|BG-KSU noter: Burbrink displays athletic skills (9-9-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Monday, 09 September 2013 06:20|
KENT — In the span of just over a minute of actual playing time, Bowling Green’s Ryan Burbrink made two plays for the highlight reels Saturday afternoon in the Falcons’ 41-22 win over Kent State.
First, Burbrink put his baseball skills to work on a high booming punt by KSU’s Anthony Melchiori. Melchiori’s punt traveled 58 yards against the wind.
Burbrink was positioned about the 30-yard line and had to go back to field the punt.
While calling for a fair catch, Burbrink made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch of the punt at the 13-yard line.
And then it was time to display his football skills
Three plays later, Burbrink ran a deep crossing route and Matt Johnson hit him in stride with Burbrink turning the reception into a 92-yard touchdown. It was the third-longest scoring play in school history.
Burbrink said the fair catch was a more impressive play, adding that graduate assistant coach Marcus Edwards always stresses that the most important thing is to catch the ball.
‘‘That was the only thing on my mind on that punt,’’ said Burbrink, a 5-foot-8, 188 pound redshirt sophomore, who was a walk-on to the program.
‘‘I used to play center field in high school, so I have a little baseball skill in me,’’ he added.
Burbrink and Johnson had worked extensively on the long touchdown play in practice.
‘‘We had diagrammed that all week,’’ Burbrink said. ‘‘‘Johnny’ did all the work there. He didn’t lead me into anybody (KSU defenders) ... I knew the ball was coming ... As I started looking back for the ball, I knew it was going to be there. I knew ‘Johnny’ and me were on the same page.’’
NUMBERS: BG’s Travis Greene had a career-best 145 yards rushing on 24 carries with a touchdown against KSU. A converted wide receiver, Green has rushed for 233 yards in the Falcons’ first two games of the season.
“Travis is a tough kid and a good player,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “He’s not the biggest in stature, but he’s a tough guy who has good vision and balance.
‘‘Credit to the O-line, they opened up some holes for him.’’
Burbrink finished with a career-best 101 yards receiving
Johnson had a career-high 357 yards passing, going 19-of-25 with two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first career start.
Shaun Joplin was BG’s leading receiver with six receptions for 113 yards. All six catches resulted in a first down.
‘‘Every catch was huge,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘He caught everything. He didn’t drop a ball.
‘‘He’s never had one of monster, 15-catch, 227-yard games, but his plays always seem to be real important plays. He did that again today.’’
TEAM WIN: Clawson said this was a good team win.
‘’It’s good to win a game like this,’’ Clawson said. ‘’Over the past two years, our defense has carried us. This is really the first game we’ve had in two years that we struggled on defense and our offense carried the team.
‘’Credit to Kent, they really had us on our heels in the first half, they did a really good job,’’ Clawson continued. ‘’We made some adjustments, and the kids executed. It was a really good win for us.’’
OUT: Cornerback Darrell Hunter, running back Jordan Hopgood and defensive end Charlie Walker are still on the injured list for the Falcons.
CROWD: Saturday’s crowd of 22,758 was the eighth-largest for a home game in Kent State history.
REARDON: Quarterback Colin Reardon was the catalyst of Kent State’s offense in the first half, rushing four times for 57 yards and throwing for 131 yards and two TDs on 10-of-14 passing.
In the second half, the Falcons shut off his running lanes in the option attack and Reardon finished with 1-yard on eight carries, and he was sacked twice. He was only 5-of-14 for 33 yards passing in the second half.
‘‘If we had done the same as we did in the first half, we probably would have ended up winning,’’ Reardon said. The Falcons held Kent State scoreless in the second half.
TOUGH: Kent State now faces a extremely rough four-game stretch with games at LSU, Penn State, and Western Michigan before returning to Dix Stadium to host MAC preseason favorite Northern Illinois.
POLL: Despite its win over Kent State, BG dropped in the AP Top 25 poll. Last week the Falcons were 34th with nine points. This week, BG is 35th with seven points.
In the USA Today poll, the Falcons received three points, two more than a week ago.
NEXT: BG, 2-0, plays at Indiana University Saturday with kickoff at noon in Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
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