BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Anthony Samuel ran for two touchdowns and Matt Schilz threw for another to help Bowling Green defeat Idaho 21-13 in nonconference play Saturday.
“We fought and we played hard,” Vandals head coach Robb Akey said. “We need to fight and play hard and win.”
Bowling Green (1-1) opened a 7-0 lead behind a 4-yard run from Samuel, but two field goals helped Idaho close the gap to 7-6 at halftime.
Samuel scored again in the third quarter, from 29 yards out, extending Bowling Green’s lead to 14-6.
Schilz’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Je’Ron Stokes on Bowling Green’s next possession gave the Falcons a solid lead.
The junior quarterback finished with 283 yards on 24-of-35 passing while Samuel, last year’s Mid-American Conference freshman of the year, finished with 67 yards on 14 carries.
Bowling Green’s Shaun Joplin led all receivers with 117 yards on seven catches.
Dominique Blackman paced Idaho (0-2) with 352 yards on 30-of-37 passing, but his third quarter interception hurt the Vandals’ chances.
“Anything that happened is my fault,” said Blackman, who completed his first Division I touchdown in the fourth quarter when he found a leaping Marquan Major with a 16-yard pass in the end zone. “I shoulder everything.”
Blackman’s teammates, however, would disagree.
“We have to make it click,” Vandals senior cornerback Aaron Grymes said. “We have to put it all together.”
Blackman was 5 for 6 for 46 yards in the opening quarter, but the Vandals’ drives fizzled with four penalties for 33 yards.
The Falcons improved to 4-0 in season openers under head coach Dave Clawson.
“We need to play a little bit cleaner. We need to protect our quarterback,” said Akey, also noting the need for a more robust running game.
Idaho, which opened its season with a 20-3 loss to Washington State, will travel to third-ranked LSU on Saturday.