BOWLING GREEN - With quarterback Anthony Turner out with a separated shoulder and Freddie Barnes not a big throwing threat, Bowling Green State University wanted to make sure it had a passing game in its arsenal.
So the Falcons prepared true freshman Tyler Sheehan to play, and took his redshirt off in the second series of the third quarter.
"We talked about going with Sheehan at halftime, just so we could throw the ball around a little bit more," BGSU coach Gregg Brandon said. "It was one of those decisions that you go with your gut. Tyler's going to be a good player for us someday. I saw some things out of him that were very encouraging. He did some freshman bonehead things. But he's going to be a good player for us."
Sheehan had his usual freshman duties in practice this week, such as throwing bombs to the kick return team when Sean Ellis' leg was tired. But he also prepared as a starter. He was 8-for-14 for 64 yards. He had three turnovers - one interception and two fumbles, on one of which he was blindsided from behind.
"I tried to get as many reps in practice as I could," Sheehan said. "I was ready; the game is just a lot more different than in practice and especially high school."
Brandon said the decision to pull Barnes was simply because of inexecution.
"That's part of the deal when you play quarterback in Division I," Brandon said. "You've got to lead your team down the field. He wasn't getting it done."
CARRIES FOR BULLOCK: Junior Dan Macon, the starter at running back, had a sore ankle midway through the first half. So Chris Bullock got the majority of carries after the first quarter. Bullock, a redshirt freshman, had 17 carries for 99 yards, including a 16-yard long.
"I thought he came in and ran the ball hard for us in the second half," Brandon said. "He put the ball on the ground though."
Bullock shared the same frustration as the rest of the team.
"We need to play to our potential, especially since we have so many great athletes on the team," he said.
KIRKLAND TIME: The Mid-American Conference defensive player of the week award could be in Andre Kirkland's future. Kirkland, a senior safety for Kent State, had 14 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
"Andre has been as physical a safety as I have seen in this league," Kent State coach Doug Martin said. "I mean, he has knocked himself out twice."
ATTENDANCE UPDATE: BGSU's attendance was 12,967 yesterday. After three games, the home attendance average is 19,167. After falling short of the 15,000-per-game requirement last season, the school must reach the average or face penalties.
EXTRA POINTS: Defensive backs P.J. Mahone and Antonio Smith did not play. Freshmen Jahmal Brown and Tarell Lewis started in their place. ... True freshman D.J. Young made the start at nose guard for the Falcons in place of Nick Davis and had one tackle. ... Sheehan is the first true freshman to play at quarterback for BGSU since Josh Harris in 2000.