The Bowling Green football team held its second scrimmage since falls drills began on Saturday, Aug. 18. Here are a few notes, highlights and thoughts from that scrimmage.
OVERVIEW: The Falcons scrimmaged for roughly two hours, with the first and second teams doing the bulk of the work. After those two units worked, the third team offense faced the third team defense (with a few other players involved). I thought it was a very clean scrimmage in terms of penalties and mistakes. In fact, I thought any “big” plays were more the result of a player making a play rather than taking advantage of a breakdown, which is a good sign for both sides of the ball.
OFFENSIVE NOTES: Remember how I said I wouldn’t keep statistics from a fall scrimmage? Well, several of you shamed me into it. Here are some stats, starting with the running game: John Pettigrew ran the ball 13 times for 59 yards and three touchdowns (and looked good doing it). Jordan Hopgood had 10 carries for 38 yards in his first “game” action since his knee injury last fall, while Andre Givens had five carries for 33 yards and a touchdown (not including stats against the third team, of which I did not keep track). For the quarterbacks, Matt Schilz completed 11-of-23 passes for 120 yards and one TD with no interceptions (his completions were affected by several throws out of bounds to avoid sacks), while Matt Johnson completed 17-of-24 for 130 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. A total of 13 players caught at least one pass, with Chris Gallon leading the way with seven catches for 69 yards. Heath Jackson and Ryan Burbrink each had three catches (Jackson had 32 receiving yards, Burbrink had 13), while seven other players had two catches.
OFFENSIVE PLAY OF THE SCRIMMAGE: If you read the story I wrote about the scrimmage for Sunday’s Blade, you know that coach Dave Clawson was excited by a fourth-and-one run by John Pettigrew. So you know about that play … but here’s a look at how the offense did in short-yard situations: The Falcons were 3-for-3 on third-and-one situations, split on a pair of third-and-two plays and converted on two of three third-and-three plays. That adds up to 6-for-8 conversion rate (which is excellent).
DEFENSIVE NOTES: The defense had its moments, too. I didn’t keep any tackle statistics, but there were times that the defense was stout. Twice the defense faced a “sudden change” where the drive started on their 25 or better (in other words, the offense needed 25 yards for a touchdown) and forced a three-and-out. Several different defensive linemen had sacks, and Mark Mays had an interception. There also was some terrific hitting by the defense. You would like to see more turnovers caused, and a little bit better results on third-and-short, but the defense did have its moments in the scrimmage as well.
DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE SCRIMMAGE: The defense took advantage of a penalty and a negative rushing play to force a second-and-17 on the second drive of the series. On the ensuing pass play Mark Mays stepped in front of a Matt Johnson pass and intercepted it on his 25, then had a long return (sorry, didn’t get the final yard mark, but it was at least 40 yards).
PUNTING NOTES: Punter Brian Schmiedebusch punted the ball three times (in a row) in the "first half" and three more times in the "second half." The highlight was the third punt of the first set, which he took from the defense’s 46-yard line. A punt to pin the other team close to the end zone was in order, and Schmiedebusch delivered with a punt downed on the one-yard line. He did “shank” a punt (well, it was sort of a shank), but it came on another short punt in the second set and it would still look like a positive in the final stats, since it ended up on the opponent’s 16-yard line.
PLACE-KICKING NOTES: Freshman Tyler Tate handled the kickoffs, while Tate and senior Stephen Stein split the field goals and extra points. ... Stein made a 30-yard field goal to end the second drive of the scrimmage, and he was 2-for-2 on extra points. ... Tate was 3-for-3 on extra points, but he missed a 41-yard field goal (wide left) and a 42-yard field goal (wide left).
SCRIMMAGE THOUGHTS: I hope people understand what I mean about “big plays” in the first half. It’s one thing if one side of the ball is struggling, and the other takes advantage. It’s something entirely different if both sides are playing well, and it’s about “making plays.” Saturday’s scrimmage was about “making plays,” and that has to be exciting for BG football fans. … The injury front bears watching, especially on the defensive line and defensive backfield. Losing Hunter Maynard while Ronnie Goble is injured is a double-blow to the defensive line, so some younger players will get an opportunity to step up at that position. And the depth of a young secondary is being tested by some nagging injuries. … The Falcons are taking Monday off (it’s the first day of school at BGSU),
Click here to read the story from Saturday's scrimmage that appeared in The Blade on Sunday.