Falcons have cleaner, crisper scrimmage as offensive line and running backs perform well (8-18-12) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Saturday, 18 August 2012 21:55
BGSU head coach Dave Clawson makes a call Saturday evening. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
In what head coach Dave Clawson called a cleaner, crisper scrimmage, Bowling Green’s running game stepped to the forefront Saturday evening in Perry Stadium.
“There were a lot of positives ... We made a significant step from a week ago,” Clawson said. “The energy level was a lot better than a week ago ... There weren’t snaps on the ground or fumbled exchanges.
“I thought it was pretty balanced,” he continued. “During the normal field play, the offense probably got the better of the defense. Then in a lot of the situational week, the defense got the better of the offense.”
With Anthon Samuel, the projected starter at tailback limited in his repetitions by the coaching staff, Jordan Hopgood, Jamel Martin, John Pettigrew and Andre Givens were all given the opportunity to carry the ball.
Hopgood and Givens were held out of the scrimmage on Aug. 11, but made up for lost time on Saturday with solid carries.
The offensive line opened some holes and the backs ran hard with Pettigrew scoring three times on runs of 9, 1 and 2 yards, Martin scoring on a 3-yard run, and Givens finding the end zone on a 12-yard run.
“I’ve said all along (about) our offensive line this year, for us to get better as an offense that group had to get better,” Clawson said. “They had a great off-season and they are much, much stronger than a year ago. They are really starting to become a cohesive unit.
“We have playable backs and that’s a very good problem,” Clawson added. “I think all those guys did some nice things with the football.”
Pettigrew, a senior, credited the offensive line for the success in the running game.
“It was the line working hard and getting great blocks,” Pettigrew said. “And with the backs, the coaches have been telling us just to focus on all the small things.
“It’s a good group of guys. We’re all working hard to accomplish one goal and that’s a MAC (Mid-American Conference) championship,” Pettigrew continued. “We all have different things to bring to the table so we all can be used to help win us games.”
While Pettigrew did score three times, it was a 2-yard gain in a fourth-and-one situation that earned him a hug from Clawson.
“It was a surprise. Coach Clawson and I have a good relationship,” Pettigrew said. “I think he was just proud of me, and I was proud of myself.”
Clawson was excited because the Falcons were able to convert a short-yardage situation and said Pettigrew’s run was “as big of a play that we had all day in the scrimmage.
“It all starts up front, but you also need a back... who takes that small crease and runs through arm tackles,” Clawson added. “It’s a tough down for tough football players. I like the way our offensive line responded to it tonight, and I love the way JP (Pettigrew) hit those holes.
“Those are tough yards and we need a back that is going to convert those fourth-and-ones and those goal-line situations,” Clawson continued. “I just thought his decision-making, the toughness and his not hesitating, that was really encouraging. I was really excited about what he did.”
Other scores were a 14-yard pass from Matt Schilz to Travis Greene, who did a nice job of tip-toeing down the sideline to the end zone and a 30-yard field goal from Stephen Stein. Tyler Tate missed field goals of 41 and 42 yards.
There was one turnover as Mark Mays got a good read on a pass, stepped in front of the receiver and made the interception, following it up with a return for approximately 45 yards.
The ones and twos on the offensive and defensive depth chart basically went the first one hour and 45 minutes in the scrimmage and then did conditioning with strength coach Brandon Horrigan for an hour. The threes and the rest of the team scrimmaged for the final hour.
INJURIES: Hunter Maynard, a defensive tackle who lettered last season as a freshman, is out for the season with a knee injury that will require surgery. Maynard will have three years of eligibility when he returns for the 2013 season.
Bart Tanski, a wide receiver, made a nice catch early in the scrimmage, but suffered a shoulder injury and did not continue.
Ronnie Goble, a defensive end, remains in a walking boot as he recovers from a sprained right ankle. Goble should be able to get some practice time in before the season-opener at Florida on Sept. 1.
Both Darrell Hunter and DeVon McKoy, two of BG’s top three cornerbacks, were held out of the scrimmage with muscle strains.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 August 2012 08:21

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