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BOWLING GREEN — In the Mid-American Conference’s East Division, two football programs have stood above the rest in recent seasons.
And those two — Bowling Green State University and Ohio — will meet at 7:30 p.m. today at Doyt Perry Stadium.
The Bobcats and the Falcons are the only East programs with more than one winning season in the last five years. Ohio’s 6-3 record makes it bowl eligible for the fifth straight year, while BG’s 6-3 mark gives it bowl eligibility for the third time in five seasons.
“Ohio has been the most consistent program in the East in my five years here,” BG coach Dave Clawson said. “That’s hard to do in this conference. Our coaches and our players have a great respect for Ohio.”
Ohio coach Frank Solich said he has the same respect for Clawson and his staff.
“It appears that [the two programs] try to do things the same way,” Solich said. “I think we’re very similar in our recruiting approach, as far as identifying the kinds of athletes we want. …
“I like what they have gotten done, and how they have gone about it.”
The two squads seem to be mirror-images on both sides of the ball. On offense both teams feature accurate quarterbacks as Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton has completed 65.2 percent of his passes and averages 239.4 passing yards per game, while BG’s Matt Johnson has connected on 65.6 percent of his passes for an average of 231.0 yards per contest.
“They are very well-coached on offense, and explosive,” Clawson said of OU. “Tyler Tettleton is difficult to defend. … What he does with broken plays is as good as I’ve seen.”
The two teams are similar on defense as well. The Falcons lead the MAC in scoring defense (16.8 points per game allowed) and total defense (342.9 yards per game allowed), while Ohio is third in both categories (22.7 points, 380.1 yards).
“They are extremely sound on defense, they don’t give up a lot of big plays, and they are very physical,” Clawson said of Ohio.
MAC HONORS: Two Bowling Green players received MAC honors for their play in a 45-3 win at Miami.
Senior safety Jerry "BooBoo" Gates was named East Division defensive player of the week, while sophomore kicker Tyler Tate was named special teams player of the week in the East.
Gates, a senior from Middletown, Ohio, finished with four tackles against the RedHawks. He also recovered a pair of fumbles, returning one 11 yards for a touchdown.
Tate, a sophomore from Carroll, Ohio, was perfect on seven kicks in the Miami win. He tied his career high with six extra points and also added a 29-yard field goal.
ACADEMIC HONOR: Tate also received an academic honor when he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V team. To qualify, players must be a starter and have a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. Tate is an exercise science major with a 4.0 GPA.
Tate is 10-of-13 on field goals this season, while converting 34-of-35 extra-point kicks. For his career, he is 17-of-23 on field goals, including a career long of 45 yards this year.
Tate now is a candidate for academic All-American honors.
BOWLING GREEN — BGSU striker Ryan Comiskey was named MAC soccer player of the week.
The senior from Grantville, Pa., finished his career with a bang, scoring a total of four goals as BG posted a win and a tie last week. Comiskey had the first two-goal game of his career in an 8-0 win over IPFW.
Then the senior matched that goal total in the a 3-3, double-overtime draw at West Virginia.
Comiskey ended the season as the Falcons' scoring leader with six goals and 13 points.