By Ryan Strodtbeck
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO– When it rains it pours and right now for the Bowling Green State University Falcons, it doesn’t look like the storm is going to pass anytime soon. On the bright side, the Falcons have nowhere to go but up.
The Falcons would end up dropping its home opener to the University of South Dakota Coyotes by a score of 35-27.
Head Coach Mike Jinks wasn’t pleased with the way his team played last week but saw potential in his young team, however, the team took a step backwards against South Dakota.
Coming into the weekend matchup, the Coyotes had only won one of their previous 10 meetings against FBSs school in the least eight years. That lone win came against Minnesota back in 2010.
A slow start is ultimately what hurt the Falcons. The team had a promising open drive of the game stall and were forced to punt, but Joe Davidson pinned South Dakota on their own one-yard line. On the first drive of the game for South Dakota, it seemed as though they had everything working for them as they drove down the field and scored a touchdown on a two-yard run from quarterback Chris Streveler.
That would not be all we heard from Streveler on the night, especially coming from his run ability.
Bowling Green began drive down the field with just under four-minutes left in the first quarter and get a touchdown before it was called back for offensive holding. They would settle for a 30-yard field goal from Jake Suder.
The ensuing possession from the Coyotes, Streveler threw a 72-yard strike to Kody Case and open up a 14-3 lead over the Falcons. Then on the kickoff following the touchdown, the Falcons would mishandle the kick, and the Coyotes would take over in BGSU territory. South Dakota scored on another Streveler two-yard quarterback keeper. After one-quarter of play, the Falcons found themselves in a hole down 21-3 against the University of South Dakota.
Jake Suder, one of the lone bright spots for the Falcons, would add two field goals in the second quarter and the Falcon defense would hold their own, as BGSU would head into the locker room tailing, 21-9.
In the third quarter, the Falcon offense could not find anything to go as they struggled all throughout the game. They would eventually get their first offensive touchdown of the year as the Falcons would try to battle back.
That touchdown came on a nine-yard throw from James Morgan to Teo Redding. However, the Falcons were down at this point 28-9 before that touchdown because Streveler ran another one in from four yards out. At the end of three-quarters, the Falcons trailed, 28-16.
Opening up the fourth quarter ,the Falcons got another touchdown as James Morgan dropped one into Scottie Miller’s hands before it was called back on the play by another penalty. The Falcons on the night had three touchdowns called back due to penalties.
BGSU settled for another field goal, making the score 28-19 with just over 12 minutes left on the clock. The Coyotes put the danger in the soul of the Falcons with a 14-yard one from Michael Fredrick.
The Falcons got more touchdown late in the game on a 20-yard pass from Morgan to Miller but it proved to be too little too late as the University of South Dakota captured its second win over an FBS School in eight years and 11 tries.
After the game, BGSU coach Mike Jinks was obviously not happy with the way his team performed.
“Those are games you are supposed to win,” Jinks said. “We had three touchdowns called back and you can’t win like that. Hats off to [South Dakota] they just wanted it more tonight.”
On the night Streveler would finish 19-of-34 for 306 yards and one touchdown pass. He also had 23 rushing attempts for 130 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Coyotes in the air and on the ground.
James Morgan, on the other hand, would wind up 21-for-50 with 315 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
One positive for the Falcons to take away from tonight is that their kicking proved to be very effective tonight. Jake Suder finished 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with the distances being 30, 27, 40, and 38 yards respectively. Joe Davidson finished with six punts for an average of 46.5 yards per punt and two punts inside the 20.
The Falcons had high hopes coming into this week after a decent start against Michigan State, however, they seemed to take a step backwards against USD and now will travel on the road to face a very tough Northwestern team next week. Things could get ugly in Bowling Green real fast if BGSU doesn’t figure out a way to improve and do it fast.