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Vonnie Watkins (17) DE and Bralen Henderson (81) DT on Ohio Univeristy's football team celebrate after a big stop in Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio on Sept. 16, 2023.

Football: Ohio starts MAC schedule with road trip to Bowling Green

Coming off one of its most successful nonconference slates in recent memory, Ohio (3-1) is ready for Mid-American Conference play with its opener against in-state rival Bowling Green.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the game:

Head Coach

Scott Loeffler

Loeffler had a slow start in a difficult rebuild with the Falcons. After only seven wins in his first three years with Bowling Green, Loeffler was just one win away from the MAC Championship in 2022. Before taking the head coaching position at Bowling Green, Loeffler previously had stints as a coordinator at Virginia Tech, Boston College, Auburn and Temple.


Connor Bazelak and Camden Orth have split time as quarterback for Bowling Green. Orth started in Bowling Green's loss to Michigan and threw for 91 yards on 8/11 passing. Orth transferred from Long Island University and appeared in 10 of 13 games for the Falcons last year.

Bazelak was co-Freshman of the Year for Missouri in 2020 before transferring to Indiana where he started nine games. Bazelak struggled mightily in the Falcons' loss to Liberty, where he only completed six passes and threw three interceptions. Bazelak rebounded against Eastern Illinois, completing 23 of 28 passes for 319 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Running Back

Terion Stewart is the leading rusher in Bowling Green's running back-by-committee approach. Stewart has made an impact on the Falcons since 2020 when he was the Falcons' leading rusher. Stewart is one of three running backs to average at least 5 yards per carry. Ta'ron Keith has gained more than 90 yards on the ground on nine carries for the Falcons. Jaison Patterson and Pasean Wimberly have also made significant contributions with more than 15 carries.

Tight End

The Falcons' leading receiver is tight end Harold Fannin Jr. Fannin had over 200 receiving yards during his freshman season. Against Eastern Illinois, Fannin had career highs in both catches and receiving yards with 7 and 109, respectively.


Bowling Green's defense has improved over the last two weeks after an ugly performance against Liberty. The Falcons' defense only allowed 15 points against Eastern Illinois. Most recently, the Falcons forced Michigan Quarterback JJ McCarthy to throw three interceptions on Saturday. 

Ohio notes

Ohio has won six of the last seven matchups against Bowling Green, including a 38-14 win which clinched an appearance in the MAC Championship game. Ohio is looking for its fourth straight win of the season after picking up a couple of key wins in the nonconference.


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