|BG receivers have different look (10-24-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:49|
Chris Gallon was the top receiver for the Bowling Green Falcons' football team last season.
This season, Shaun Joplin and Ryan Burbrink have also become involved in the passing attack.
But the loss of Gallon with a season-ending knee injury has changed the makeup of BG's receiving corps heading into Saturday's matchup with Toledo. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. at Perry Stadium.
''We're an equal opportunity throwing team now,'' BG head coach Dave Clawson said. ''Because of how we finished up last year, Chris was getting a lot of (defensive) attention this year, and that's one of the reasons that Burbrink and Joplin have had better years.
''It will be interesting to see how we get defended,'' Clawson added.
For his career, Gallon has 78 receptions for 752 yards and eight scores.
''We are going to miss Chris Gallon, but we have other players we feel good about and we believe in,'' Clawson said.
Matt Johnson, BG's starting quarterback, said it's going to take a group effort to replace Gallon.
''You can't really replace Chris. He's a big target; he's got great hands,'' Johnson said. ''The guys like Jared Cohen and Herve Coby, they know the offense and we trust them, and I trust in them.
''They have shown throughout the year that they may only get 10 plays, but they can produce in those plays.''
Cohen, a redshirt junior, will get the start for Gallon.
Cohen had five receptions for 51 yards replacing Gallon at Mississippi State. For the season, Cohen has 10 receptions for 100 yards, including an important touchdown catch in the 41-22 win over Kent State.
''We had made a decision going into the Mississippi State game to roll him in there anyway,'' Clawson said. ''He was going to be on a two-for-one roll with Chris. He had been preparing and running with the ones before that (injury).
''This will be his first start, and it's a heck of a week for it to happen.''
Freshman Teo Redding, a first-team all-state selection in Michigan last season, is working behind Cohen. The Falcons had hoped to redshirt Redding this season.
''He's coming along; he's a playmaker,'' Clawson said about Redding. ''We're getting pretty thin there now ... if we need him to win the MAC (Mid-American Conference), we'll play him.''
Heath Jackson, Coby, or Joplin could also fill in at Gallon's spot.
''We still have a core group of six guys, we feel can play and help us win,'' Clawson said.
The Falcons have eight players averaging at least one reception per game.
''It's nice to have trust in everybody, even the backups when they come in,'' Johnson said. ''It's nice to know that the guys not getting all the reps, still understand the playbook, and they still stay locked into the game.''
SACKS: Toledo leads the country in fewest sacks allowed with three.
''They have an excellent offensive line,'' Clawson said. ''Their center (Zac Kerin) is a big-time player. Their guards are excellent, they are physical. Their tackles are very good in pass (protection).''
On the other side of the ball, mainly using a three-man rush, the Rockets have recorded 20 sacks.
''Their defensive line is strong, and physical,'' Clawson said. ''They are creating negative yardage plays with a three-man rush.''
TURNOVERS: Toledo has created a total of 16 turnovers, and four games in a row the Rockets have created a turnover that has led to a defensive touchdown.
UT is 16th in the nation in turnover margin at plus-1.1.
In contrast the Falcons have forced eight turnovers, while turning it over five times on the season
RED ZONE: BG ranks first in the country, allowing just 10 scores in 20 red zone trips. Of the 10 stops, four have come on missed field goals, three by recovered fumbles, and three on fourth-down stops.
FIRST: The Falcons have scored 27 touchdowns this season, with 21 of them coming from players who had not scored for BG prior to this season.
Freshman William Houston leads the way with seven touchdowns.
Except for touchdowns by seniors Joplin and Tyler Beck, all of BG's scoring this season has come from non-seniors.
NEXT: BG plays three of its last four regular-season games on the road, starting Nov. 5 at Miami.
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