OXFORD, Ohio Omar Jacobs is back, and the Falcons have arrived.
In its biggest game of the season, Bowling Green State University played its best yet. The Falcons beat Miami 42-14 last night at Yager Stadium, taking sole possession of the Mid-American Conference East Division lead with one game to play.
The contest was delayed 2 hours because of severe thunderstorms and finished close to 1 a.m. this morning.
It was the Falcons first win over Miami since 1997. BGSU (6-4, 5-2 MAC) holds a one-game lead in the East over Miami and Akron.
The Falcons did a 180 from their most recent appearance on national television, when they lost to Boise State 48-20 on Sept. 21.
With 3 minutes gone in the game, BGSU scored, converting on Jelani Jordan s interception and return to Miami s 22. Jacobs, playing for the first time in 3 weeks after being out with a separated shoulder, found Steve Sanders for a four-yard completion.
Before the Falcons next touchdown late in the first quarter, BGSU got two safeties. The RedHawks gave up three safeties in the first half, all on high snaps, tying an NCAA record for most safeties in a game
Miami long snapper Dave McClain sent his first four balls high, with two of them going over punter Jacob Richardson s head. Richardson also ran one into the back of the end zone after he bobbled the ball near the goal line.
After the second safety put the Falcons up 11-0, BGSU drove 47 yards for another score. On third-and-goal at the Miami 6, Jacobs rolled right and threw across the field to sophomore tight end Sean O Drobinak for the touchdown.
The last time the teams played was in the MAC championship game in 2003, and the RedHawks won 49-27. The Falcons started earning redemption early. BGSU had 18 points in the first quarter and Miami had one first down.
Jacobs finished 21 of 34 for 178 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn t the Omar Jacobs of the season-opening Wisconsin game, but Jacobs made minimal mistakes and some impressive passes, including his third touchdown pass of the game when he threaded two defenders to find Sanders from 20 yards out.
His accuracy got better as the game passed but he did throw two interceptions.
Miami coach Shane Montgomery had said he fully expected Jacobs to play, and the RedHawks (6-4, 4-3) began the game in the prototype defense used earlier in the season to stop Jacobs, with three down linemen and eight dropping into pass coverage.
But strong rushing early by P.J. Pope and B.J. Lane negated that approach.
The Falcons defense forced seven turnovers and scored off four of them.
Miami quarterback Josh Betts threw three first-half interceptions and the RedHawks also fumbled on a kickoff return.
In the fourth quarter, another high snap by Miami was recovered by freshman Antonio Smith at the RedHawk 4. Senior Mike Crumpler picked off Betts later in the fourth quarter, his second career interception.
Miami had negative rushing yardage. The Falcons held sophomore running back Brandon Murphy, averaging 115 yards on the ground coming into the game, to 31 yards, his lowest total of the season.
It was a dominating effort, BGSU coach Gregg Brandon said. It s really nice to put everything together.
The RedHawks first score came in the third quarter when Betts found Martin Nance for a 50-yard completion. Miami s other touchdown was halfway through the fourth, Betts completing a 34-yard pass to Ryne Robinson, a Central Catholic grad.
The Falcons pulled off their weekly dose of trickery in the fourth quarter. Jacobs ran a reverse to redshirt freshman receiver Corey Partridge, who passed to O Drobinak for a five-yard score. It was Partridge s second straight game with a pass completion.
The Falcons scored their second touchdown of the half in the fourth when Lane had an 18-yard run.
Contact Maureen Fulton at:email@example.com or 419-724-6160.