Bowling Green Produces Biggest Betting Upset of the College Football Season

Bowling Green Defeats Golden Gophers NCAAF

  • Bowling Green defeated Minnesota 14-10 on Saturday as 31.5 points spread underdogs.
  • The Falcons entered the game without a win over an FBS team for nearly two years.
  • Minnesota’s streak of 21 straight wins again non-conference opponents ended with the loss.

The Bowling Green State University Falcons defeated the Minnesota Gophers 14-10 on Saturday and to say that it was an upset would be an understatement because it was an unbelievable stunner.

Bowling Green is arguably one of the worst teams in the nation. They entered Saturday’s game without a win over an FBS opponent in almost two years. They had a winless 2020 season and were  pegged by the best college football sportsbooks as 31.5-point underdogs on the road.

But after beating Murray State 27-10 last week as 2.5 point underdogs, the Falcons were feeling a little better about themselves despite the massive betting spread. Still, not many expected them to cover the spread, much more win the game outright.

Upset of the Season

As far as the largest betting upsets in college football are concerned, it’s hard to top Howard’s shocked over UNLV as 45-point underdogs in 2017. That same season Stanford also won over USC as a +38.5 bottom dog and Syracuse upset Louisville with a +36.5 betting spread line.

But Bowling Green’s win on Saturday is the largest 30-point upset in a game featuring two FBS teams. The only other 30-point upset in an FBS vs FBS game was when Libert beat Baylor as a 30.5-point underdog in 2017. Bowling Green topped that by one point.

It is also the biggest upset win of the 2021 season, topping Duquesne’s 28-26 win over Ohio as 29-point underdogs last September 12th and Jacksonville State’s 20-17 upset of Florida State as 28-point bottom dogs on September 11th.

Last season, the largest FBS vs FBS upset was Kansas State beating Oklahoma s a 28-point spread underdog. In 2019, Illinois defeated Wisconsin as a 28.5 bottom dog.

Matt McDonald Scored BG’s Only Two Touchdowns, On the Ground

Falcons QB Ben McDonald scored the team’s only two touchdowns and both came on the ground. McDonald scored on a one-yard rush in the second quarter then gave Bowling Green the lead with another rushing score in the 3rd quarter.

Minnesota outgained Bowling Green 241-192 and limited them to just 5-14 in third down conversions. However, the Gophers turned the ball over three times, including twice during the final minutes of the game.

The Gophers had the ball with a chance to take the lead late in the final quarter after Bowling Green was unable to fall on a muffled punt by the Gophers. But on the first play after recovering the fumble, Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan threw an interception with 2:13 remaining. He also threw another pick with 17 ticks left in the game.

The loss snapped Minnesota’s streak of 21 consecutive non-conference wins which was the longest current streak in college football entering Saturday’s games. It was also the Gophers’ first non-conference defeat since September 3, 2015, and their first setback to a non-Power 5 conference opponent since losing to North Dakota State on September 4, 2011. It was also Minnesota’s first loss to a MAC school since losing to Northern Illinois in 2010.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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