Bowling Green crushed Miami of Ohio 63-12 to quash any hopes Miami might have had of winning the MAC conference, and clinching the championship for the Falcons, instead.
Bowling Green started with the wind, and would have expected to make it work for them, but it was still slow going early.
"For some reason we were really slow to the rucks and we were giving up penalties, including a yellow card," said Bowling Green Coach Tony Mazzarella. "We just didn't play particularly well."
The score was 10-5 late in the first half, and 22-5 at halftime. Changing ends and down a man for the yellow card (flyhalf Teddy Terezis the culprit), Bowling Green did not feel comfortable.
"I wanted to be able to take some guys out and rest for the ACRC playoffs, but we just couldn't do that," said Mazzarella. "I have Mike Brown, our hooker, a little banged up, and asked him for five more minutes. Right after that we scored, and that was good to be able to take him off."
The forwards mauled in the first try of the day for the Falcons, and then Matt Marquette, Sean McFarland, and Ryan Koenig all touched down in the first half.
Mike Brown scored a key one early in the second half, and Dane Szente's conversion made it 29-5. Marquette scored from long range and then Brown again to make it 41-5, and that settled it. Nolan Cavano's coast-to-coast, weaving gallop and then Steve Fritsch's touchdown made it 51-5. Miami finally got a try, but Justin Stevens and Terezis scored to put the game away.
Mazzarella praised his deep three for handling the wind, the kicks, and the counter-attacks superbly. Marquette, Cavano, Koenig, and Fritsch, who came on as a sub, all contributed mightily to the effort.
Brown was a stalwart at hooker, and lock Bryan Kean also played well.
"I think the guys just looked at where we were at halftime and knew we had to play better," said Mazzarella. "We just got to the rucks fast. That was a big part of it."
Having clinched the MAC, Bowling Green now faces Big Ten champs Indiana.