By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: December 26th, 2013 at 9:45 pm EST
The Bowling Green Falcons returned to the scene of where they upset the Northern Illinois Huskies in early December for the MAC Championship game.
Many things have changed for the Falcons since that win, as their head coach and many assistant coaches left for Wake Forest. Some stayed on to help the Falcons in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Many of the Falcons players had a goal of beating a BCS school. However, their wish would not be granted, as the Pittsburgh Panthers upset the Falcons, 30-27, tonight in Detroit.
The Panthers finished the season with a 7-6 record. The Falcons fell to 10-4 overall.
There were two records set in this game. Panthers running back James Connor had 229 rushing yards, which is a Panthers rushing record in a game. Also, it was a record for most rushing yards by a single back in this bowl game.
The Falcons also saw Jerry “BooBoo” Gates return a kickoff for a touchdown that tied the Falcons school record. The original record was set in 1997 by Leon Weathersby.
The Panthers saw Chris Blewitt kick the game-winning field goal with 1:17 left in the game. Blewitt’s 39-yard field goal gave the Panthers a 30-27 lead.
Falcons quarterback Matt Johnson tied the game at 27 each at 4:42 left in the game. Johnson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Burbrink.
Panthers quarterback Chad Voytik gave Pittsburgh a 27-20 lead at 9:31 left on a 5-yard touchdown run. Blewitt tied the game at 20 each with 5:59 left in the third with his 28 yard field goal.
The Falcons would score the first 10-points in the third quarter. Falcons kicker Tyler Tate would kick a 46-yard field goal at 9:52 in the third to make it 20-17 Falcons.
Gates would score on his 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown just 11 seconds into the third quarter. This tied the game up at 17 apiece.
The half ended with the Panthers leading 17-10. Before the half ended, Johnson threw a 29-yard pass to Alex Bayer with 1:28 left in the second quarter.
Panthers Tyler Boyd returned a punt return for a 54-yard touchdown to increase their lead to 17-3. Blewitt made it 10-3 with a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Connor had a big rushing game, but only managed one touchdown in the game. His touchdown game with less than a minute left in the first quarter, as he had a 15-yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Panthers.
Tate kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead at 4:26 in the first.
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