Everyone knows that old adage about an unstoppable force and an immovable object. That theory was once again put to the test on Saturday, as the volatile Bowling Green offense (ranked 4th in the country) traveled to beautiful Kent, OH to play the Kent State Golden Flashes and their sneaky good top-10 overall defense.
At the end of the day, it was the unstoppable force that won the day, as the Bowling Green Falcons tightened their griphold on the MAC East by the final score of 48-0.
It was a dominant effort all around, and a testament to the power of the Bowling Green offense, which exploded for 602 yards on a Kent State defense that had averaged only 291 yards per game coming into this contest. Terrance Waugh, who is in the top five in the nation in sacks, had a tough time penetrating the offensive line of the Falcons until the game was well out of reach, and Demetrius Monday and Murray just could not compete against the plethora of receiving options that Bowling Green trotted out.
Matt Johnson is the catalyst behind this efficient offense, and his skillset was put on full display against one of the best defenses the Falcons have faced all season. Johnson went 27-of-40, for 430 yards and 6 total touchdowns (1 rushing) against Kent State. Johnson is just starting to sneak his way into the conversation about the conversation for potential Heisman candidates, and the numbers essentially make his case for him. Over the season, Johnson leads the nation in passing yards with 3321 yards and has a competitive touchdown to interception ratio, with 32 total touchdowns (29 through the air) to 3 interceptions.
In this game against Kent State, the quarterly breakdown really says it all. Johnson averaged 143 yards per quarter, and Johnson collected six scores on the day, averaging 1.6 touchdowns per quarter. Johnson’s numbers went up gradually every quarter (129, 160, 212) and threw on 29 just for fun in the fourth quarter before riding the pine early for the third game this season.
Johnson can thank his receivers for that, as eight different players had at least one reception, with
Roger Lewis (4 rec., 102 yards, two touchdowns) and Ronnie Moore (7 rec., 151 yards, two touchdowns) leading the way for the Falcons. Overall, seven receivers had at least two receptions, with four receivers going over 36 yards or more. These numbers are reflective of the BGSU totals, as six receivers have at least 15 receptions and eight receivers have 100 yards or more.
Roger Lewis has 1,020 yards coming into the game, placing him squarely in the top five receivers yards-wise in the nation, and surely will add to that as the seaosn progresses. BGSU has been able to achieve these numbers even despite the run game being somewhat limited; Travis Greene and Fred Coppett combined for 87 yards on 28 carries to average 3.1 yards per rush against Kent State in today’s action. What made this more incredible? Kent State only gave up 177.7 yards per game through the air prior to this contest.
The Falcons defense, which had been a scapegoat for the Falcons’ struggles in the non-conference season, has more than stepped up against MAC competition, allowing only 48 points from their three conference opponents, and pitching a shutout against the Golden Flashes. The Falcons gave newly appointed starter George Bollas fits, limiting him to 111 yards and two interceptions. The first quarter really told the story, with BGSU limiting Kent State to six plays for 31 yards. Kent State was held to 166 total yards, while only gaining ten first downs. BGSU also allowed won in the all-important time of possession battle thanks to the stoutness of the defense, which was aided by two interceptions (Eilar Hardy and Alfonso Mack).
The Falcons might not be eligible for the New Year’s Six or the College Football Playoff with two losses, but there is certainly the potential to finish the conference season undefeated, thanks in part to an offense that has outgained opponents by nearly 1000 yards, and a defense that is finally figuring out their identity as a unit.
The Orange and Brown will be a team to watch going forward into the conference season, and will definitely be a G5 power to watch in the coming year.