The Bowling Green football team announced its two-deep for the season opener at Florida Sept. 1, and there were some interesting decisions made on both sides of the ball.
Here's a look at how things shook out, along with some observations ...
- There are six different positions where there is an "or" listed. That means either the starter has not officially been chosen (it will be one player "or" the other), or there is a decision to be made on back ups.
I'll look at each of the "or" positions as I run through the two-deep. But keep this in mind: The "or" for a starting position basically reflects the game's first snap. I would assume everyone who has an "or" next to their name will be on the field against the Gators.
- Matt Schilz will be the starting quarterback at Florida, with Matt Johnson as the back-up. That was expected.
- The running back position lists Anthon Samuel as the starter, and then two "ors" separating the following players, in order: John Pettigrew, Jamel Martin and Andre Givens.
Obviously this is a competitive position, even without the suspended Jordan Hopgood. Interesting to note that Pettigrew is listed first, Martin second and Givens third. I would suspect the first three of this list will play for sure, and there's no reason to redshirt Givens so he probably will play as well. I look forward to seeing where Hopgood will fit on this list next week.
- The starting wide receivers are Ryan Burbrink at the Slot, Shaun Joplin at the X and Chris Gallon at the Z. The back-ups are Heath Jackson behind Burbrink at the Slot; Herve Coby behind Joplin at the X and Je'Ron Stokes behind Gallon at the Z.
Extremely interesting decisions here. Burbrink is a freshman walk-on who started making his presence felt last spring, then continued to push for playing time in fall camp. Of the three, this is the most surprising choice. Joplin over Coby was the most clear-cut in the fall, while Gallon has gotten plenty of run with the first team.
But it's worth noting: BG may not use three receivers on their first play, instead using a tight end AND a fullback. And all six of these guys will get on the field at Florida (and not just in mop-up time).
- Alex Bayer is listed as the starter at tight end, with a pair of back-ups in Kendall Montgomery and Clay Rolf. Meanwhile Tyler Beck is listed as the starting fullback, with Chris Pohlman as the back-up.
I think the only surprise is that three tight ends are listed on the depth chart. And even that is a mild surprise, because Rolf has played well enough in the fall to earn the shot.
- The offensive line will have Fahn Cooper start at LF, Dominic Flewellyn at LG, David Kekuewa OR Chip Robinson start at C, Alex Huettel at RG and Jordon Roussos at RT.
Let's address the center position first. Both Kekuewa and Robinson have seen plenty of snaps and spent time with the first team. Coach Dave Clawson, when asked about Robinson today, mentioned how smart Robinson was and how he knows all of the positions on the offensive line. My gut feeling is this: if there is an injury at any position -- not just center -- Robinson, assuming he does not start, will be the replacement.
For those wondering, the back-up to Cooper at LT is Christian Piazza, the back-up to Flewellyn at LG is Darion Delaney, the back-up to Huettel at RG is Dominique Wharton and the back-up to Roussos at RT is Scott Hodges. Of those four back-ups, Wharton is the only one who saw extensive action last season.
- The starters on the defensive line are Zach Colvin and Charlie Walker at end, Chris Jones at tackle and either Jairus Campbell OR Ted Ouellet at nose tackle. Bryan Thomas is listed as Colvin's back-up, while Ronnie Goble is Walker's back-up. Taylor Royster will back up Jones.
Don't read too much into the Campbell-Ouellet situation, because both will play -- a lot. My guess is that Walker is listed in front of Goble because of injury concerns, but Goble will play if he is healthy. Colvin and Thomas also will play a lot. And don't sleep on Royster ... yes, Jones will get the majority of the spans, but Royster has worked his way onto the depth chart with strong play, especially in the spring.
- Dwayne Woods will start at middle linebacker, while Paul Swan will start at the "buck" linebacker. Coy Brown is listed as Woods' back-up, while D.J. Lynch will back up Swan.
Obviously no surprises here. Expect Woods, Swan and Lynch to play a lot.
- Gabe Martin is listed as the starter at Rover, with Brian Sutton and Justin Ford listed as back-ups.
Martin and Sutton have battled for this position all spring and fall after BooBoo Gates moved to safety. I am mildly surprised that Martin is listed as the starter over Sutton, but I would be shocked if both didn't see significant action against the Gators.
- Cameron Truss will start at one cornerback spot, while the other starter at corner will be DeVon McKoy OR Darrell Hunter. The back-up behind Truss is Will Watson OR Johnny Joseph.
In terms of starters, look for McKoy and Hunter to play a lot. I'm not surprised Watson is on the depth chart, because he has made an impact in the fall. He will get on the field ... and so, too, will Joseph.
- BooBoo Gates will start at the "stud" safety, while Ryland Ward will start at the "whip" safety. Josh Pettus is listed as Gates' back-up, while Jude Adjei-Barimah and Aaron Foster are the back-ups to Ward.
No surprises here, except that Foster is a returning starter. Pettus, a junior-college transfer who did not play for BG until this fall, also has made a quick impression on the coaches.
- In the kicking game, the PAT and FG job will be split between Stephen Stein and Tyler Tate, while Anthony Farinella will handle kickoffs.
Click here to read my story on how the kicking game battles have progressed this fall.
- Brian Schmiedebusch will handle the punting, while Cory Johnson is the long-snapper.
- BooBoo Gates will handle kickoff returns, while Ryan Burbrink is listed as the starting punt returner in front of Heath Jackson.
No surprise with Gates, who was an All-Mid-American Conference kickoff returner last season. Mild surprise with Burbrink in front of Jackson on punt returns, although Burbrink's good hands and shiftiness make him a natural for the job.
- Of the 27 players listed on the Falcons' two-deep on offense, the breakdown is four seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores and eight freshmen. Among the 12 starters (there are three WRs and a FB listed), there is 1 1/2 seniors, 5 1/2 juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen
- Of the 25 players listed on the Falcons' two-deep on defense, the breakdown is two seniors, eight juniors, 12 sophomores and three freshmen. Among the 11 starters there are two seniors, four juniors and five sophomores.