Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017
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3 things we learned from BG football loss at Buffalo

AMHERST, N.Y. – The Bowling Green State University football team lost to the University at Buffalo by a 38-28 score Tuesday.

The Falcons fell to 2-8 overall and 2-4 in Mid-American Conference play, while Buffalo snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the MAC.

Here are three things we learned from BG’s loss Tuesday.

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Buffalo wide receiver Anthony Johnson makes a catch in front of Bowling Green cornerback Montre Gregory. Johnson caught eight passes for 160 yards as the Bulls beat the Falcons 38-28.

Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics/UBBulls.com Enlarge

1. While the defensive backfield deserved blame for Buffalo’s big passing game, they do not deserve all of the blame.

Bulls quarterback Tyree Jackson completed 23-of-37 passes for 406 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Bulls to 582 yards of total offense. Buffalo averaged a whopping 17.7 yards per completion; by comparison, the Falcons averaged 10.5 yards per completion.

“We’ve got to play the ball in the air, and win [battles] at the line,” BGSU safety Marcus Milton said of he and his teammates in the secondary. “And we have to understand where our help is in coverage. …

“There were times when we were in position to make plays. And we didn’t make plays.”

But Bowling Green’s front seven did not have a sack despite facing a quarterback who was coming off a leg injury that limited him to one rush in the contest. What’s more, Jackson had enough time to complete 16 passes that covered at least 10 yards and seven of 20 yards or more – including the TD passes of 21, 69 and 37 yards.

Buffalo also collected 16 first-downs through the passing game.

“We had him one-dimensional, but we have to do a better job of getting to him,” Jinks said. “And we have to do a better job on the back end.

“[The defensive backs] had competed [in past weeks]. In this game they competed – and got beat. They lost their one-on-ones.”

2. Freshman quarterback Jarret Doege meshed well with the BG receiving corps in just his fifth college game.

Doege threw was 28-for-43 for 294 and three touchdowns. He also withstood a strong Buffalo pass rush that collected three sacks and two hurries.

“It will be fun to watch him for years to come,” Jinks said of Doege. “We never felt we were out of the game, because he always gives us a chance to win.”

RELATED: Falcons offensive line holds together against Bulls.

What’s more, Doege seemed comfortable throwing to a number of different Falcon receivers. Scottie Miller caught 10 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Teo Redding collected seven catches for 39 yards and a score.

Seven different receivers caught at least one pass.

“I thought we were in a pretty good rhythm,” Miller said. “I thought it was one of our best games offensively.

“I thought Jarret played well, and the receivers were making plays.”

3. While Doege and fellow “true” freshman Andrew Clair have received most of the headlines, Bowling Green has some other first-year freshmen playing well.

Clair keyed the running game, carrying the ball 18 times for a team-high 86 yards and a touchdown while catching four passes for 19 more yards.

Another true freshman who has played well is Matthew Wilcox, who caught one pass for two yards but was impressive returning kickoffs, gaining 90 yards on three returns with a long run of 34.

“Wilcox is playing well, especially in the return game,” Jinks said. “He also has been solid for us at receiver.

“Another true freshman who made a big catch for us is Quintin Morris. We have to get him more involved because he can be a matchup problem for opponents.”

The 6-3, 205-pound Morris caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Doege in the first quarter.

On defense, true freshman linebacker Kholbe Campbell made two tackles, while fellow first-year freshman Josh Croslen had one stop on the defensive line.

RELATED: After making a kick to earn a scholarship, Central Catholic grad Jake Suder is having a big year for the Falcons.

Contact John Wagner at jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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