASSING: James Morgan 189-281-13 1759 yds. 14 touchdowns
RECEIVING: Scott Miller 67 receptions - 872 yards 10 touchdowns
DEFENSE: The Falcons are allowing 43.4 points and 491.6 yards per game
TACKLES: Trenton Greene (48-48-96)
TACKLES FOR LOSSES: Gus Schwinterman 10 – 34 yards
SACKS: Schwinterman 4-21
INTERCEPTIONS: Jamari Bozeman with three
PASS BREAKUPS: Alfonso Mack - 5
PUNTING: Joe Davidson 56-45.7 yds. per kick
PLACE KICKING: Jake Suder 47 pts (7-10 FG/26-28 PAT)
KICK RETURNS: Scott Miller 19-17.7 yds. per return
PUNT RETURNS: Will Watson 9-63
FALCONS NOTES: The win over UA was the Falcons first over an FBS opponent since their victory over Northern Illinois in last December’s MAC Championship Game…WR Ronnie Moore has at least one reception in 40 consecutive games (eighth longest in the FBS) he had two against the Zips…RB Fred Coppet has 2,568 career rushing yards moving him into fifth place on BGSU’s all-time list thanks to his 116 yards against UA