BOWLING GREEN - What an unexpected find.
Bowling Green State University's run game and run defense, missing so far this season, both materialized last night.
The contributions previously not there for the Falcons propelled them to a 38-14 Mid-American Conference victory over Ohio University.
The win puts BGSU (3-2, 2-0 MAC) in first place in the MAC East.
"We've been getting a lot of flack because of our rushing defense, giving up a lot of points," BGSU coach Gregg Brandon said. "But we had played some good running teams. It was just a matter of time."
Two weeks ago, Ohio had 373 rushing yards, but the Falcons held the Bobcats to just 68 on the ground last night. Meanwhile, BGSU rushed for 192 yards, led by B.J. Lane's 93 yards and two scores. Both were season highs for the team.
"We put emphasis on running the ball in practice and executed well today," Lane said.
Although he wasn't the star of the game, quarterback Omar Jacobs achieved another milestone. His 41-yard touchdown pass to Charles Sharon in the third quarter was the 64th of his career, a BGSU record. He tied and passed Brian McClure, the Falcons' signal-caller from 1982-85. Jacobs finished 24-of-41 with 381 yards and two touchdowns.
This was a scary matchup for BGSU coming in, and the Bobcats had a chance to gain momentum right away. Ohio (2-3, 1-1) recovered Anthony Turner's fumble on the opening kickoff and started with the ball on the Falcons' 4-yard line.
But Ohio lost six yards on the drive, five on a false start penalty, and Bobcats kicker Brooks Rossman missed a 21-yard field goal off the left upright.
"We stopped them cold," defensive end Devon Parks said. "We made a stand, and then when he missed, it made it all worth it."
It was the longest wait of the year for a BGSU score, but with 10:55 left in the first half the Falcons found the end zone first. With the Falcons in the red zone, receiver Charles Sharon fumbled a reception on the 2 and Steve Sanders recovered in the end zone for his 10th touchdown of the season.
The Falcons scored again on P.J. Pope's one-yard run after starting at the Bobcats' 38 because of a three-and-out the defense had forced inside Ohio's 15. BGSU's defense made the Bobcats punt four times after only three downs. The Bobcats were just 2-of-13 on third-down conversions.
In front of 14,177 at Perry Stadium, the score was still as close as 21-14 in the third quarter mostly because of erratic special teams play. With 46 seconds left in the first half, the Bobcats' Jordan Meyers returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. Ohio got the ball back after recovering a squib kick and drove to BGSU's 9, but Jelani Jordan intercepted Austen Everson's pass at the 1 and ran it back 16 yards to get the Falcons out of trouble.
The Bobcats' other score came when Everson ran two yards for a touchdown after he converted pass plays of 51 and 24 yards.
But after that the Falcons defense clamped down.
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