|Youngsters help BG offense (8-30-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 30 August 2013 06:39|
It’s what Dave Clawson has been building for since his arrival at Bowling Green State University for the 2009 football season — a two-deep which is heavily-laden with veterans.
And the veterans performed well in Thursday’s 34-7 season-opening victory over Tulsa.
Still, there was an infusion of youth, especially on offense, for the Falcons during the game.
‘‘We are a veteran team, but it’s a lot easier for younger players to play when they are with veteran players,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘When you have to play a bunch of young guys, it’s hard. But when you can sprinkle them in among veterans, it’s a lot easier.
‘‘We didn’t overload those guys this week,’’ he continued. ‘‘We’re going to need those guys, and it was good that we had a game where we could play them.’’
Redshirt sophomores Matt Johnson and Travis Greene played well at quarterback and running back, respectively. Redshirt freshmen offensive tackles Jacob Bennett and Logan Dietz also did well. And freshmen William Houston, Ronnie Moore and Fred Coppet combined for 21 offensive touches.
Johnson came in early in the first quarter and sparked the offense, which rolled up 396 total yards.
‘‘I didn’t want to come out at all, whether it was injury or playing bad,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘I didn’t want to play scared either. If a quarterback plays scared, sometimes he won’t make the tough throw, which could end up costing the team.
‘‘I just wanted to go out there and play my game, the best I could.’’
Greene, a converted wide receiver, rushed 22 times for 88 yards, both game highs.
Bennett and Dietz blended in with BG’s veteran offensive line to help the Falcons gain 223 yards on the ground.
‘‘It certainly seemed like they held up well,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Those worked hard, they really did.
‘‘Now you have to prepare in one week; that’s the challenge for them,’’ he added.
Houston, 6-foot, 262 pounds, attended Ohio State in the 2013 winter semester before transferring to BG.
‘‘We have tried to recruit a big back for three years ... and those backs are hard to find,’’ Clawson said about Houston. ‘‘It helps to have a guy like that in those situations who can push the pile.’’
Houston provided a red zone threat, scoring three times on 1-yard runs.
‘‘It’s nice to have a big back, get behind a big (offensive) line ... it’s a huge advantage that we have,’’ Johnson said about Houston.
Moore had an explosive 37-yard run and also caught a pass for an 18-yard gain.
DURKIN: Bill Durkin, BG’s offensive line coach since 2009, did not coach in Thursday’s game.
In a prepared statement, Chris Kingston, BG’s athletics director said: ‘‘Durkin was placed on leave on Aug. 24 while the university investigated the incident. The final decision on coach Durkin’s status at the university will follow that inquiry.
‘‘I am both shocked and disappointed in the decision-making that led to the incident and we’re very thankful that no one was injured.’’
No other information was available.
ATTENDANCE: The Falcons drew a good crowd of 18,142.
‘‘It’s always fun to play in front of a big crowd, especially at home,’’ BG senior Jerry ‘BooBoo’ Gates said. ‘‘We get the crowd into it, and get the other team intimidated, maybe.’’
ROSTER: Senior safety Josh Pettus and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jhalil-Nashid Croley were suspended for the game for violations of team rules.
Sophomore wide receiver Jermal Hosley (knee) and redshirt freshman defensive back James Sanford (knee) were unavailable due to injuries.
Redshirt junior defensive end Charlie Walker was hurt early in the game and did not return to action. He was on the sidelines on crutches and his right leg in a brace.
NEXT: BG plays at Kent State Sept. 7 at noon.
It’s the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.
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