BOWLING GREEN -- Miami rushed for 214 yards and Gus Ragland threw for three touchdowns as the RedHawks defeated host Bowling Green Saturday at Doyt Perry Stadium.
It was the second straight win for Miami, marking the first time MU has won back-to-back games since 2012. Both of this year's victories have come with Ragland at the helm. The redshirt sophomore battled his way back from a spring ACL injury to get his first career start last week against Kent State.
Ragland completed 22 of 35 passes for 215 yards and three scores this time around. He also netted 32 rushing yards despite getting sacked three times.
"Because he's a runner, he doesn't mind contact when guys get around him," Miami head coach Chuck Martin said. "He hangs in there -- even in the pass game."
Kenny Young, who scored the winning TD on a pass from Ragland a week earlier, came through with 118 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards against Bowling Green. Alonzo Smith and Spencer McGinnis scored rushing touchdowns.
Bowling Green did most of its . . .
Moments later, a lateral pass turned into a fumble in the end zone. Although it was recovereed by a Falcon, it gave Miami two points and possession on the ensuing kick. When Miami drove down for a touchdown, it completed a 16-point swing that started with a penalty.
Both teams were heavily penalized: Miami 10 times for 106 yards; Bowling Green 10 times for 104 yards.
Another key turn of events came in the fourth quarter. Down 33-26, Bowling Green had a first down at the Miami 34. Morgan then threw long. It was intercepted at the goal line by DeAndre Montgomery and returned to the Miami 36. One play later, Young broke off the left side for a 62-yard run that set MU up at the two. When Spencer McGinnis scored on a run, it gave MU a two-touchdown bulge with 7:23 left. The RedHawks then salted their victory away with two more interceptions.
"That's a big time play by a big time player who is only a sophomore and getting better and better every week," Martin said of the Montgomery pick. "That was at a point where they could easily cut it to one score, and be right back in it. ... Then he returns it out ... and gives us some breathing room. That's a huge play."
Miami evened the score at 7-7 later in the period on a Smith one-yard run, and the teams traded field goals before Miami went up 12-10 following the safety. Jake Suder hit a 44-yarder for the Falcons and MU's Nick Dowd connected from 28 yards out.
When Ragland hit Sam Shisso on an eight-yard TD at 5:48 of the second quarter, Miami had a 19-10 advantage. BG trimmed that to 19-17 with 3:15 left when Morgan capped a 92-yard drive with a 28-yard pass to Leonard Skattebo in the right corner.
Miami forced a quick three-and-out on Bowling Green’s first possession of the third quarter. It then drove 69 yards, finishing with a 15-yard Ragland-to-Smith pass play. Nick Dowd’s PAT gave Miami a 26-17 advantage.
Two possessions later, the Falcons moved 92 yards on seven plays for a score. Morgan found Miller on a 28-yard play for the TD. That pulled the hosts to within three at 26-23 as the PAT attempt failed.
Montgomery’s interception halted the Falcon’s best chance to tie the score and Miami added two more picks to put the game away.
"Our defense played through the ebbs and flows of the game," Martin said. "They had some moments when they were were great. They had some moments when they were disappointed. But every time they gave up a drive, they bounced back with two or three stops."
► Fred Coppet led Bowling Green rushers with 10 carries for 49 yards. Sophomore Scott Miller topped the Falcons receiving corps with 11 catches for 178 yards and two TDs. Ronnie Moore registered five receptions for 81 yards.
► Though shaken up a couple times, Miami receiver James Gardner led RedHawk receivers with nine catches for 120 yards.
► Junior Austin Valdez and DL David Konowalski led BG defenders with nine tackles apiece. Sophomore LB Bad Koenig paced the ‘Hawks with nine stops. Montgomery, T.J. Williams and Tony Reid had interceptions.