Bowling Green overwhelmed Maryland with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Terrapins in a 48-27 upset win at Byrd Stadium.
Junior quarterback Matt Johnson threw for 477 yards and five touchdowns on 35 of 54 passing. The Falcons trailed 13-6 at halftime after a clumsy first 30 minutes in which they failed to convert two fourth-down chances in scoring range, missed a field goal and a two-point conversion. But after a 72-minute lightning delay that extended halftime, Johnson, a junior first-year starter, outplayed Maryland junior Perry Hills. Senior Caleb Rowe replaced Hills, who finished 15 of 30 for 168 yards, in the fourth quarter. Rowe was intercepted on two of his three passes.
Now the Terps face a quarterback decision.
What the win means for Bowling Green: Validation that the solid offensive performance in Week 1 against Tennessee bodes well for the Falcons as they head toward league play. Bowling Green, after a date with Memphis, gets another shot to beat a Big Ten team as it visits Purdue on Sept. 26. Coach Dino Babers' team sits among the favorites in MAC’s East Division. Look for the Falcons in bowl season.
What the loss means for Maryland: There is plenty of reason for concern in College Park, and it extends well beyond the quarterback situation. The schedule gets nasty soon for coach Randy Edsall’s team, and the Terrapins haven’t shown much consistency on either side of the ball. Unless William Likely finds a way to play offense, Maryland must identify a few weapons -- and fast. Defensively, the past two weeks serve as an indicator that the upcoming Maryland stretch against West Virginia, Ohio State and Michigan is likely to turn ugly.
Player of the game: Bowling Green receiver Roger Lewis caught 15 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Need we say more? The 6-foot sophomore snagged a 58-yarder from Johnson to get the Falcons untracked offensively early in the third quarter. Lewis had an even bigger catch with 9:53 to play, a 27-yard TD as he outmuscled Maryland senior Sean Davis on an underthrown ball to break a 27-27 tie.
Top play: If you’re going to punt to Likely, at least try to make it difficult for him. After Likely returned eight punts for a Big Ten-record 233 yards in the opener last week, Bowling Green’s Joseph Davidson served the speedy junior a high, 54-yard kick in the closing seconds of the first quarter. With the Falcons racing to catch up to the punt, Likely split a group in coverage after 10 yards, with help from a big block by Derrick Hayward, and raced 85 yards for a touchdown, equaling the second-longest punt return in Maryland history to put the Terps on top 10-0.