5 quick thoughts on Bowling Green’s 20-7 upset win over Toledo.
Bowling Green 20, Toledo 7
The Battle of I-75 trophy is coming home with Bowling Green for the first time ever. Bowling Green had not beaten Toledo since 2009, a streak that spans 3,606 days. It’s a streak that has felt unfair. Toledo eeked out a number of close wins over the years; it’s not like Bowling Green was always little brother. The Falcons strung together a number of solid seasons in the midst of the streak, appearing in four bowl games and winning a MAC championship in 2013. The Rockets just always had their number.
Finally, the Falcons can claim superiority over their closest rival, and bring home a trophy that was created at the beginning of Toledo’s dominant streak. The all-time series is now tied up at 40-40-4. It must be a great feeling.
The MAC’s unanimous No. 1 team is upset. At 1-4, and coming off a shutout loss at Notre Dame, Bowling Green was a +1400 underdog that looked like they’d be nothing more than a speedbump on 4-1 Toledo’s road to the MAC championship. After Saturday, the Rockets are a two-loss team with a lot of issues to work out. Folks, Toledo was a 26.5 point favorite! Not a great showing to say the least.
The offensive line looked really shaky and allowed a lot of pressure, and the D really struggled to stop dual-threat quarterback Grant Loy. Which brings us to…
Grant Loy’s career day gave Bowling Green their first FBS win. Loy played great in the first half, and he looked comfortable and capable at the helm of the Bowling Green offense throughout the game. The junior was 14-of-21 for 185 yards and one score and was the team’s leading rusher with 137 yards on 19 carries. The Falcons were able to secure the win with 20 points, but they will need to score more than three points in the second half if they want to continue to win games; Toledo wasn’t fully out of the game until the final minutes. But that low point total shouldn’t be of too much concern for the moment, as Loy will continue to acclimate himself to being at the helm of the BSGU offense. Overall, a great showing from the junior signal-caller.
Bowling Green won because they shut down Bryant Koback. Coming off 21 carry, 177-yard performance that Pro Football Focus gave a 90% grade, all eyes were on Koback to continue propelling the Toledo offense.
Koback is arguably the best running back in the conference, and Toledo’s best tailback since Kareem Hunt. It’s clear that Bowling Green game-planned for another breakout performance.
They prepared correctly, holding Koback to just 60 yards on 14 carries. He was, decidedly, a non-factor.
Nico Lautanen anchored a dominant Bowling Green run-defense with eight total tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.
It wasn’t a good day for the Toledo special teams unit. The Rockets had a punt blocked and missed two field goals, and those were just the most glaring issues. Short punts and a nonexistent return game also hamstrung the defense and offense. The MAC isn’t heralded for its great special teams play, but the Rockets are going to need to step it up on this front. Normally productive, this unit will have to bounce back next week.
- Toledo quarterback Mitchell Guadagni left the game in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. His status for next week is unclear, but he did walk off the field under his own power. Carter Bradley and Eli Peters finished out the game for the Rockets.
- Bowling Green receiver Bryson Denley was a crucial facet of the passing game, posting career highs in receptions and yards, snagging six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. He even chipped in 46 yards on two kick returns.
- A ten-dollar moneyline bet on Bowling Green would have paid out $140. Hope you took the Falcons.
Bowling Green (2-4) vs. Central Michigan (4-3) at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN3 — Saturday, Oct. 12
Toledo (4-2) at Ball State (3-3) at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — Saturday, Oct. 12