Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Kickoff units shine for Falcons


Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes celebrates his 21-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. He added another TD in the second.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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BOWLING GREEN - Against Minnesota, it was the field goal unit.

Two weeks ago at Michigan State it was punting.

Yesterday, the special teams standout for Bowling Green State University was the kickoff unit.

Conscious of dangerous return man Travis Shelton, the Falcons allowed just 12.4 yards per return yesterday in their 48-35 win over Temple at Perry Stadium.

Shelton, who torched BGSU for a 96-yard touchdown return last year, had nowhere to run on his first return as several Falcons drove him from the 13-yard line all the way to the 1. Forward progress was later called.

Shelton's next return was worse when Jahmal Brown stripped him of the football at Temple's 13. Darius Smith recovered, setting up a 13-yard touchdown reception from Tyler Sheehan to Marques Parks on the Falcons' first play of the drive.

"We felt a big part of what we needed to work on was our special teams and being able to contain him," said unit member Diyral Briggs.

Despite its first-half success, BGSU later opted to kick away from Shelton.

Several of Sinisa Vrvilo's second-half kickoffs were sent high in the air, away from Shelton. Others were kicked well short of Shelton.

"We were working on sky kicks, working on deep kicks to the corner," coach Gregg Brandon said.

BGSU's other special teams units also performed well.

Roger Williams was a broken tackle away from returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown; Vrvilo made both of his field goal attempts, and Nick Iovinelli ripped off a 49-yard punt.

ANTHONY ONE AND TWO: Brandon said Anthony Turner is still the team's No. 2 quarterback, even though freshman Anthony Glaud was given the first opportunity to replace Tyler Sheehan. Neither back-up attempted a pass, although Turner ran the ball four times for 36 yards.

"We wanted to play AG because he deserves to play," Brandon said. "[Turner] got in there, ran the ball, and did a nice job of that. Those guys have a role on this football team, and we're going to continue to use those guys throughout the season. We're going to need them; it's a long haul."

READY OR NOT: Corey Partridge played after missing the Michigan State game with a sprained ankle.

Partridge caught seven passes for 71 yards, mostly on intermediate routes across the middle of the field. Twice Partridge left the field, each time motioning for an athletic trainer to examine him, but his stints on the sidelines were short.

Partridge's return refuels a receiving corps that has been the offense's biggest surprise. Prior to this year Partridge was the only Falcon with reasonable experience at the position, but Freddie Barnes, Marques Parks, Tyrone Pronty, and Zach Charles have all contributed to the passing game.

"I'm not surprised at all," Sheehan said.

"I came in with all these young guys, and I knew what the older guys could do. They seem to be getting better and better. We have a lot of depth at that position, and we can get the ball to any of them, and they can make plays."

Jermiah Kelley's first career catch was a 46-yard reception that almost went for more.

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