Failure to launch: CMU football falls to BGSU

Freshman linebacker Dakota Cochran chases after a Bowling Green player Saturday, Oct. 22, in Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Hopes were high as Central Michigan football looked to begin its march to a bowl game on Saturday. 

However, in front of the Maroon and Gold faithful, the Chippewas struggled to find consistency as they fell 34-18 to Bowling Green State. 

CMU falls to 2-6 on the season and 1-3 in the Mid-American Conference. It is currently tied for last in the MAC West.

“We got a lot of work ahead of us,” said head coach Jim McElwain. “And yet you know what, that's something we're gonna do. We're gonna stay together and get it figured out. Whatever the issues are they all are pointed right at me. I haven't done a good enough job to get these guys ready to play.”

Down nine with 2:40 remaining in the game, CMU found itself poised to draw within a possession of the Falcons. 

But as redshirt freshman quarterback, Jase Bauer dropped back to pass the BGSU defensive line swarmed and forced an errant throw which ended up intercepted, effectively ending the Chippewa comeback.

Bauer finished 18-25 through the air for 185 passing yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times.

Less than five minutes in, the Falcons cracked the scoreless tie with a 1-yard rush. But CMU responded as sophomore kicker Marshall Meeder drilled a 52-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 game at the end of the first quarter.

Although the Chippewas kept it close through the first, BGSU took a 17-3 lead into halftime.

After returning from the break, Bauer took over as lead signal caller. 

“You know, we were gonna put him in some series anyway,” McElwain said. “Just felt he was giving us a little bit of a spark.”

With Bauer at the helm, the Chippewas offense recorded 15 points in the second half. But, it wasn’t enough to keep pace with BGSU as it shut the door on CMU in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore running Marion Lukes got the start with Lew Nichols III out due to injury. However, Lukes exited the game in the second quarter. With three running backs injured, redshirt freshman Jake Tafelski took over as starting running back.

Tafelski finished with four receptions for 37 yards while recording four rushing yards.

Defensively, linebackers Kyle Moretti and Justin Whiteside led the team with seven total tackles.

BGSU recorded 369 total offensive yards compared to 306 for the Chippewas.

CMU heads to DeKalb, Illinois on Nov. 2 to face Northern Illinois at 7 p.m.