The Bulls (3-3, 3-0 MAC) emerged victorious once again this week, easily defeating the Bowling Green Falcons (2-4, 1-1 MAC) 38-7 at Doyt Perry Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The win marked the Bulls’ third straight victory after starting off the season 0-3. Coming off last week’s thrilling 24-20 victory over Miami (OH) in which graduate wide receiver Justin Marshall caught the game-winning touchdown with just 31 seconds left, UB has now gained some momentum in the MAC, starting off 3-0 against conference opponents and sitting atop the MAC East.
Offense on fire, led by ground game
From their first offensive possession, The Bulls found their groove. Senior running back Ron Cook Jr. started the scoring for UB with a two-yard touchdown plunge to cap off an eight-play, 75-yard drive to begin the game. Cook scored another touchdown later on in the first quarter on a one-yard carry, finishing the day with 17 carries for 89 yards and two scores.
Even with Cook’s success on the ground Saturday, redshirt freshman running back Mike Washington stole the show for the Bulls. Highlighted by a 92-yard touchdown dash late in the first half, Washington racked up 16 carries for 155 yards to go along with the pair of touchdowns he scored.
UB made a concerted effort to run the ball on early downs throughout the game, which provided them with very manageable third downs. The UB ground attack tallied an impressive 280 yards on the day.
Junior quarterback Cole Synder also looked sharp, finishing the game 12-for-19 for 171 yards passing while spreading the ball around to nine different pass catchers.
Star graduate receivers Marshall and Quian Williams were relatively quiet on the day, with Marshall catching three balls for 43 yards and Williams hauling in his only grab for 33 yards on the opening drive of the game.
Defense, special teams capitalize on Falcons’ mistakes
It was a sloppy day for the Bowling Green offense, and the Bulls made sure to take full advantage of the Falcons’ miscues. Junior safety Marcus Fuqua intercepted Bowling Green senior quarterback Matt McDonald after the Bulls’ first touchdown, which set up senior kicker Alex McNulty for a 26-yard field goal.
Later in the first quarter, the Falcons attempted a fake on a short field goal attempt, but the kicker fumbled the toss from the holder and UB pounced on the loose ball. The Falcons had no issues getting down the field into UB territory throughout the game, but three turnovers in the red zone proved costly.
Senior linebacker James Patterson took full advantage of one of those turnovers, bringing a Bowling Green fumble 97 yards to the house in the third quarter to put the Bulls up 38-0 and complete the scoring onslaught for the day.
Overall, the combination of four Bowling Green turnovers coupled with their 12 penalties for 117 yards erased any chance they had of being competitive in this game.
Junior linebacker Shaun Dolac once again was all over the field, leading the Bulls with 14 tackles, putting him at 68 on the year — fourth best in FBS.
UB will be in Massachusetts this Saturday, as they take on the UMass Minutemen (1-5) at McGuirk Stadium at 1 p.m. The Bulls last played UMass in 2015, losing 31-26, but are currently 16.5-point favorites for Saturday’s contest. The game can be streamed on ESPN3.
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