Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Miami 33, No. 15 BGSU 10
RedHawks take down 15th-ranked Falcons
By Mark Schmetzer
OXFORD - The top two offenses in the Mid-American Conference went up against the top two defenses Tuesday, and the defenses won, as Miami upset No. 15 Bowling Green 33-10 at Yager Stadium.
The teams combined to commit five turnovers, three by Miami, and Bowling Green missed a field goal try.
But the RedHawks restored order after halftime and scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter.
Junior quarterback Ben Roethlisberger scored the second touchdown on a 1-yard plunge following Alphonso Hodge's recovery of a Josh Harris fumble forced by Phil Smith. On the first possession, Roethlisberger teamed with wide receiver Martin Nance on a 49-yard bomb to the Falcons' 5-yard line, setting up junior Mike Smith's 5-yard touchdown run on the first possession.
Cal Murray added his second touchdown on a 2-yard dive with 3:45 left in the game.
Miami (8-1, 5-0 MAC) extended its winning streak to eight games, scoring at least 30 points in each win, and maintained a one-game lead over Marshall in the MAC East Division. Bowling Green (7-2, 4-1) dropped into a three-way tie with Northern Illinois and Toledo in the West Division.
Miami focused on pressuring Josh Harris, Bowling Green's senior quarterback and the MAC's total offense leader going into the game. The RedHawks forced him into three lost fumbles and limited the Falcons' offense, which was averaging a conference-best 529.5 yards of total offense going into the game, to 343 yards for the game.
"Let's not forget that we played a good football team," Harris said. "Miami's on fire right now. They have a great quarterback, and because they have a great quarterback, people forget about their defense. They had a good scheme; they're clicking defensively."
Roethlisberger also committed a fumble and threw an interception on Bowling Green's 1-yard line in the first quarter, but the RedHawks were able to salvage a 10-7 halftime lead, in part by capitalizing on the field position resulting from Bowling Green's interception. The Falcons were unable to get out of the hole, and on the sixth play after freshman Ryne Robinson's 25-yard return of a punt to the Bowling Green 32, Murray punched it in from 3 yards out to give the RedHawks a 7-0 lead.
Bowling Green wasn't able to capitalize on Miami's first two turnovers, but the RedHawks converted Janssen Patton's fumble on the kickoff following their touchdown. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jeff Schroeder (Oak Hills) forced the fumble, and senior defensive back Ryan Sprague recovered at the Falcons' 20-yard line. Miami got one first down before settling for Jared Parseghian's 26-yard field goal.
"The turnover bug," Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon said, "that was the difference in the game."
Up next: vs. Marshall, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. TV: ESPN2
Mia-Murray 3 run (Parseghian kick), 11:52.
Mia-FG Parseghian 26, 9:01.
BG-Sharon 24 pass from Harris (Suisham kick), 1:15.
Mia-M. Smith 5 run (Parseghian kick), 13:32.
Mia-Roethlisberger 1 run (Parseghian kick), 6:16.
BG-FG Suisham 27, 12:11.
Mia-FG Parseghian 20, 6:51.
Mia-Murray 2 run (kick failed), 3:45.
|Time of Possession||29:34||30:26|
RUSHING-BG, Pope 9-75, Harris 21-71, Lane 6-32, Magner 1-5. Miami, Murray 15-62, M.Smith 13-32, Roethlisberger 8-32.
PASSING-BG, Harris 20-35-0-160. Miami, Roethlisberger 19-28-1-230, Robinson 1-1-0-20.
RECEIVING-BG, Magner 11-76, Sharon 3-42, Sanders 2-19, Pope 2-17, Hawkins 2-6. Miami, Nance 10-169, Larkin 5-40, Corbin 2-15, Busing 1-15, Robinson 1-6, Tyler 1-5.
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