MINNEAPOLIS – The Bowling Green State University football team went to Minnesota and came away with a 14-10 win over the Golden Gophers on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 25) at Huntington Bank Stadium.
Matt McDonald rushed for two touchdowns as the Falcons (now 2-2) ended Minnesota’s 21-game non-conference win streak, the longest in the nation.
The Gophers drop to 2-2, with the other loss coming to Ohio State in the season opener. Minnesota had scored at least 30 points in each of the first three games of the season, before being held to 10 on Saturday against the Falcons.
The BGSU defense held Minnesota to just 241 total yards on the day, and the Falcons came up with a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions to seal the win.
McDonald was 19-of-35 for 170 yards through the air, and scored twice on the ground to help lead the Falcons to the win.
The Falcons have allowed just 20 points in the last two games – both wins – and only 42 points over the last three contests.
Minnesota had 57 yards on each of the first two drives to begin the second half. On the Gophers’ other 11 drives combined, the BGSU defense allowed a total of just 122 yards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• BG went three-and-out on the first drive against the Minnesota defense, which posted a shutout of Colorado on the road last week. The Golden Gophers picked up a pair of first downs on their opening drive, moving the ball as far as the BGSU 31. But, Brock Horne burst through the line to sack Gopher quarterback Tanner Morgan for an eight-yard loss on third-and-8, knocking the home team out of field-goal range. The ensuing punt was downed on the Falcon four-yard line.
• BGSU picked up a first down on the next drive, but Minnesota’s Mariano Sori-Marin intercepted a Matt McDonald pass, setting up the Gophers at the BG 23. The Falcon defense, however, allowed the hosts to gain just five total yards over the next three plays, before Kent State transfer Matthew Trickett hit a 30-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the opening quarter.
• The Falcons went three-and-out on the next drive, and on the first play of the following drive, an 18-yard run by Morgan ended when Horne knocked the ball loose. Blaine Spires recovered the ball at the Falcons’ 43-yard line.
• The Gopher defense held, and Minnesota moved the ball into BG territory. Early in the second quarter, Jordan Anderson stopped Mar’Keise Irving for a loss of a yard, and Davon Ferguson then sacked Morgan for a seven-yard loss on a third-and-7 play, forcing the Gophers to punt.
• The next drive saw McDonald complete a third-down pass to Austin Osborne for a gain of 15 and a first down. That drive stalled, but Matt Naranjo uncorked a punt of 77 yards.
• Three plays later, the Gophers faced a fourth-and-1 at their own 29 after Billie Roberts knocked down a second-down pass and Diego Neri tackled Morgan on a third-down run. On that fourth-down play, Roberts met Trey Potts in the backfield for a loss of five, giving BG the ball at the Minnesota 24.
• McDonald found Christian Sims for 16 yards, and two plays later, the Falcon QB took the ball in himself. The 1-yard TD, followed by Nate Needham’s PAT, gave the Brown and Orange a 7-3 lead with 6:19 left in the half.
• The Gophers picked up a first down on the next drive, but Anderson stopped Morgan for no gain on a scramble, and Karl Brooks led a host of Falcons that sacked the Minnesota QB for a loss of 13 on the next play. The drive wound up losing three yards before the Gophers were forced to punt. BG took a 7-3 lead into the half.
• The Gophers retook the lead on the opening drive of the second half, going 57 yards in seven plays. Quarterback Cole Kramer carried the ball for the final 19 yards of the drive, and Trickett’s PAT gave Minnesota a 10-7 lead.
• BGSU moved into Minnesota territory on the ensuing drive, but had to punt, and Naranjo’s boot pinned the Gophers at their own 9-yard line. But, Potts broke off a long run on the first play of the following drive. The 54-yard run put the hosts into BG territory, but the next three plays gained a total of just three yards, and Trickett’s 52-yard field-goal attempt was wide.
• Matt McDonald scrambled for approximately 40-50 yards on a third-down play and gained one yard to set up a fourth-and-1. Then, the BG QB rolled out and gained 18 yards on the next play to put the Falcons at the Gophers’ 38. Two plays later, he found Taron Keith on a catch-and-run play that set up the Falcons at the Minnesota five. Two plays later, McDonald took it the final three yards to give the visitors the lead in the final minute of the third quarter. The eight-play drive covered 65 yards.
• The next drive saw the Gophers go three-and-out, as a third-down sack by Davon Ferguson forced the home team to punt. After a sack on first down, McDonald found Tyrone Broden for 18 yards and a first down. The drive stalled, and, BG was forced to punt the ball back with just over 10 minutes to go, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty get BG a first down at the Gophers’ 47.
• McDonald scrambled and found Christian Sims in traffic for a 15-yard gain and a first down at the Minnesota 33. On fourth-and-4, a penalty on the Gophers gave the Falcons a first down.
• Three plays later, on third-and-7, McDonald found Broden for a first down inside the 10-yard line, but a fumble gave the ball back to the Gophers at their own 8-yard line with 7:35 to go.
• The next drive saw Billie Roberts bat down a pass on third-and-8, bringing up fourth down. The Gophers punted the ball away, and BG took over at the Falcons’ 27-yard line with 3:33 remaining.
• A loss of four on first down led to a three-and-out. The Gophers used two timeouts during the drive, and the ensuing Naranjo punt was muffed by Potts. The ball bounced around for several agonizing seconds before being recovered by the Gophers at their own 35 with 2:19 left.
• On the first play of the next drive, however, Brooks pressured Morgan, and his throw was intercepted by Devin Taylor at the Falcons’ 36.
• BGSU punted the ball back to the Gophers, and a good return by Potts put the ball at the Minnesota 42 with 23 seconds left. On the next play, Jordan Anderson came up with the pick, and one kneel-down later, the Falcons had the victory.
• QB Matt McDonald – 19-of-35 passing, 170 passing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
• RB Jaison Patterson – 20 rushing yards
• WR Christian Sims – 6 receptions, 51 receiving yards
• LB Brock Horne – 9 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
• DB Davon Ferguson – 5 tackles, 2 sacks
• DB Jordan Anderson – 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception
• P Matt Naranjo – 77-yard punt (Huntington Bank Stadium record)
COURTESY BOWLING GREEN ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS