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Published: Sunday, 10/31/2004

Jacobs guides Falcons' romp

By JOHN WAGNER

BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The redshirt sophomore didn't have one of his best games in leading the Falcons to a 41-20 victory over Eastern Michigan at Perry Stadium yesterday. He threw for "only'' 333 yards and "just'' three touchdowns.

He didn't even surpass the 300-yard mark in passing yardage until the fourth quarter after easily reaching that target in three periods in his previous four contests.

But those numbers were more than enough for Bowling Green to secure its fifth straight win and improve its season record to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the MAC. Eastern Michigan saw its two-game win streak end, falling to 3-5 and 3-2.

"We're so used to seeing the domination, but shoot, we won by 21 points,'' said BG coach Gregg Brandon. "We're looking for problems, and we don't have too many problems right now."

Jacobs' final numbers included 30-of-44 passing for 333 yards and three TDs. The 30 completions were one short of his season high against Central Michigan two weeks ago, while his 333 passing yards were his fourth-best total this year.

"Personally, I don't think I played that well in this game compared to the rest of my games,'' Jacobs said. "I was disappointed in some of the balls that I threw. I'd give it a C [grade]. I thought I was average.''

Jacobs had the hot hand early, connecting on nine of his first 11 pass attempts to lead the Falcons to a pair of touchdowns. BG took the opening kickoff and drove 68 yards in nine plays to score, with Jacobs completing 4-of-5 passes on that drive. His last pass was a 12-yard TD toss on a slant to Charles Sharon.

After forcing Eastern Michigan to punt, the Falcons scored again thanks to another 68-yard drive, this one taking 11 plays. Jacobs connected on 5-of-6 passes for 50 yards, capping the drive with an eight-yard scoring pass to Todd DiBacco for the senior tight end's first career TD catch.

Meanwhile, the Bowling Green defense was busy handcuffing the EMU offense in the first half. The Eagles managed just 156 yards of total offense on 30 plays, and 106 of those yards came on two long pass plays, each of which led to scores.

The first long pass was a 64-yard bomb from Matt Bohnet to Eric Deslauriers that set up Eastern Michigan's lone first-half touchdown. Two BG penalties also aided that drive as the Eagles scored on a two-yard plunge by Anthony Sherrell.

But the Falcons responded by re-establishing a two-touchdown advantage, driving 91 yards on seven plays. Bowling Green covered all 91 yards through the air, with Jacobs completing 6 of 7 passes. The drive's final pass was a 24-yard TD strike to Sharon.

The Falcons took a 24-10 lead into the locker room at the half when Shaun Suisham made a 21-yard field goal with just 9.7 second to play.

The Bowling Green offense struggled in the second half. It did manage to set up a pair of field goal attempts, with Suis-

ham connecting on a 23-yard kick midway through the third quarter and missing from 35 yards early in the final period.

"We moved the ball all night, but we had some problems in the red zone,'' said Brandon, noting that BG finished with 501 yards of total offense. "We had some trouble getting off man coverage [in the red zone], and that surprises me."

The Falcons' only third-quarter touchdown came when defensive end Mitchell Crossley stepped in front of a Bohnet lateral and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.

Eastern Michigan made things interesting with a field goal by Andrew Wellock near the end of the third quarter and an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard scoring strike from Bohnet to Deslauriers with 11:16 in the game. Those scores cut BG's advantage to 34-20.

After forcing a Falcon punt, Eastern Michigan put a scare into the 10,731 fans at Perry Stadium by driving to BG's 38. But Crossley caused a Bohnet fumble that Daniel Sayles recovered, and P.J. Pope carried the ball five straight times for 59 yards, including an 18-yard TD jaunt up the middle that put the game out of reach.

"We've got six wins now; we're bowl-eligible,''Brandon said. "That's our fourth winning season in a row, and that's a heck of an effort by this team and this program. We've come a long way in the last four years; trust me, I know.

"We can clean some things up, but overall it was a good effort.''

The Falcons return home next Saturday to play host to Western Michigan at Perry Stadium, with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com or 419-724-6481.



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