Monday, Jun 27, 2016
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BG wants to keep Peace Pipe for a change

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<br> <b>Toledo at Bowling Green</b> <br> • When: Friday, 2:30 p.m. <br> • Records: UT is 5-6, 2-3 MAC; BGSU is 7-4, 4-2 <br> • Series: BGSU leads 36-31-4 <br> • Favorite: BGSU by 6 <br> • TV: ESPNU <br> • Radio: 1370, 1230 <br> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> <font color=red><b>DOWNLOAD/PRINT</font color=red></b>: UT - BG <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO329021117.PDF" target="_blank "><b>POCKET GAME GUIDE</b></a>

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BOWLING GREEN - Three in a row.

It represents Bowling Green State University's current win streak. And also its losing streak to Toledo.

BG has not been victorious in the I-75 rivalry since 2003, meaning none of the current Falcons has been on the field for a win over their chief nemesis.

"If you don't get sick of it you're at the wrong school," defensive tackle Sean O'Drobinak said. "You come to Bowling Green to get educated, you have a good time, you get to play division one football, and you have to beat the team up north."

O'Drobinak is one of 12 Falcon seniors who will play in their final regular season game at 2:30 p.m. today. A loss could very well result in and end to their careers as a victory may be needed for BG to earn a berth in a bowl game.

"We have to take this as our last opportunity because it very well may be for me and 11 other guys on this team," O'Drobinak said. "This is our last opportunity to beat the team up north and if I want to be remembered in any way, I wanted to be remembered that I beat the team up north."

It could help erase some ugly memories like these:

2004 at Toledo: BG led by 20 at halftime only to watch Toledo score 35 unanswered points and roll to a 49-41 victory.

2005 at BG: Toledo's Chris Hopkins caught a touchdown pass late in regulation to send the game to overtime. Both teams traded touchdowns in the added frame, sending the game to a second overtime. BG took the lead on a field goal but it wasn't good enough as Hopkins caught another touchdown pass, a 22-yarder, on third-and-7 to lift the Rockets to victory. The loss prevented BG from playing in a bowl.

2006 at UT: BG entered the game having lost its previous four. The Falcons fell behind 21-0 and never caught up, falling 31-21.

BG last defeated Toledo in 2002 when BG's 10 fifth-year seniors were redshirting and its two fourth-year seniors were in their final year of high school.

"Those guys remember that, but the bulk of this team hasn't beaten UT," coach Gregg Brandon said.

Much is weighing in the balance.

A win would surely send BG (7-4) to a postseason game, which most likely would be the International Bowl in Toronto. It would also give coach Gregg Brandon leverage in negotiating a contract extension during the offseason. One could argue that today's game is BG's most important since its meeting with the Rockets in 2005.

"It makes this game that much better for us," said senior linebacker Loren Hargrove. "This is our rival game, the biggest game of the season for us. We need to win this, in our eyes, to get to a bowl game."

But it is not just the seniors who have grown extra passionate this week. The underclassmen have followed along.

"It's our rivalry. The seniors have instilled hatred upon Toledo in my head," said sophomore quarterback Tyler Sheehan.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com.

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