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Published: Wednesday, 9/9/2009

Missouri a tough test for Falcons

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - The Falcons offense accomplished against Troy University what it is designed to do against opposing defenses.

It produced plenty of points as a result of producing plenty of "explosive plays."

Bowling Green State University coach Dave Clawson defines "explosive plays" as any run from scrimmage longer than 12 yards and any pass completion over 16 yards. Against Troy, the Falcons tallied nine explosive plays that certainly played a role in BG rallying from an early 14-0 deficit en route to a decisive 31-14 victory.

The Falcons may need to continue with such offensive productivity when they travel to Missouri on Saturday to take on the Tigers, who opened their season last weekend by whipping Illinois 37-9.

"We're excited to be 1-0, and now we're getting ready to play a good Missouri team," Clawson said during the Mid-American Conference's weekly football coaches teleconference held on Monday. "They're very good.

"We're not playing against a good Missouri team; we're playing against a good Missouri program."

BG's spread attack struck often once the Falcons finally settled down in their season-opener last Thursday at Perry Stadium.

The offense accounted for four of the Falcons' five scores in a game the Falcons trailed early against the Trojans.

The offense, led by senior quarterback Tyler Sheehan, is coming off a performance in which the Falcons completed seven passes longer than 16 yards and two rushes longer than 12 yards.

Freddie Barnes' 31-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter tied the score at 14. It was one of the key plays that helped the Falcons pull off the win in Clawson's Bowling Green coaching debut.

However, four receivers recorded receptions longer than 16 yards.

Tight end Jimmy Scheidler pulled in four catches for 72 yards, including one for 40 yards.

Willie Geter provided runs of 16 and 13 yards on his way to a team-high total of 55 yards rushing on nine carries against Troy.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, the former University of Toledo coach, said they must be ready to defend against the Falcons' passing and running games.

"I think you really have to be concerned about everything," Pinkel said. "It's really a combination of everything."

Of course, Pinkel, who is in his ninth season at Missouri, believes BG's success starts

with Sheehan, who completed 32-of-44 passes for 339 yards, including two touchdowns in the opener.

"He's a really talented player," Pinkel said. "He's a guy who has good range, and I think he runs well too.

"He's a guy that can really distribute the ball."

Against Troy, Sheehan spent plenty of time focusing on Barnes, who pulled in a school-record 15 receptions for a career-high 157 yards, including two TDs.

Missouri sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert made a solid debut against Illinois as the replacement for two-time Heisman Trophy candidate Chase Daniel. He passed for 319 yards while completing 25-of-33 pass attempts, including three TDs en route to the lopsided win.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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