|Carle's Corner: Solid foundation in place for Falcons (12-27-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 27 December 2013 02:57|
DETROIT — The end result wasn’t what Bowling Green had hoped for at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The Falcons, who were 2-10 in 2010, won the Mid-American Conference championship beating nationally ranked and previously unbeaten Northern Illinois, 47-27 on Dec. 6.
The final team goals — winning a bowl game, and beating a BCS team — for this current group of seniors who played through the 2-10 season, were there for the taking Thursday against Pittsburgh.
Pitt kicked the eventual game-winning field goal with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter in a 30-27 victory. The Falcons finished 10-4.
‘‘In terms of our team, I couldn’t be more proud of the way this group handled themselves the last three weeks, what we accomplished in five months since we started this season, and what they accomplished in our five years here as a staff,’’ said Adam Scheier, BG’s interim head coach for the bowl game. Scheier was named the interim coach after Dave Clawson, BG’s head coach since 2009, left after the MAC title game to become head coach at Wake Forest.
Thursday’s loss denied the Falcons their final goals, but the group of fifth-year and fourth-year seniors have left their mark on the program. BG was a combined 7-17 in 2010 and 2011, and then went a combined 18-9 the last two seasons.
‘‘I’m sorry to see this group go. They brought a MAC championship back to Bowling Green, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’m just disappointed it ended the way it did,’’ Scheier said.
Dominic Flewellyn said BG had a great 2013 season.
‘‘This one loss doesn’t tell the whole season. It doesn’t show we weren’t a good team,’’ said Flewellyn, a senior who was BG’s starting left guard for last 47 games.
And even Clawson leaving and all four coordinators, including Scheier, joining him, the Falcons have a solid foundation for the future.
Dino Babers has been hired to replace Clawson.
‘‘The program has never been in better shape. I know coach Babers will take over, and expand on that,’’ Scheier said. ‘‘There is tremendous talent, and youth, and depth coming back. There is a culture that has been established that, they know how to prepare, they know how to practice, they know how to act on and off the field.
‘‘I really, really couldn’t be prouder of the work that we’ve done as a staff, and the commitment that these guys have made to bring it to that point.’’
Flewellyn, who was thrown into the fray starting as a freshman, feels the program is in good shape for the future.
‘‘They have some linemen coming back who are going to be better than I was, and hopefully better than what ‘Chief’ (David Kekuewa) was,’’ Flewellyn said. Both Flewellyn and Kekuewa were first-team all-conference selections this season. ‘‘We’ve got all the skills (back and receivers) coming back except ‘Jop’ (Shaun Joplin).
‘‘They have a chance to be really good.’’
On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons lose six starters, including two-time all-conference selection Jerry ‘BooBoo’ Gates, a senior.
‘‘In the secondary, we have guys behind me who can play just as well as me,’’ Gates said. ‘‘On the defensive line, we lose two interior guys. But we have young guys to step in and fill the gaps. At linebacker we have D.J. Lynch (back), he’s a solid player.
‘‘We have young guys. I know they are going to play hard, they just have to get the playbook down.’’
With a lot of key components in place, plus Gabe Martin, Chris Gallon, and Darrell Hunter coming back from injury and the addition of transfer Gehrig Dieter at receiver, it’s going to be interesting over the next few months to see what additions and changes Babers will make in the program.
In the next month or so he’s going to have to finish filling out his coaching staff, and complete the recruiting.
Then it’s on to spring practice, summer drills, and the August practice sessions leading up to the season opener at Western Kentucky.
Falcon fans hope the fun ride continues.
|Last Updated on Friday, 27 December 2013 10:26|
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