By: Ryan Strodtbeck
In a battle of second string quarterbacks, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) came away victorious. Bowling Green State University (BGSU) fell for the fourth straight week and are heading into Mid-American Conference play as the only team without a win in the conference.
On the plus side for Bowling Green, Jarett Doege looked impressive in his first start as a Falcon. In the three games leading up to the Middle Tennessee game James Morgan had not shown much improvement and looked shaky behind center. Coach Jinks decided it was a time to take a look at true freshman Jarett Doege. In his debut Doege completed 21 of 35 for 283 yards and one touchdown pass. Which is a step in the right direction in a positon that hasn’t seen stable play since Matt Johnson two years ago.
The Falcons would have plenty of opportunities against the Blue Raiders. Bad snaps and penalties hurt the Falcons in this game.
In the first quarter the Blue Raiders would get things started with a four-yard run from Jocquez Bruce. The Falcons would answer right back with a 60-yard touchdown pass from Doege to Scott Miller.
In the second quarter MTSU would open with a drive that ended in a one-yard John Urzua, who started in place of injured Brent Stockstill, touchdown pass to Ty Lee. Bowling Green would add a field goal in the second quarter, while Middle Tennessee would add another touchdown pass to make the score 21 to 10. BGSU would have the chance to add points right before the half ended. Andrew Claire would rush into the end zone in what would seem like a touchdown run for the Falcons, but it would be called back for holding. The Falcons would get back to the two-yard line and would face fourth down and goal to go. The Falcons would go for it, instead of kicking the field goal. The Falcons would fumble the snap, which would happen more than once throughout the night, and ended up turning the ball over.
In the second half, the name of the game would be defense. With each team trading a field goal and not much else happening. The Falcons dropped their fourth straight game and head into the MAC still searching for their first victory.
The problem for the Falcons tonight was once again on the offensive end. Despite an encouraging performance from Jarett Doege, the Falcons were unable to find any success on the ground. Josh Cleveland would be the leading rusher for the orange and brown with 32 yards on the ground with 38 yards on 12 carries, however as a team the Falcons would end up with a team total of one rushing yard. Which is a total role reversal from last year when the Falcons would run for over 300 yards vs Middle Tennessee.
The Falcons may have a better option at quarterback going forward, but without a decent running game the Falcons may fail to take off in the next coming weeks.
Bowling Green opens up MAC play Saturday against Akron on their home field. With no true team standing out in the MAC East early on Falcons still have a chance to prove themselves and complete for the title MAC East champs. IF the Falcons are looking for a reason for hope. The Miami Redhawks started 0-6 last year before winning their final six games and making it interesting in the MAC East.
With MAC play starting and the Falcons starting a new quarterback, Bowling Green looks to take advantage of a week conference division heading forward.