Sept. 30, 2006
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football team suffered its first Mid-American Conference loss of the season in a defensive battle that saw less than 500 total yards of combined offense, as the Bobcats suffered a 21-9 defeat to Bowling Green Saturday at Peden Stadium.
"It's extremely disappointing for us as a program, but there are disappointments in football and it's how you respond to those that end up determining eventually what you are all about in this game," Head Coach Frank Solich said. "We will respond in a manner and get back to work and look at what we need to do to get better to improve our self across the board."
Ohio (2-3, 1-1) limited Bowling Green (3-2, 2-1) to only 256 yards of offense, but totaled only 242 total yards in the loss. The Bobcats turned the ball over two times while forcing one Falcon turnover. Senior quarterback Austen Everson (Brentwood, Tenn.) finished the day 19-of-32 for 165 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He moved into fifth place in Ohio career completions with 242, and into sixth place with 2,953 passing yards. Junior running back Kalvin McRae (Decatur, Ga.) finished with 59 yards on 16 carries and moved into 10th place in Bobcat history with 1,958 career rushing yards.
Tight end Rudy Sylvan (Suisan City, Calif.) had a career day as he set new career highs with seven catches and 79 yards and matched his career best with one touchdown reception. Senior Scott Mayle (Philippi, W.Va.) recorded three receptions to move into seventh place all-time in the Ohio record book with 94 career grabs.
Senior Tyler Russ (Stetsonville, Wis.) paced the defense with 11 tackles, one-and-a-half for a loss. Junior Tony Ward (Beaumont, Texas) finished with 10 tackles on the day while senior Matt Muncy (Miamisburg, Ohio) had nine tackles, two for a loss.
Running back Chris Bullock led the Falcons with 114 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Freddie Barnes carried the ball 10 times for 42 yards and reached the endzone twice. Barnes also caught four passes for 68 yards. Falcon quarterback Anthony Turner was 9-of-18 for 77 yards without a touchdown or interception.
The Bobcats took the opening drive and marched to the Bowling Green 31-yard line, but a 48-yard field goal attempt by senior Matt Lasher (Copley, Ohio) was wide left. On the following Falcon drive, Bowling Green converted on two fourth-and-longs, one a fake punt, on a nine play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Barnes, who lined up at quarterback occasionally throughout the day, scored on a four-yard touchdown run and Sean Ellis hit the extra-point to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Bobcats answered early in the second quarter, as they took advantage of a poor Falcon punt that gave Ohio the ball in Bowling Green territory. Lasher put Ohio on the board later in the drive with a career-long 32-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.
The Falcons extended the lead after intercepting an Everson pass in Ohio territory. The turnover set up another touchdown run from Barnes, this time from one yard out. Ellis' point-after was good to give Bowling Green a 14-3 lead at the half.
The Bobcats used some trickery midway through the third quarter to cut into the Falcon lead. On a reverse play, senior William Norwoood (Racine, Wis.) fired a pass to Sylvan in the endzone for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown pass was the first of Norwood's career but a two-point try by the Bobcats was stifled to make the score 14-9. Everson threw for 33 yards on the seven-play, 68-yard scoring drive.
The Falcons answered the score with a gadget play of their own. After driving just into Bobcat territory, Freddie Barnes lined up at quarterback and threw backward to wide receiver Corey Partridge. Partridge lobbed it across the field back to Barnes who ran it to the Ohio five yard line. Chris Bullock followed with a five-yard touchdown run and Ellis' kick was good to give the Falcons a 21-9 lead. The Bobcats were unable to gain any momentum the rest of the way to suffer their third straight defeat.
Ohio will be back at Peden Stadium to take on another MAC opponent next Saturday when the Bobcats host Western Michigan at noon. The game was moved from 7 p.m. to noon as it will be televised as the MAC Game of the Week.