|Falcons hope to slow down Kent State's Nix (09-05-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 05 September 2013 09:04|
Roosevelt Nix has been a force since he stepped on the field for Kent State in 2010.
A defensive tackle, Nix won the Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year award as a freshman, and has not slowed down since.
''I've played against him four years straight, and I think he's gotten better every year,'' said Bowling Green's Dominic Flewellyn, who has started 34 games at left guard for the Falcons. ''Hopefully it won't become me and him battling, or him and (Alex) Huettel (BG's right guard) battling,'' Flewellyn said, adding it's going to take a team effort to hold off Nix.
Flewellyn said that Nix is quick off the ball.
''He moves side-to-side pretty quickly. So our challenge is to just play our fundamentals, work through some of his quickness, and try to use our strength when we get our hands on him,'' Flewellyn said.
''We have to stick to our game play. We're not trying to focus on one player, and let everybody else beat us,'' Flewellyn added. ''Hopefully we are confident enough, and we've worked hard enough in camp that we can hold on, and everything will work out just as planned.''
Nix is second among active Football Bowl Subdivision players in career tackles for loss (52.0), fifth in forced fumbles (10), and 14th in sacks (20.5).
''I think Roosevelt Nix is as fine a defensive lineman that we've faced in the conference,'' BG head coach Dave Clawson said. ''He plays with a high motor and is very athletic, physical.''
JOHNSON: Matt Johnson is Bowling Green's starting quarterback for Saturday's game at Kent State. Kickoff is at noon in Dix Stadium.
Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, entered the Tulsa game after two offensive series and helped the Falcons post a 34-7 victory.
''He sparked our football team,'' Clawson said. ''Matt Johnson led us on the (field goal) drive at the end of the half, and he led on the (touchdown) drive to start the second half. At that point I said: 'it's his game.'
''He played well enough last Thursday, that he deserves to start this week.''
Johnson was 11-of-23 passing for 151 yards with an interception against Tulsa. He also rushed nine times for 50 yards.
Matt Schilz, a fifth-year senior, was the starter against Tulsa. It was the 36th start of his BG career.
''We haven't talked about having any plans to put Matt Schilz in there (against Kent State). But Matt Schilz has practiced really well this week, and we have got confidence in Matt Schilz,'' Clawson said. ''If you're somebody in his position, that has been the starter and you are not starting for the first time, I think it would be very natural to hang your head ... He's been positive out there.
''I'm confident that he's going to prepare himself and if he has to play, he's ready.'
THREE: Kent State has won three straight games against the Falcons, but Flewellyn said that is really not a motivating factor.
''The motivation is that this could be a MAC championship game,'' Flewellyn said. ''We take every MAC game as a MAC championship week.
''The three losses, that does add a little fuel, but it's about handling our business this week, and then moving on from that.''
Kent State went 8-0 in the MAC last season, including a 31-24 win over the Falcons at Perry Stadium.
''I told our players that whether we won the Tulsa game or lost the Tulsa game, this game (Kent State) is more important in terms of what our goals are,'' Clawson said.
ROSTER: Senior safety Josh Pettus and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jhalil-Nashid Croley are both back with the team after serving one-game suspensions for violations of team rules.
Sophomore wide receiver Jermal Hosely and redshirt freshman safety James Sanford remain out with knee injuries.
Redshirt junior defensive end Charlie Walker (knee sprain) saw limited action on BG's win over Tulsa, but he could return for the Kent State game.
Fifth-year senior running back Jordan Hopgood (neck) also had to leave the Tulsa game, but he could be available Saturday.
NEXT: Bowling Green plays at Indiana on Sept. 14 with kickoff at noon.
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