Our upset of the week is Bowling Green (+2500) going on the road and taking down Minnesota. The Falcons were 31.5-point underdogs heading into this one and sporting a 1-2 record. Credit to Bowling Green – a win is a win – but Minnesota did everything they could to lose this game.
BG did not exactly play a great game. They only put up 192 yards of total offense and converted only three of their 14 third down attempts. But their defense stepped up in a major way and carried them to a historic victory.
A prime example of both offensive struggles bailed out by defensive heroics is the final two and a half minutes of the game. BG was punting from their own 26 and punter Matt Naranjo boots a high, relatively short, punt which landed at the Minnesota 37 and is muffed by the returner. The ball bounces back and forth between the teams but Minnesota eventually recovers it at their own 35. Gophers’ ball down by four with about two minutes left. Minnesota has them right where they want them, right?
Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan, who threw for a mild 59 yards on the day, throws an interception on the first play of the drive. Falcons’ ball at their own 35 with two minutes left and a four point lead. BG has them right where they want them, right?
Not so fast. The Falcons go three and out and only gain 3 yards, taking 1:50 off the clock before punting. Minnesota returns the punt to their own 42. Surely the Gophers can put together a drive and win the game, right?
Morgan throws yet another pick, again on the first play of the drive, to seal the deal. BG knees it with 17 seconds left, and the ball game is over. BG escapes Minneapolis with their first win over an FBS opponent in nearly two calendar years. And to really rub salt in the wound, BG’s cheer squad took a picture flexing on the Minnesota logo after the game. Yikes.
Congrats to Bowling Green on one of the biggest wins in program history. As for Minnesota, head coach PJ Fleck might be getting a pink slip if he doesn’t start rowing the boat in the right direction soon.