Injuries force BG to shuffle offensive line

MUNCIE, Ind. — Bowling Green’s starting offensive line, which played every snap in the 36-35 victory over
Kent State on Oct. 10, took on a different look Saturday at Ball State.
Some of the changes were planned, such as Scott Lewis getting playing time at right guard.
However, injuries to left tackle Brady Minturn (neck) and center Ben Bojicic (right knee) caused some
major shuffling.
Blaec Walker came in at left tackle for Minturn and Shane Steffy had to move from left guard to center
for Bojicic. Lewis, who saw some action for Scott Albert at right guard, moved to left guard when Steffy
went to center and Albert went back to right guard.
“It hurts to lose Brady, but Blaec is ready to go,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “There is a certain
chemistry with the quarterback and center in terms of cadence, in terms of the snaps.
“We were a little bit more concerned going to the (shot)gun (formation) in the fourth quarter. That’s why
we went under center a little bit more. At that point with the lead, we just wanted to eliminate
negative plays.”
Safety Keith Morgan and defensive tackle Kevin Alvarado were also banged up in the game and had to be
helped from the field. Morgan was helped off on two different occasions.
PASSING: Bowling Green continued to have major success in the passing game as Tyler Sheehan was 28-of-41
passing for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He did not throw an interception and was sacked twice.
In the last three games Sheehan has thrown for 1,271 yards with 10 TDs and one interception. For the
season he has thrown for 2,336 yards with 14 TDs and four interceptions.
Five different receivers caught passes Saturday with Freddie Barnes, the nation’s leading receiver,
finishing with 10 catches for 160 yards and three scores. Chris Wright added six catches for 104 yards
and Adrian Hodges made seven catches for 68 yards.
“That’s just being a good experienced quarterback to recognize the defense and to know what matchups he
has,” Clawson said. “And that’s a credit to the O-line that he has time to recognize coverage, safety
rotation and understand where his isolations are.
“If Freddie is going to get doubled, we are not going to force-feed him,” Clawson added. “Last week it
was Justus Jones and Adrian. This week it was Chris and Adrian.”
“That’s our offense. Coach (Warren) Ruggiero calls great plays all the time,” Barnes said.
BARNES: Barnes has now made 85 catches for 882 yards and eight scores this season. The 85 receptions are
the second-most in school history for a single season behind Cole Magner’s 99 in 2003.
For his career Barnes has 227 receptions, second on the career list to Charles Sharon (2002-05) who made
Barnes has 19 touchdown receptions, sixth-best in the BG record books. Combined with his 10 career
rushing touchdowns, Barnes has 29 scores, also sixth at BG. Barnes also ranks sixth in receiving yards
with 2,402.
“I still have a lot of work to do and improve as the season goes along,” Barnes said.
TACKLES: Morgan and Darius Smith recorded career-highs in tackles against Ball State. Morgan had a
team-high 11, while Smith added eight, including his first career sack.
NEXT: The Falcons (3-4 overall, 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference) host Central Michigan (6-1, 4-0)
Saturday. Kickoff is at noon in Perry Stadium. The Chippewas are the favorite to win the MAC
“This game coming up is probably the biggest game as far as winning the MAC … It’s probably one of the
best teams we will have played, especially in the conference,” said BG junior defensive end Angelo
Magnone. “Hopefully we’ll be ready.”