KENT, Ohio - Matt Norsic did not have any real-game experience before yesterday afternoon.
Not unless you count kicking during Bowling Green State University spring games.
Yet, the fifth-year senior walk-on responded with a coolness and calmness of a veteran starter when he was called on to help the Falcons defeat Kent State 36-35 before an announced homecoming crowd of 15,211 at Dix Stadium.
Norsic ended up making 3-of-3 extra-point tries and a 21-yard field goal for the game.
"It's neat for a walk-on in your program [who] hangs around for that many years and finally gets a shot and he goes in there and drills every kick," said BG coach Dave Clawson. "Every one of those at the end made a difference."
The chance to see his first action came after Jerry Phillips' 33-yard field goal try was blocked and returned for a touchdown to give Kent an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Clawson said Phillips had been dealing with an injury during the week and was concerned about him being able to kick field goals and extra points this weekend. Clawson made up his mind earlier in the week that he would give Norsic a shot if he didn't think Phillips was up to the task. After the blocked kick, Clawson called on Norsic.
Yet, Clawson said Phillips will remain as the starter for next week's game at Ball State as long as he's healthy.
REPLAYS FAVOR FALCONS: The Falcons received the nod in their favor twice by the replay official during the final quarter of the contest.
Falcons wideout Adrian Hodges caught a Tyler Sheehan pass inside Kent's 5-yard line before he was brought down at the 2-yard line when the ball came loose and a Kent player recovered the football. The ruling on the field that it was a fumble was overruled by the replay official, and BG scored a couple plays later to trail Kent 28-23 with 13:37 remaining in the game.
The replay official also ruled Justus Jones had caught a pass late in the game when it was initially considered a questionable catch.
ALL-HANDS GROUP: Freddie Barnes wasn't alone in pulling in multiple passes from Tyler Sheehan. Adrian Hodges and Justus Jones certainly did their part to help the Falcons' record passing day.
Hodges grabbed eight passes for 73 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown reception. Jones added six catches for 70 yards, including a key 15-yarder late in the game.
Chris Wright also had two catches for 35 yards, including a 19-yarder.
A POINT IN BG'S FAVOR: The Falcons win over the Golden Flashes provided BG with a point toward winning the Centennial Cup, which is an all-sports competition between the two MAC schools celebrating 100-year anniversaries. The year-long competition between the two schools will continue until the two football programs meet again in 2010.
THE SERIES: The Falcons lead the series with the Golden Flashes 55-16-6, which includes victories in eight of the last nine meetings. They have not lost at Kent since 1999.32.61436 -86.68074