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Tate is BG's place-kicker for Idaho game (9-5-12) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 18:32
Tyler Tate will be Bowling Green’s place-kicker for Saturday home-opener with Idaho.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Perry Stadium.
Dave Clawson, BG’s head coach, gave the nod to Tate during his Wednesday meeting with the media.
Tate, a redshirt freshman, did not play last season because of a knee injury.
Stephen Stein, a fifth-year senior, did the bulk of the place-kicking last season and was the kicker for the season-opener at Florida. Stein missed field goals of 31 and 29 yards in a 27-14 loss to Florida.
“A lot has been made of the field goals and obviously it would have helped to hit those, but our guys have been kicking the ball so much better in practice,” Clawson said. “The percentages are way up. I’m not going to hit the panic button with that; those guys are still competing.
That was a very neck-and-neck competition,” Clawson continued. “Their percentages were very close. Part of the competition is how you kick in games and we certainly feel Tyler deserves an opportunity to see how he will do.”
Tate was a special mention All-Ohio choice as a senior at Bloom-Carroll High School in 2010. He was 6-of-9 on field goals, with a long of 50 yards, and 32-of-33 on extra points. He also played wide receiver and defensive back.
Last season with the Falcons, Stein was 8-of-11 on field goals, with a long of 39 yards, and 24-of-25 on extra points.
Stein was a walk-on to the program while Tate is on scholarship. The other kickers are: Anthony Farinella, a freshman, who is handling the kickoffs this season; and Matt Oczypok, in his fourth year with the Falcons, who has not kicked in a regular-season game.
During Wednesday’s practice session when Tate and Stein attempted a field goal, the entire team surrounded them yelling as loud as they could to distract the kickers.
Clawson was not pleased with the overall performance of the special teams against Florida, not just the place-kicking.
“We went into the year feeling we will take a step on offense and a step on defense, but really special teams were probably the most solid unit we had,” Clawson said.
He added that Bowling Green was in the top three or four teams for special teams in the Mid-American Conference last season. And the Falcons returned the majority of their special teams players for the current season.
“I probably was as disappointed in our special teams performance as anything we did offensively or defensively,” Clawson said about the Florida game. “We didn’t field a punt, we didn’t handle kickoffs. We almost had two punts blocked. I think we missed an opportunity twice to block their punts.
“We lost so much field positions and so many opportunities due to special teams and that was really disappointing.”
SERIES: This is the third time in the last four seasons the Falcons and Vandals have played.
Idaho scored a touchdown and added a 2-point conversion with four seconds remaining in regulation to post a 43-42 win in the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl.
Last season, BG recorded a 32-15 victory at Idaho.
“I don’t know if you want to call it a rivalry or whatever you want to call it, we’re getting a strong history together here and I like what’s come about with that,” said Idaho head coach Robb Akey. “I have a lot of respect for what they’ve (BG) done and the way they are going about things with the program ... You can see the way things have developed for Bowling Green.”
On the future Falcon football schedules released last month, there are no games scheduled with Idaho after this season.
BG seniors Chris Jones and Jordon Roussos started the 2009 contest against Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl at defensive tackle. Roussos is now the starting right offensive tackle for the Falcons. Jones is an all-conference performer at defensive tackle.
OPENERS: The Falcons are 3-0 under Clawson in home openers, with wins over Troy (2009), Marshall (2010) and Morgan State (2011).
ROSTER: Running back Jordan Hopgood has been reinstated after sitting out the Florida game due to a violation of team rules. He was No. 2 on the depth chart at tailback before the suspension, but is listed as the No. 5 back. He could move up during practice sessions this week. Hopgood was BG’s Wildcat back in 2011 and had 60 carries for 213 yards and four touchdowns and added seven receptions for 53 yards. Hopgood missed the final three games in 2011 and spring drills with a knee injury which required surgery.
Wide receiver Heath Jackson (knee) and defensive end Ronnie Goble (ankle) both missed the Florida game. Goble is probable for the Idaho game and Jackson is questionable.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 20:15

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