Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

MAC football notebook: Bowling Green rolls over struggling Kent State

Official Bowling Green State Athletics Facebook Page
(Official Bowling Green State Athletics Facebook Page)

Bowling Green’s winning streak grew to five after a dominating 48-0 shutout of Kent State Saturday.

The Golden Flashes’ defense was tormented all afternoon by Falcons quarterback Matt Johnson, who finished with 430 passing yards and five touchdowns to pace Bowling Green in the victory.

The defending Mid-American Conference East champion Falcons (6-2, 4-0 MAC) overmatched Kent State (3-5, 2-2 MAC) from start to finish, registering 602 total yards from scrimmage while allowing only 166. The Golden Flashes’ offensive woes continued, as they’ve failed to score an offensive touchdown in four out of eight games this year.

The Falcons jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead following three drives of at least 75 yards, aided by costly penalties and miscues by Kent State’s defense. By halftime, the lead grew to 31.

Johnson, the nation’s passing leader, threw five touchdowns for the third consecutive game, and now has 3,321 passing yards to go along with 29 touchdowns in 2015.

The loss marked the Golden Flashes’ first shutout defeat to a MAC opponent in 13 years, since they lost 50-0 to Ohio in 2002.

Leading the conference in total defense prior to the matchup, the Golden Flashes had difficulties with the passing attack. Bowling Green’s Ronnie Moore had 151 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns and Roger Lewis registered 102 receiving yards and a pair of highlight scores, including a one-handed snag in the end zone as well as a 64-yard reception where he stole the ball from a defender’s hands.

The win makes the Falcons bowl-eligible for the fourth consecutive year, and they are now 4-0 in the MAC for the first time since 2003, when they finished the year 11-3.

The Golden Flashes have 12 days before a Nov. 5 home game against Buffalo. The Falcons have an 11-day break before hosting Ohio.

CMU holds off Ball State

Central Michigan defeated Ball State Saturday behind two clutch fourth quarter field goals from kicker Brian Eavey.

With five minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the final quarter, Eavey nailed a 34-yard field goal to give the Chippewas a 23-21 lead over the Cardinals, which was the final result.

Before the game-winner, Eavey connected on a career-long 47-yard field goal earlier in the quarter to put Central Michigan (4-4, 3-1 MAC) within range of a victory.

The Chippewas thrived behind a balanced attack led by quarterback Cooper Rush, who ended the game completing 30-of-38 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns along with one interception. Martez Walker registered 86 yards on 19 carries to pace the rushing attack.

Ball State (2-6, 1-3 MAC) battled throughout, coming back from an early 10-point deficit. The Cardinals took a 21-20 lead during the fourth quarter following an 89-yard kick return by KeVonn Mabon.

Ball State relied heavily on quarterback Riley Neal, who was 25-of-40 for 187 yards and a touchdown. Corey Lacanaria was Neal’s most reliable target, catching 10 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.

The Chippewas moved to third in the MAC West standings with a matchup with rival and second place Western Michigan looming next week. The Cardinals remain fifth in MAC West standings and host Massachusetts next week.

Matthew Williams can be reached at [email protected].

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