Instant Reaction: Bowling Green Spoils Ohio’s “Bobcat Blackout”

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The Ohio Bobcats suffered a 26-14 loss at the hands of Bowling Green Wednesday night in their final home game of the season. Special teams miscues plagued the 'Cats early, as Ohio fell to 8-2 (4-2 MAC) on the season.

Setting the Tone: Ohio accepted the opening kickoff and marched down the field on its first drive of the game. Tyler Tettleton ran around the right side of the line for a 5-yard touchdown, capping an 11-play, 72-yard drive to put the Bobcats up 7-0. That score was the first toucdown Bowling Green had given up in two games.

Special Teams Woes: Throughout the game the Bobcats suffered from several miscues in the punting unit. The combination of Grant Venham and Matt Weller had two punts blocked and mishandled two poor snaps in Ohio territory, leading to great field position for the Falcons offense. Bowling Green scored 19 of its 26 points directly off those punting miscues.

Stifling Defense: Bowling Green came into the game ranked eighth in the FBS in total defense and ninth in scoring defense, allowing just 290 yards and 15.2 points per game. The Falcons held Ohio below both of those averages on the night. The Bobcats only managed 244 total yards in their final home game; after the initial scoring drive, Bowling Green held Ohio to 172 yards and seven points in the final 52 minutes.

Ohio's defense held its own against an inconsistent Falcons offense. The Bobcats allowed only 91 passing yards and 10 first downs.

Play of the Game: Facing first and 10 from his own 45-yard line, Falcons quarterback Matt Schilz pump faked, then faked a delayed handoff to the running back. The play-action fake drew Ohio safety Gerald Moore in and Schilz found a wide-open Chris Gallon down the middle of the field for a 55-yard touchdown. The score put Bowling Green up 14-7 midway through the second quarter. The Falcons would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.

Bobcat Blackout: The Bobcats came out to a raucous Peden Stadium, decked in their all-black uniform combinations. 19,122 were in attendance for Ohio's "senior night." The game was broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

MAC East Picture: The loss drops Ohio to third in the MAC East Division behind Kent State (5-0 MAC) and Bowling Green (5-1 MAC). Miami (OH) currently sits in fourth with a 3-2 conference record. The Bobcats need lots of help to earn a MAC Championship Game berth as the Falcons and RedHawks each hold head-to-head tiebreakers from regular season meetings.