BOWLING GREEN - Matt Schilz stood on the sidelines at the start of Bowling Green State University's first team scrimmage a year ago.
The California native was an observer as former three-year starter Tyler Sheehan led the starting offense on the field.
But Thursday night Schilz, a 6-foot-2, 212-pound sophomore, trotted on the field with the No. 1 offense. The frontrunner to claim the starting quarterback spot, Schilz guided the BG offense on a score to cap the first drive during a two-hour scrimmage session at Perry Stadium.
Schilz finished off the first drive by finding tight end Nick Rieke wide open in the flat for a short 10-yard touchdown completion.
Schilz, who served as Sheehan's backup last year as a freshman, performed well enough during the scrimmage to leave BG coach Dave Clawson further encouraged by his steady progress this summer.
"I thought he looked good tonight and if we played a game this weekend he'd be our starter," Clawson said.
However, the Falcons second-year coach stopped just short of officially naming Schilz the
No. 1 quarterback for the season opener Sept. 4 at Troy.
"We're not ready to announce it and say that he's going to be the starting quarterback, but if he keeps playing the way he is, it's certainly traveling in that direction," Clawson said.
Schilz, who has added roughly 20 pounds since arriving to Bowling Green from Arcadia, Calif., spread the football around to a deep group of wide receivers, who are projected to provide plenty of options to help the Falcons offense continue where it left off from last season.
Wide receivers Kamar Jorden, Tyrone Pronty and Calvin Wiley - members of the No. 1 offense - showed some of their potential by pulling in completions early in the scrimmage.
GETER SITS: Tailback Willie Geter, the only returning skills player from last season's team, didn't take a snap during the workout. The 5-7, 175-pounder, was kept out of the action as a precautionary measure after suffering a minor injury this week.
"If we had a game today, he could have played," Clawson said. "He tweaked something the other day. If tonight was Troy, he would have played 60 snaps and he would have been fine. He's played a lot of football and I didn't see the need to bang him."
The competition for the
No. 2 running back spot is between Erique Geiger, John Pettigrew and Jordan Hopgood.
WRIGHT KICKS: Michigan transfer Bryan Wright showed a strong leg when he booted a 49-yard field goal with plenty room to spare. Wright handled some kickoff duties, as well as punted during the workout.
"Not only that he hit the field goal, but the height on the ball and how it got up gets you excited because we had some kicks blocked last year with low kicks," Clawson said.
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