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Falcons Return To Ford Field For Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

BGSU in search of tying program record for wins in a season at LCPB

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BGSU (10-3, 7-1 MAC) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6, 3-5 ACC)
Thursday, December 26, 2013; 6:00 p.m.
Ford Field (65,000) Detroit, Mich.
ESPN2 (Dave LaMont, Ray Bentley, Niki Noto)
Falcon Radio Network (Todd Walker/John Gibson)


*The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN (Dec. 26) beginning at 6:00 p.m. from Ford Field. Dave Lamont (PxP), Ray Bentley (color), and Niki Noto (sideline) will have the call.

*Falcon Radio Network with Todd Walker (play-by-play) and John Gibson (analyst). Radio coverage can be heard on the flagship station for BGSU Football WFRO 99.1 FM in Fremont, Ohio as well as WWSR 93.1 FM (Lima, Ohio), WCIT 940 AM (Lima, Ohio), WXKR 100.7 FM (Toledo, Ohio), WONW 1280 AM (Defiance, Ohio), WHKW 1220 AM (Cleveland, Ohio), WFXN 102.3 FM (Mansfield, Ohio), WXXF 107.7 FM (Ashland, Ohio) and WHKW 1420 AM (Cleveland, Ohio).
*The Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization (BGRSO) broadcasts home games and select road games on 88.1 FM in Bowling Green.

*Tickets are available through the BGSU Ticket Office by calling 877-BGSU TICKET or going to the BGSU Ticket Office, located inside the Stroh Center. Fans can also visit the BGSU tickets page and order online at

Websites / Social Media    
* (Bowling Green), (Pittsburgh)
*Follow BGSU Football on Twitter through the official account of BGSU Athletics
@BGAthletics or the official account of BGSU Football @BGFalconFootbal
*On Facebook search for BGSU Athletics

*Bowling Green is receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches Polls, while Pittsburgh is not ranked.

Live Stats / Live Audio / Live Video    
*Live stats are available online at
*Live audio is available (via Falcon Radio Network) online at
*Live video is available online at and via the WatchESPN app.

Series Info    
*Friday's game between the Falcons and Panthers will be just the fourth all-time meeting in the series.
*It will be the first meeting since 2008, when the Falcons defeated the Panthers 27-17 at Heinz Field.

• Interim head coach Adam Scheier takes over the helm of the Orange and Brown for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, following the departure of Dave Clawson to Wake Forest.
• Scheier is in his fifth season with the Falcons, previously serving as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Scheier will be joined by defensive coordinator Mike Elko and offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero for the bowl game.

• Following a trip to the Humanitarian Bowl in 2009, former BGSU Head Coach Dave Clawson knew he had an arduous rebuilding job ahead of him. The Falcons slumped to 2-10 in 2010 but have rebounded by winning three more games than the previous season in each of the past two years. The Falcons are one of just four FBS teams to have made a three-win increase or better in each of the past two seasons and the only one of those teams that could increase their win total by three games again in 2013.

• BGSU has eight captains for the 2013 season -- Alex Bayer, Jairus Campbell, Dominic Flewellyn, BooBoo Gates, Ronnie Goble, Chief Kekuewa, Gabe Martin and Paul Swan.
• The group represents three players on the offensive side of the ball (Bayer, Flewellyn and Kekuewa) and five on defense (Campbell, Gates, Goble, Martin and Swan).
• Three of this year's captains were also captains a year ago -- Flewellyn, Goble and Swan.

DIVING INTO 10-3 and 7-1
• With a 47-27 win over Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game, Bowling Green won their first MAC title since the 1992 season.
• The win over Northern Illinois was the Falcons' 10th of the 2013 season, the first time the program has won 10 games since winning 11 in 2003.
• The Falcons defeated three teams which accepted bowl bids in 2013 - Ohio, Buffalo, and Northern Illinois. In those three games, the Falcons outscored their opponents 120-34.

• A win at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl would be the Falcons' 11th win of the season, tying a program record for wins in a season. Bowling Green has won 11 games in just three other seasons - 1985, 1991, 2003.
• A win would be the program's first win in a bowl game since defeating Memphis in the 2004 GMAC Bowl.
• A Falcon win would make BGSU 3-0 all-time at Ford Field. The Falcons have previously beaten Northwestern in the 2003 Motor City Bowl and NIU in the 2013 MAC Championship game.

• When fans hear the phrase #MACtion, most think of the offensive fireworks by Mid-American Conference schools featured in weeknight games on national television. But Bowling Green has broken that mold with a stifling defense as well as an explosive offense.
• The Falcons returned nine starters in 2013 from a defense that ranked sixth in the country in total defense in 2012, allowing just 296 yards per game.
• Through the regular season, the Falcons lead the MAC in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense, pass defense efficiency, first down defense, and red zone defense .

• The win is the Falcon's first-ever win in a MAC Championship game.
• The win marks the 11th MAC Championship for Bowling Green.
• The MAC Championship is the first league title for Bowling Green since 1992.
• The win pushes the Falcons to 10-3 on the season, marking the program's first double-digit win total since the 2003 season.
• The Bowling Green win over No. 14 Northern Illinois is the first victory for the program over a ranked team this season and first for the program since defeating Pittsburgh on August 30, 2008 27-17 to open the season. Pitt was ranked No. 25 at the time.
• The 47-27 victory snaps a three-game losing streak to Northern Illinois and is the first BGSU win over NIU since the 2003 season, when the Huskies were ranked 12th.
• Bowling Green improves to 2-0 overall at Ford Field with the win having defeated Northwestern 28-24 in the Motor City Bowl back on Dec. 26, 2003.
• Quarterback Matt Johnson set a career-high with five touchdown passes.
Matt Johnson's five touchdown passes set a new MAC Championship Game record.
Matt Johnson's 393 passing yards, a career-high, also ranks as the fifth most passing yards by a quarterback in a MAC Championship game.
Matt Johnson surpassed the 3,000-yard mark on the season in the win, as he has amassed 3,195 yards on the year.
• Running back Travis Greene became the single season rushing leader for Bowling Green, as his 133 yards gives him 1,555 yards on the season surpassing Fred Durig's mark of 1,444 yards set in 1951, which held up for 62 seasons.
• The 100-yard game was Travis Greene's ninth of the season, a Bowling Green single season record.
• Running back Travis Greene's 133 yards are the sixth most rushing yards in a MAC Championship game.
• With his 156 all-purpose yards in the MAC Championship game, Travis Greene increased his season total to 1,700 yards which ranks second in Bowling Green single season history behind only Freddie Barnes' 1,965 yards in 2009.
• Tight end Alex Bayer had a career night, as he recorded a career-high in both receptions with seven and in receiving yards with 124.
• Wide receiver Ronnie Moore totaled 145 receiving yards, which ranks fifth all-time in a MAC Championship game.
• Place kicker Tyler Tate's 52-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter was a career-long and ties the MAC Championship record for the longest field goal in a title game.
• Cornerback Aaron Foster's 37-yard interception return in the fourth quarter was his first career pick.
• Linebacker D.J. Lynch set a new career-high with 11.0 total tackles in the win.
• Cornerback Ryland Ward also set a new career-high in stops, as he posted 11.0 total tackles on the night.
• The 47 points scored by Bowling Green is the most points allowed by Northern Illinois in a single game this season and the most they have allowed since Nov. 1, 2011 vs. Toledo.
• The 40 points marks the sixth-time this season that Bowling Green has scored 40 points or more in a single game, the most since the Falcons posted seven 40-plus point games in 2004.

• 10 Falcons were named to the All-MAC teams on Dec. 4, as voted upon by the league's 13 head coaches.
• Five offensive players were honored by the MAC - Dominic Flewellyn (first team; left guard), David "Chief" Kekuewa (first team, center), Alex Huettel (second team, right guard), Travis Greene (second team, running back), and Alex Bayer (third team, tight end).
• Four defensive players were named All-MAC - BooBoo Gates (first team, safety), Ted Ouellet (second team, defensive line), D.J. Lynch (second team, linebacker), and Gabe Martin (second team, linebacker).
Ryan Burbrink was also named second team All-MAC for his efforts as the Falcons' punt returner.

• Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch came into the MAC Championship game with two 300-yard rushing games, but the Falcons defense held him to just 219 yards passing and 126 yards rushing, well below his season averages.
• After allowing a touchdown on the first drive of the game, the Falcons only allowed one more score until the final seconds of the game, when NIU scored a meaningless touchdown to get within 20 points.
• Prior to the MAC Championship game, Bowling Green had not allowed a second half point in four games. The Falcons have allowed just 21 second-half points over the last seven games.

• At the beginning of the season, Bowling Green knew they had a veteran team. Returning nine starters on defense and eight more on offense, it was the second straight year the Falcons returned 17 starters..
• 12 Falcons have started all 13 games this season, including the entire offensive line.
Alex Bayer, Jacob Bennett, Logan Dietz, Dominic Flewellyn, Aaron Foster, BooBoo Gates, Alex Huettel, Shaun Joplin, Chief Kekuewa, Bryan Thomas, Cam Truss, and Ryland Ward have started all 13 contests to date.
• There are also 16 Falcons on the current roster who have started at least 20 games in their career.

• Bowling Green leads the MAC in several statistical categories.
• Offensively, Bowling Green leads the MAC in passing efficiency, third down conversions, and time of possession.
• On the defensive side of the ball, BGSU leads the MAC in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense, pass defense efficiency, first down defense, and red zone defense.

• The 2013 MAC Championship marks the first time since 1992 that the Falcons have won a MAC title.
• 60 players on the current roster were not yet born the last time the Falcons won a MAC title.

• The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will be the third time in program history that the Falcons have played a game in Ford Field.
• Bowling Green is 2-0 all-time inside the home of the Detroit Lions. BGSU has defeated Northwestern (2003 Motor City Bowl) and Northern Illinois (2013 MAC Championship) inside the building.

• The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will mark the first time in program history that the Falcons have played three consecutive games inside NFL Stadiums.
• Bowling Green is 2-0 this season in NFL Stadiums, having defeated Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium and NIU at Ford Field.

• The 2013 season marked the first time that Bowling Green has won at least five home games since 2004, when they went 5-0.
• BGSU completed its first three-game homestand since 2004 earlier this year, matching that season's 3-0 mark during the stretch.
• Since 1956 -- the first year with Doyt Perry as head coach -- BGSU has played 15 three-game homestands and a four-game homestand in 1960 (going 3-1).
• The Falcons went 3-0 in seven of the 15 homestands, 2-0-1 in another, 2-1 three times and 1-2 in the other four.

• For the first time since 2009, Bowling Green completed a perfect MAC road schedule with a win over Buffalo.
• It is just the third undefeated road ledger in the MAC during the past 10 years. Besides 2009, the only other time the Falcons have been perfect on the road in the MAC in the last 10 seasons was 2005.

• A converted wide receiver, Travis Greene set the school record for rushing yards in a single season with his 133-yard performance against NIU in the MAC Championship game. Greene now has 1,555 yards in 2013, surpassing Fred Durig's previous record of 1,444 set in 1951.
• The Carol City, Fla. native also set a school-record with his ninth 100-yard game of the season in a win over NIU. The previous record was eight games, set by Dave Preston (1974) and Fred Durig (1951).
• Greene is now second in school history with 1,700 all-purpose yards this season. He trails just Freddie Barnes, who set the record in 2009 with 1,965 yards.

Ronnie Moore, a true freshman from Sanford, Fla., exploded in the first quarter of the MAC Championship game. He had four catches for 145 yards and a touchdown in the opening frame, while also rushing once for 11 yards.
Alex Bayer took over during the final three quarters, catching seven passes for a career-high 124 yards and a touchdown.

• While Jordan Lynch received all the hype leading up to the MAC Championship game, it was Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson who stole the show. Johnson threw for a career-high 393 yards, while picking apart the Huskies' defense for a MAC Championship game record five passing touchdowns.
• Although left off the All-MAC teams in 2013, Johnson has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the Mid-American Conference. Johnson's 3,195 passing yards currently rank him sixth in school-history for a single season. His 23 touchdown passes also have him tied for seventh all-time in school history.

• Usually when you hear the term "balanced offense," you think of an offense that is mediocre in all facets of the game. However, that is not the case for the Falcons, as they featured one of the most high-powered offenses in the Mid-American Conference.
• BGSU averages 472.5 yards of offense per game and 35.4 points per game.
• The Falcons rush for 207.5 yards per game, while passing for 265.1 yards per game.
• Bowling Green is the only offense in the MAC that ranks in the top three for total offense, scoring offense, passing offense, and rushing offense.

• Bowling Green ranks first in the MAC in total defense, scoring defense, passing defense, and rushing defense.
• The Falcons' defense is fifth in the nation in scoring defense, eighth in total defense, and fourth in passing defense.

• With running backs Travis Greene and William Houston, the Falcons have a pair of backs that have rushed for double-digit touchdowns this season. The last time BGSU had a pair of players with double-digit rushing touchdowns was in 2003, the last time the Falcons appeared in the MAC Championship game.
Travis Greene, the Falcons primary back, has set the school record with 1,555 yards on the season. He has 11 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns.
William Houston, a true freshman, has 11 touchdowns on the season as the primary short-yardage back. Houston has scored eight times from one yard out, two times from two yards out, and another from 44 yards.

• Bowling Green has one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the nation, and that holds true throughout the receiving core. Nine receivers have caught at least 10 passes for the Falcons on the year, as quarterback Matt Johnson spreads the ball around.
• In the MAC Championship game, Johnson's five TD passes went to five different receivers. In all, six receivers combined to catch 21 passes in that game.
• 10 Falcons have caught a touchdown pass in 2013, as freshman Ronnie Moore leads the team with seven TD catches. Six other receivers have caught at least two passes for scores on the season.

• True freshman Ronnie Moore has added a facet to the offense missing in 2012 -- explosive speed and play-making ability.
• The native of Sanford, Fla. currently leads the team with seven touchdown receptions. He became the first Falcon since Sept. 10, 2011 to catch three TDs in a game.
• His performance at Eastern Michigan earned him MAC Offensive Player of the Week. He had seven catches, 161 yards, and three TDs, while also rushing the ball two times.
• Moore has scored touchdowns this year from 74, 51, 36, and 34 yards out, all of those coming on passes in which he used his speed to beat the defense to the end zone.
• In the MAC Championship game, Moore was explosive in the first quarter, helping the Falcons jump out to a 17-7 lead. He caught four passes for 145 yards in the opening frame, while also rushing once for 11 yards. Moore caught a short pass which he turned into a 61-yard gain in the quarter, and later found himself wide open in the middle of the field for a 36-yard score.

Tyler Tate has been consistent in 2013, something the Falcons have been missing from their kicking the past few years.
• He has made 16-of-20 field goal attempts this season, and is 56-of-58 on PATs.
• In the 58-7 win against Eastern Michigan, Tate recorded a career-high 16 points while converting all 10 of his kicks. His three field goals were a career-high, while his seven PATs matched his career high from the previous week.
• Tate made a 52-yard field goal in the MAC Championship game, tying the MAC Championship game record for longest field goal. That kick also tied him for third longest field goal in school history.

• Through 13 games so far, several Falcons are on pace to be among the best in their respective statistical categories in school history.
• Running back Travis Greene is already the school record holder with 1,555 yards and nine 100-yard games. His 1,700 all-purpose yards are second all-time.
Matt Johnson is among the best in several statistical categories. His 3,195 yards are tied for sixth in school history. He has a chance to move into fourth in the LCPB. His 64.4 completion percentage is fifth in school history, and his 23 touchdown passes are tied for seventh.
Tyler Tate is quietly putting together one of the best seasons in school history. Tate's 104 points are just one point out of seventh on the all-time scoring list. The redshirt sophomore has made 56 extra points, good for fourth in school history. Only one player has made more in his BGSU career - current Pittsburgh Steeler, Shaun Suisham, who did it three times as a Falcon. Tate is also tied with Suisham for second all-time with 16 field goals made this season.  

• Bowling Green leads the MAC and NCAA in time of possession with an average time of 34:16.
• The Falcons have won the time of possession battle 11 times through the first 13 games this season. BGSU is 10-1 when winning the time of possession, and 0-2 when they do not.

• BGSU's special teams have provided key sparks for the Falcons all season long.
• BGSU kicker Tyler Tate is 16-of-20 on field goal attempts and 56-of-58 on extra points.
Ryan Burbrink had a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tulsa.
Cameron Truss stuffed a fake punt on fourth-and-1 against Tulsa.
• BGSU recovered a muffed punt in the fourth quarter against Tulsa.
• In his only two punt attempts at Mississippi State, Schmiedebusch recorded 48 and 49-yarders. More impressively, one was downed at the one-yard line and the other, following a penalty, forced MSU to start at its own six.
• In the contest against Ohio, Bowling Green stuffed another fake punt attempt early in the contest to swing the momentum in favor of the Falcons.
• The Falcon kicking game has been consistent for the majority of the 2013 season. Tyler Tate has made seven PATs in back-to-back games.
Paul Senn blocked a punt against Indiana and returned the ball for a 56-yard touchdown, earning the No. 1 play on SportsCenter's Top 10 for Saturday, Sept. 14.
Greg Hohenstein recovered a muffed punt in the win at Buffalo.
Bryan Thomas got a hand on a 58-yard field goal attempt in the MAC Championship game.

• Three Falcons earned their first career starts against Tulsa -- all on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive tackles Logan Dietz and Jacob Bennett, along with running back Travis Greene, had their names in the starting lineup for the first time.
• Quarterback Matt Johnson picked up his first career start in the win over Kent State.
Ronnie Moore and Brian Sutton picked up their first career starts at Indiana.
Justin Ford posted his first career start against Murray State.
• Two more players got their first career starts against Mississippi State -- Chris Pohlman and William Houston.
• Redshirt junior Jared Cohen picked up his first career start against Toledo.
Heath Jackson started at receiver against Miami, his first career start.

• In the season opener, 16 Falcons stepped on the field wearing the Bowling Green uniform for the first time in their collegiate careers.
• Four true freshmen saw action including Fred Coppet, Isaiah Gourdine, William Houston and Ronnie Moore.
• Nine of the first timers were redshirt freshmen in JJ Beggan, Jacob Bennett, Terrance Bush, Scott Davis, Logan Dietz, Greg Hohenstein, James Knapke, Izaah Lunsford and Ben Steward.
• Others who saw action for the first time were redshirt junior Jared Cohen (junior college transfer), redshirt sophomore Diontre Delk and junior Paul Senn (junior college transfer).
• Alphonso Mack and Jahlil-Nashid Croley both saw their first collegiate action in the win over Murray State.
• Against Ohio, Zac Bartman and Patrick Brown saw their first career action.

• David "Chief" Kekuewa spent two years at Arizona Western Junior College before coming to Bowling Green just prior to the 2012 season. Kekuewa has started every game over the past two seasons at center.
• Chief's last name comes from Keli'ikuewa (which is also his middle name) and means the wandering chief. In old Hawaii, Kekuewa's family were chiefs of Honaunau, the city of refuge, on the island of Hawaii. Once foreigners went to the islands and especially after the Great Mahele chiefs in the Hawaiian Kingdom lost land and power, his family became wanderers, hence the wandering chiefs.

• BGSU earned 12 Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week honors through the regular season.
Travis Greene was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 142 yards and adding 71 more yards receiving in a 31-14 win over Akron. Greene also had a rushing touchdown and a receiving score.
Matt Johnson earned three MAC East Offensive Player of the Week awards for his efforts against Kent State, Murray State and Mississippi State.
Paul Senn earned MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown against Indiana. He also recovered a fumble on a kick-off after the Falcons took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter.
William Houston was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three touchdowns in his first collegiate game against Tulsa.
Ryan Burbrink was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week after a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tulsa.
Tyler Tate was named MAC East Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance at Miami which he converted all six PATs and made a field goal.
Brian Schmiedebusch was named MAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against Ohio, when he punted four times and held Ohio to -4 yards on returns.
Ronnie Moore was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week against EMU, when he had career-highs in catches (7), yards (161), and touchdowns (3). He was the first Falcon since Sept. 10, 2011 with three receiving touchdowns in a single game.
Shaun Joplin was named MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts at Buffalo. The redshirt senior caught six passes for 145 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Senior BooBoo Gates has two kick returns for touchdowns, one punt return for a score, two interception returns for TD, and a fumble recovery returned for a TD in his career. Gates is the first Falcon in school history to own touchdown returns via kick, punt, interception, and fumble returns.

In the last five seasons, Interim Head Coach Adam Scheier has produced some of the best special teams play in the nation. In five years, Scheier's special teams have:
• three kick returns for touchdowns.
• four punt returns for scores.
• blocked 16 kicks.
• returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.
• converted on two fake punts.
• produced three All-MAC returners (Ryan Burbrink, BooBoo Gates and Eugene Cooper).
• produced two All-MAC punters (Brian Wright and Brian Schmiedebusch twice).

BGSU has had 10 games broadcast on the ESPN Family of Networks during the 2013 season. The season-opener against Tulsa was broadcast on ESPNU. The next week, the Falcons played Kent State in a game aired live on ESPN Regional. Against IU, BGSU was once again on ESPNU. The next three weeks were all broadcast live on ESPN3, as was the Toledo and Ohio games. The game at Miami was on ESPNU, as was the regular season finale at Buffalo. The MAC Championship game was live on ESPN2. The game at Mississippi State was live on Fox Sports Net. Finally, the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will be live on ESPN.

• Three former Falcons are currently playing on NFL rosters. Kory Lichtensteiger, Shaun Suisham, and Chris Jones are all representing the Falcons in the NFL.
• Jones has played in nine games for the Patriots, starting the last six. He has 45 tackles and five sacks.
• Suisham is in his fourth season with the Steelers. He is 24-of-26 on field goals this season and 29-of-29 on PATs.
• Lichtensteiger is in his fourth season playing offensive line for the Redskins. He has started all 12 games this season and all 28 over the past two seasons.

The 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will be the program's 11th all-time bowl appearance, and the third in the last five seasons. BGSU's first bowl game was in 1961, when the Falcons lost to Fresno State in the Mercy Bowl. The Orange and Brown would also match up with the Bulldogs in the 1982, 1985, and 1991 California Bowl. In 1992, the Falcon defeated Nevada in the Las Vegas Bowl. The program's second back-to-back appearances in a bowl game came in 2003 (defeated Northwestern in Motor City Bowl) and 2004 (defeated Memphis in GMAC Bowl). The Falcons returned to the GMAC Bowl in 2007, dropping a one-sided rout to Tulsa. The 2009 Humanitarian Bowl against Idaho has possibly one of the best finishes in bowl game history. Last season, BGSU was defeated by San Jose State in the Military Bowl. Bowling Green enters the Little Caesars Bowl at 4-6 in program history, having lost each of the last three contests.

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