ATHENS - Punting woes plagued Ohio University Wednesday night as the Bobcats dropped a 26-14 MAC East decision to visiting Bowling Green at Peden Stadium.
OU, now 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the MAC, had two punts blocked that led to Falcon touchdowns and two bad snaps that resulted in a failed run for a first down and also a safety as BG improved to 7-3 and 5-1.
After the Bobcats took a 7-0 lead right of the bat on the opening possession of the game, the rest of the first half belonged to the Falcons.
Quarterback Tyler Tettleton's five-yard scoring scamper at 9:18 of the first quarter gave Ohio the quick lead, but by the end of half, Bowling Green was ahead by a 19-7 count. A punt block by BG's Brian Sutton with the ball going out of bounds at the Ohio 20 with seven seconds left in the first quarter set up the Falcons' tying score. Anthon Samuel powered his way 15 yards straight ahead into the end zone at 14:52 of the second stanza, fighting his way to paydirt by dragging defenders the final five yards on the initial play of the period. A roughing the passer penalty against the Falcons gave OU a first down at the BG 34. But on 3rd-and-15 at the 39, defensive end Bryan Thomas sacked Tettleton for a 10-yard loss. BG then took the lead at 14-7 when from its 45, QB Matt Schilz found a wide-open Chris Gallon with a 55-yard TD pass. No defender was even close to Gallon at the Bobcat 30, where he gathered in the easy toss from Schilz and was off untouched to the end zone.
A dropped snap by the OU punter who picked it up and tried to run, but for no gain again put the Falcons in prime scoring position at the Bobcat 35 with 5:23 left in the half and BG netted a 34-yard field goal at the 1:46 mark to boost its lead to 17-7.
And 18 seconds before the halftime horn, a low punt snap got through the OU punter, who retreated 22 yards into the end zone to pick it up, but was quickly tackled for a safety to make the score 19-7.
On OU's first possession of the second half though, the Bobcats closed the gap to 19-14. On 3rd-and-6 from the BG 21, Tettleton scrambled 18 yards to the 3, from where on the next play, Tettleton found Chase Cochran running free at the goal line and flipped him the ball for a TD at 6:54 of the third quarter.
A second Bobcat punt was partially blocked with BG taking over at the OU 29 at 3:04 of the third. The Falcons reached the OU 4 as the period ended and on the first play of the final quarter, Samuel followed his blocking into the end zone with 14:50 to play to up the margin to a 12-point lead again.