BOWLING GREEN - Often we hear of a football team preparing for an elusive quarterback by calling on a member of its scout team to mimic said quarterback during practice.
That has not been needed at Bowling Green State University this week as the Falcons have twice this season faced a mobile quarterback similar to Western Kentucky's K.J. Black. The Falcons, however, hope to do a better job of curtailing Black than they did Minnesota's Adam Weber and Temple's Adam DiMichele.
Black, a redshirt freshman with a promising future, will make his first start today when Western Kentucky (3-1) visits BGSU for a homecoming game at 6 p.m.
"He's a pretty good run-around guy," BG coach Gregg Brandon said. "We're going to have to do a good job of not letting him [outside the pocket]."
The Falcons (2-1) haven't fared well in related tests. Weber rushed seamlessly through and around BG's front seven in the second half of BG's win over the Gophers, and DiMichele, last Saturday, did a good job of avoiding pressure before making plays on the ground or through the air.
Black was named the starter earlier this week by coach David Elson after leading the Hilltoppers to a 20-17 come-from-behind victory over Middle Tennessee last Thursday. Black, who supplants Notre Dame transfer David Wolke (he will also play today), has completed 28 of 39 pass attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns.
"They're a pretty fast team and I think they have some good athletes," Brandon said. "I think we have an advantage size wise, but speed and quickness, I think they match up pretty good there."
Gauging Western's chances of pulling an upset isn't easy. The Hilltoppers' lone loss is to defending national champion Florida in week one, and their win over Middle Tennessee, the 2006 Sun Belt Conference champion, was impressive even though the Blue Raiders are winless. But in its first of two transitional seasons before becoming a full member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A), Western is still a team that programs like BGSU schedule to make homecoming weekend a success.
Located in Bowling Green, Ky., Western has appeared in the I-AA playoffs five times this decade. Defensive backs coach Dennis Springer was on Brandon's staff at BGSU the last four years, the first three as running backs coach before coaching safeties last year.
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