There have been 207 games played in Doyt L. Perry Stadium since it opened in 1966. In that time, there have been numerous exciting contests and several future National Football League standouts on the field.
Doyt Perry Stadium to host first-ever Big Ten opponent
Still, theres going to be a first for Bowling Greens home opener Saturday against Minnesota. Its the first time BG has hosted a team from the Big Ten. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
Its great to have a home opener on national TV, a night game, said BG head coach Gregg Brandon. I hope our fans really get cranked up for this. We need to get the students out. We need to sell it out, definitely.
Both teams are coming off victories BG 27-17 over Pittsburgh and Minnesota slipped past Northern Illinois 31-27. Bowling Green won at Minnesota last season 32-31 in overtime.
I dont know if well be favored to win, maybe because we beat Pitt, Brandon said. Again, youre playing against the Big Ten and youre not supposed to win these games.
Senior Kenny Lewis, who was the Mid-American Conference East defensive player of the week after his performance against Pittsburgh, is looking forward to the home opener.
Any time you can have a big team like Minnesota with such good tradition to come into Bowling Green it feels real good, Lewis said. The crowd is going to mean a lot. When people see that we have a good team, a lot of people are going to come out and support us. The crowd is really going to enhance our play.
GATOR: Its been in the offensive playbook for years and there are different versions. This year, its called Gator and BG used it on two straight plays against Pittsburgh, including Tyler Sheehan throwing to Freddie Barnes for a first down.
In the current version, Chris Bullock is lined up as a tight end with BGs five offensive linemen.
Those six are split out to the left about 15 yards from the actual spot of the ball. Corey Partridge is the snapper and is an eligible receiver. Sheehan lines up in a shotgun set as quarterback. Jeremiah Kelley is lined up in the backfield near the right tackle with Barnes and Marques Parks almost like wingbacks on either side of Sheehan.
INJURIES: Senior defensive end Adrian Baker injured his hamstring against Pitt and is questionable for Minnesota.
Defensive tackle Nick Torresso came out of the Pitt game early with a knee bruise. Brandon said he will be ready for Saturday.
TWO RETURN: Tailback Willie Geter and receiver Adrian Hodges are expected to play against Minnesota.
The two, along with defensive back Robert Lorenzi, were suspended for the Pitt game after being involved in the illegal use of a credit card. Lorenzi is out for the season with a broken leg and will serve his suspension when he returns to the active roster.
Barring any unforeseen university discipline, Brandon said when asked if Geter and Hodges would be available Saturday.
Every coach in the country, everybody has issues. It seems like weve had more than our share here in the last six months, he added. Well get through it.
STARTER: Bullock was BGs leading rusher and receiver against Pitt and even with the return of Geter at tailback, Brandon plans to use Bullock.
Chris Bullock deserves to start, Brandon said. He played his butt off. He was probably our most effective offensive player overall.
Brandon said Bullock lost 10 pounds since last season at the urging of assistant coach John Hunter.
Coach Hunter kind of impressed on him he needed to get some junk out of the trunk, Brandon said. He took it to heart.
NEW FACES: Blaine Schafer, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive tackle is enrolled at BG and is waiting on a report from the NCAA about his eligibility for this season. He is practicing with the team.
Schafer, from Plymouth, Ind., originally signed a national letter of intent with Ball State, but he didnt report to the start of practice there.
We recruited him hard, Brandon said. In fact, I think it came down to us and Ball State ... Were happy to have him.
Also enrolled and on BGs roster is kicker Gerald Phillips from Clyde High School. The plan was for Phillips to enroll at BG in January 2009 as a member of the 2009 recruiting class. However, a scholarship became available over the summer and Phillips is taking classes and on the team,
He may end up kicking before the year is over, Brandon said. Hes a good kickoff guy and hes a really good punter. Thats the thing I like about him.
Jack Carle is sports editor at the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune