#6 Ohio State Opens 2016 Season vs. Bowling Green

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#6 Ohio State vs. Bowling Green
Saturday, September 3rd, 2016, Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (104,955), Columbus, OH

TV: Big Ten Network
Kevin Kugler (Play-By-Play)
Matt Millen (Analyst)
Lisa Byington (Sideline)

Radio: WBNS FM (97.1 The Fan) The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the action with former Buckeye Jim Lachey and Matt Andrews on the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on Sirius/XM channels 195.

FIRST AND 10

  • Ohio State is facing Bowling Green for the first time in 10 years (2006).
  • The Buckeyes are 32-1 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference.
  • Ohio State lost 16 starters from last year's team, eight on each side of the ball. It returns just six starters (3 on offense, 3 on defense), the fewest among all 128 FBS schools. (source: ESPN)
  • Ohio State has won 69 of its last 70 regular-season home games against unranked, non-conference opponents.
  • Ohio State has won 36 of its last 37 home openers and 35 of its last 37 overall. Both of those 0-1 starts took place in the Kickoff Classic at the old Giants Stadium; 1999 to Miami, Fla., and in 1986 to Alabama
  • The Buckeyes are 113-9-4 all-time in home openers since 1890.
  • Urban Meyer enters the 2015 season with the highest career winning percentage (.850) among active FBS coaches with at least 10 years head coaching experience.
  • Meyer has never lost a season opener in his head coaching career. He is a perfect 14-0.
  • Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, going 17-6 in two seasons. He is facing his former school for the first time
  • Meyer is 54-5 in his career in games played in August/September.

SCOUTING BOWLING GREEN
Bowling Green, the defending champion of the Mid-American Conference, is under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Jinks, who came to BGSU after spending the 2015 season as associate head coach at Texas Tech. Prior to his time at Texas Tech, he was a National Coach of the Year finalist while winning the 2010 Texas State Championship and compiling a record of 43-4 in his final three seasons at San Antonio Steele High School.

BGSU, which finished 10-4 and 7-1 in the MAC last season, returns 12 starters, four on offense and six on defense. The Falcons defeated two Big Ten opponents on the road last season, at Maryland (48- 27) and at Purdue (35-28).

Fifth-year senior James Knapke is expected to start at QB for the Falcons. Last season he completed 14 of 20 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown backing up Matt Johnson. Fred Coppet is the leading return man on the ground, rushing for 825 yards and five TDs. Ronnie Moore returns to lead the wide receivers after finishing third on the team with 72 catches for 954 yards and six TDs. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Austin Valdez also is back after leading the team with 144 tackles in 2015.

MEYER IN FIRST-TIME COACHING MATCHUPS
Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks will represent the 105th different coach that Urban Meyer will gameplan against in his head coaching career. Meyer is 89-15 in first-time coaching matchups.

MEYER 43-3 WITH MORE THAN A WEEK TO PREPARE
Coach Urban Meyer is 43-3 in games in which he has more than one week to prepare for an opponent. This figure includes season openers, games after an "off" week and post-season games.

MEYER 14-0 IN SEASON OPENERS
Head coach Urban Meyer is 14-0 all-time in his head coaching career in season openers with an average margin of victory of 28.4 points. Last season the Buckeyes defeated Virginia Tech on the road on Labor Day, 42-24, at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.

OHIO STATE VS. THE MAC
The Buckeyes are 32-1 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference. Ohio State has played at least one MAC school in each of the past 19 seasons.

Saturday's game also will mark the first time coach Urban Meyer has faced his former team, where he first began his head coaching career in 2001.

School Record
Ohio *6-0
Bowling Green 4-0
Buffalo 1-0
Akron 7-1
Miami (OH) 5-0
Massachusetts 0-0
Kent State 3-0
Central Michigan 0-0
Northern Illinois 2-0
Western Michigan 1-0
Ball State 0-0
Toledo 3-0
Eastern Michigan *0-0

*win from the 2010 season vacated

LAST TIME VS. BOWLING GREEN: OCT. 7, 2006
Troy Smith tossed three touchdown passes -- including a 57-yard strike to Ted Ginn -- to lead No. 1 Ohio State to a 35-7 victory over Bowling Green.

The Buckeyes tacked on two touchdowns in the final quarter to turn a surprisingly close 21-7 game into a 28-point win.

Smith's touchdowns covered 3 yards to Rory Nichol and 11 to Ray Small in addition to the long one to Ginn. His 85-percent completion rate was the third best ever for an Ohio State quarterback. Antonio Pittman carried 13 times for 61 yards, scoring on two 8-yard runs.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ginn got a rare chance to return a punt -- the Falcons punted out of bounds rather than give up a big return -- and brought it back 21 yards to the Ohio State 43. On the next play, Smith dropped back in the pocket and fired to Ginn, who had streaked past defender Antonio Smith to catch the ball at the 7, racing in the rest of the way untouched.

Smith's 3-yard touchdown pass to Nichol got the scoring started. The Falcons took over and drove to a first down at the Ohio State 34. But the Falcons' 50-yard field-goal attempt by Sean Ellis' was blocked by Kurt Coleman.

The Buckeyes made the most of that turnover by slicing through the Falcons. On third-and-26 at the Bowling Green 42, Smith dropped the snap out of the shotgun formation, then picked it up and had to avoid a tackler at left end. Smith cut across the grain, racing to the right corner for a 34-yard gain. On the next play, Pittman skirted left end for the first of his first score.

Bowling Green turned it over again on its next possession, with lineman Vernon Gholston grabbing a tipped pass at the Falcons 21. Three plays later, Pittman sidestepped a tackler at the goal line to make it 21-0.

The Falcons put together an impressive drive to start the second half, moving 85 yards in 15 plays on a mix of Anthony Turner's passes and Chris Bullock's runs. Anthony Turner completed 16-of-24 passes for 179 yards with one interception. He hooked up with Corey Partridge for a 7-yard TD in the third quarter.