Fundamentally Speaking, Falcons Welcome Bye Week Print E-mail
Written by Jack Carle - Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune   
Tuesday, September 16 2008
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Anthony Turner could be sidelined until Oct 4
Even with numerous skilled players returning this season, Bowling Greens offense remains a work in progress.

After opening with a win at Pittsburgh, Bowling Green has suffered losses to Minnesota and Boise State in what were both winnable games in the fourth quarter. With better execution and ball security in the final fifteen minutes, the Falcons could easily have been celebrating instead of trying to figure out what went wrong. BG has turned the ball over a total of six times in the fourth quarter of the last two games.

The Falcons, 1-2 overall, have a bye this week before playing Sept. 27 at Wyoming. With the extra practice time before the trip to Wyoming, look for the Falcons to stress the fundamentals.

Weve got to work a lot harder in our regular preparation, BG quarterback Tyler Sheehan said. Weve had problems in practice so its no surprise to me that weve struggled a little bit in the red zone. I dont know if we just have to stick to the basics when we get in there and not try to complicate stuff so much. I think were getting real lackadaisical with stuff, like the wrinkles were putting in and things like that."

Its always encouraging when we move the ball, but at the same time its discouraging when we cant put it in the end zone, Sheehan added.

Sheehan said another top priority for him these next two weeks would be working on running the ball.

Last season Sheehan did have some designed runs later in the year. He had 93 carries and finished with 148 yards and three touchdowns in 2007. This year he has minus 19 yards on 16 carries with one score.

Im going to start working the ball a little more because I think it will help our team a lot especially with AT (Anthony Turner) going down, Sheehan said. When we go five wide they can spread us out if Im not a threat to run the ball.

BG is 11th in Mid-American Conference in total offense (316.7 yards per game), 12th in rushing yardage (98.1 yards per game) and 13th in scoring offense (17.0 points per game).

Were moving the ball up and down the field ... We shoot ourselves in the foot way too much and thats got to stop if we want to start winning game, Sheehan said. At minus-4, the Falcons are 11th in the MAC in turnover margin after being plus-3 after the Pittsburgh game.

For the season Sheehan is 74-of-118 passing for 624 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions and he has the support of his head coach.

Tyler is playing well enough right now for us to win games, said BG head coach Gregg Brandon. I cant fault anything he is doing or not doing right now to give us a chance to win.

Weve seen three D-lines that are good, they are big, fast and physical, Brandon added. When you get into league play we still see people like that, but not four of them, or even three of them. Tyler doesnt have as much time to sit in there and stare stuff down.

INJURIES: The bye week also comes at a good time as the Falcons attempt to get healthy after taking a pretty good pounding at Boise State.

Weve got a beat-up football team right now, Brandon said.

Three starters linebacker Erique Dozier, the teams leading tackler with 25 stops; Turner, a triple-threat offensive presence; and Jeff Fink, one of the team captains and a starter at right tackle would all be doubtful if there was a game this Saturday, Brandon said.

Dozier has a sprained ankle; Turner has a dislocated shoulder; and Fink is getting worn down and just needs some rest.

With the extra week of rest, Dozier and Fink could be ready for Wyoming.

However, Turner may be lost until the start of the MAC season on Oct. 4 against Eastern Michigan. (Its the) same injury he had at FIU (Florida International) a couple of years ago and that set him out for two weeks, Brandon said about Turner, who has scored two of BGs seven touchdowns this season. Maybe well get him for Wyoming. I hope we do.

Reserve defensive back and special teams performer Roger Williams will return to the field with protective covering on his hand due to a broken finger suffered against Minnesota. He will not be able to return as the kickoff return man until the injury heals.
He can be a big asset for us on defense and in the kicking (coverage) game, Brandon said.

Backup linebacker James Schneider has returned to the field, also wearing a protective covering, prompting Brandon to say the Falcons are an all-club team right now. Schneider was on the travel squad for the Boise State game.

Freddie Barnes, also a triple-threat performer, has a mild sprained shoulder, but will be rested this week and should be ready for Wyoming.

Also Jason Rice, who suffered a slight concussion on a kickoff against Boise State, is OK, Brandon said.

Jack Carle is sports editor at the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune
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