31-point underdog Bowling Green shocks Minnesota for first win over FBS opponent in 23 months

·2 min read

Bowling Green pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2021 season with a 14-10 shocker over Minnesota on Saturday. 

The Falcons entered the game as 31-point underdogs and hadn't won a game against an FCS opponent since beating Akron on Nov. 2, 2019. But Bowling Green intercepted Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan twice inside of the final three minutes to seal the upset on Saturday and move to 2-2. 

The Falcons had just 194 yards of total offense but held Minnesota to a paltry 59 yards passing and 182 yards rushing on 42 attempts. The Gophers threw the ball just 13 times despite the inefficiency on the ground. Treyson Potts had 28 carries for 141 yards while the rest of the team combined for 17 carries and 41 yards.

Bowling Green took the lead in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by QB Matt McDonald. The game-winning score came with 31 seconds left in the third quarter when McDonald scored from three yards away.

Minnesota tried its best to lose the game in the fourth quarter. Just look at this punt that directly preceded the first of Morgan’s two interceptions. How did Bowling Green not recover this?

If you would have placed a pregame bet on Bowling Green to win outright, you would have won $250 on a $10 wager. 

Bowling Green was getting blown out a lot

The win snapped a 10-game losing streak to FBS teams for Bowling Green since that Akron win. And it was an exceptionally ugly losing streak. Just one of the losses in that span was by fewer than 10 points. That came two weeks ago in a 22-19 defeat to South Alabama when the Jaguars hit a game-winning field goal as time expired.

The other nine losses came with an average margin of defeat of 36.1 points. The next closest loss was 25 points and four of the defeats were by more than 40. Throw in the three-point loss to South Alabama and the average margin drops all the way to 32.8. Yeah, Bowling Green has been blown out a lot lately. That's why the point spread was so high on Saturday.

For Minnesota, the ugly loss comes after the Gophers dominated Colorado on the road in Week 3. That win looked like a kickstart to the season after a sluggish five-point win over Miami (Ohio) in Week 2. Instead, Minnesota now has games against Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland coming up. And none of them look like gimmes given the way the Gophers played on Saturday.