This game was a matchup of the MAC's #1 offense (BG) vs. The MAC's #1 defense (Marshall). Of course, Bowling Green has faced this before--when the Falcons played at Ohio, the Bobcats had the best statistical defense in the league. BG had no trouble moving the ball during that game, and I expected more of the same against Marshall.
I was not disappointed. Omar Jacobs threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns, setting a BG record for most TD passes in a season with 32 with one game left. The rushing game was also in fine form, with P.J. Pope rushing for over 100 yards. The offense had very little trouble moving the ball against Marshall's vaunted defense.
Bowling Green's defense, on the other hand, had some issues. Marshall has some athletes on offense, but hadn't shown a whole lot of ability to put it all together. They got past some of that on Saturday, putting up 35 points. BG's offense outscored them, but the defense gave up more than I would have liked. I have to give them credit, though. They played well enough to win, and they came up with some big plays when they needed them. Keon Newson's interception return for a TD was one of the most exciting plays of the day.
There was also a scary moment, when wide receiver Cornelius McGrady was injured while trying to make a tackle after an interception. He was hit with a crushing block and lay on the turf for several minutes before finally leaving in an ambulance. Fortunately, he was able to wave as they loaded him in, and it was nothing more serious than a concussion. He was released from Wood County Hospital later that day.
The game ended with Bowling Green running out the clock on the goal line, with the BG crowd urging Coach Brandon to punch it in for one more score. Marshall is leaving the MAC after this season, and many fans wanted to pile on the score as a not-so-fond going-away present for perhaps the least-liked team in the conference. I must admit that I would have liked another touchdown myself, but I'm sure Coach Brandon took the right path by just running out the clock and being content with a 21-point victory.
Bowling Green has one game left in the regular season, a Tuesday night matchup (Nov. 23) against the hated Toledo Rockets. With a win, it's still a possibility that the Falcons will play in the MAC championship game and/or earn a bowl bid. After the way our offense played against a good defense this weekend, I'm feeling very confident about our chances against Toledo's decidedly weaker defense.