Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Falcons expect another tough runner at CMU

BOWLING GREEN - Last Saturday the Bowling Green football team handled the challenge of Temple's rushing offense, limiting the Owls, who came into the game averaging more than 170 rushing yards a game, to just 97 yards.

That was one of the reasons BG was able to cruise to a 70-16 win.

The Falcon defense will face another challenge Saturday when it takes on Central Michigan's Jerry Seymour. Bowling Green will play the Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

Seymour, a 5-6 sophomore, leads the MAC in rushing with an average of 101.8 yards per game, the 25th-best average in Division I-A football. Seymour ran for 131 yards on 28 carries in Central Michigan's win over Kent State Saturday, giving him 10 games with 100 yards or more in his 13-game career.

"I think Seymour is a fabulous back," said BG coach Gregg Brandon, who likened him to Northern Illinois tailback Garrett Wolfe. "We didn't tackle [Wolfe]. We need to get around [Seymour], swarm him." Wolfe ran for 202 yards in Northern Illinois' 34-17 win over BG on Sept. 24.

Seymour did not play against Bowling Green last season, but the Chippewas still managed 158 rushing yards against the Falcons in a contest BG won 23-3.

"I think their offensive line is really good," Brandon said. "They moved the ball on us last year, and three of those guys are back. They're rushing for a lot of yards."

Central Michigan has moved from a run-based attack to a spread offense under new coach Brian Kelly. Brandon said Start High School grad Kent Smith, the Chippewas' quarterback, is starting to get comfortable with the new offense.

"We need to come out and get some points on the board early because their quarterback is still learning his passing game," Brandon said. "We need to force him to learn it another week."

PENALTY PROBLEMS: The only negative from the Falcons' easy win at Temple Saturday was penalties. BG was whistled for 11 penalties totaling 105 yards. In the last three contests the Falcons have been flagged for 31 penalties costing them 212 yards.

Brandon said he had mixed feelings about some of the calls against the Owls.

"We need to fix that," Brandon said of the calls he agreed with. "But the holding and interference calls are judgment calls unless it's just blatant, and I thought some of them were good blocks."

The Falcons rank 11th in the 14-team MAC in penalties with an average of 61.8 yards per contest.

"There are a lot of hidden yards there," Brandon said. "With nine penalties for 61 yards, we need to slice that in half. That's the goal for Central Michigan."

INJURY REPORT: BG's back-up running back, Melvin Cole, suffered a lacerated kidney against Temple. Cole, a freshman who plays on special teams, will be out at least six weeks.

Reserve linebacker Jenkins Reese and back-up safety Bryan Jackson suffered ankle sprains against the Owls. Their status is uncertain for Central Michigan.

Defensive tackle Matt Lein-

inger suffered a shoulder injury in practice last week and did not make the trip to Temple. Brandon said Leininger may return if he can hit a blocking sled without having the shoulder pop out.

SIMONTON ON RISE: Junior Steve Simonton has moved up on the BG depth chart, earning a spot behind Jelani Jordan at cornerback. Simonton played last season at Fresno City College and was signed shortly before the season began.

"He needed to get in shape, and he needed to learn the defense and get comfortable with the system," Brandon said of Simonton. "Four games into the season, he's starting to show up. And that's encouraging."

THE LAST WORD: CMU's Kelly was asked what he thought when he first heard Bowling Green had scored 70 points at Temple.

"I hope they don't do that again," he said.

Contact John Wagner at:

or 419-724-6481.

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