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Published: 9/15/2010

Falcons making switches to line

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Sophomore Jordan Roussos entered this season expecting to see extensive action for the Bowling Green State University football team.

And his dream is starting to become a reality — just probably not in the way he expected.

This week the Falcon coaching staff has moved Roussos, who began this season in the hunt for a starter's spot on the defensive line, to offense to shore up a thin position.

“I brought up to him that we were thin on the offensive line, and right away he said, ‘If it's best for the team, I'll do it,'” Falcons coach Dave Clawson said.

“Things like that make you proud to be a coach, when a guy is willing to put the team first. And it wasn't as if he wasn't playing — he was playing half the game on defense.”

The Falcons' problems on the O-line began with the lost of starters Shane Steffy, Brady Minturn, and Scott Albert to graduation. Northview grad Scott Lewis, who was expected to start at guard, was injured during fall drills, and center Ben Bojicic was lost for four-to-six weeks after injuring his ankle at Tulsa.

Nick Torresso, a defensive lineman last season, was moved to offense in the summer and will start at center in Bojicic's place. A true freshman, Dominic Flewellyn, will start at left guard when the Falcons host Marshall at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Since there is such little depth on the line, Clawson said he and the coaching staff hope to get Roussos game-ready as soon as possible.

“Whether he can get ready for this weekend, I don't know,” Clawson admitted. “He's a very bright student, and he's a great kid.

“In one practice [Tuesday] he did some really good things, and he's going to help us there. And quite frankly, we need help there.”

Last Saturday at Tulsa the Falcons had 11 plays that garnered negative yardage, in large part because of problems with the line. Clawson said the Falcons are trying to use some schemes to cover those problems.

“We've made adjustments in our run game, and the way we're protecting things is different,” he said. “We're trying to give guys more help.

“Sometimes that limits you in the formations you run or the route concepts you run.”

Clawson acknowledged that the best way to get good line play is to have the linemen play better.

“Blaec Walker is getting better, and Chip Robinson is getting better,” Clawson said. “Nick Torresso, for never having played offensive line before in college, is playing pretty well.”

SO CLOSE: Junior Kamar Jorden redshirted last season after transferring from Hudson Valley Community College.

But Jorden, who leads all NCAA FBS receivers with 11.5 catches per game, came close to playing last year.

“It was really hard because we really wanted to play [Kamar],” Clawson said. “When Calvin [Wiley] and Tyrone [Pronty] got hurt, we wanted to play Kamar because of how talented he was.

“One thing I said to our staff was, ‘What if he really picks up our offense well, and then graduates? Aren't you going to wish you had him for another year?' There were three or four games where we were close to putting him in, and now we're glad we didn't.”

Jorden admitted yesterday that it was hard for him to just watch.

“I had never been to a Division I college game, not even as a fan,” said Jorden, who was in uniform for last year's home opener against Troy.

SLOW STARTS: With this year's 0-2 start, the Falcons have a 2-7 record in September the last three seasons. The 2008 team was 1-2 in September (its win at Pittsburgh to open the season was played on Aug. 31). Last year BG went 1-3 in September.

Contact John Wagner at:jwagner@theblade.comor 419-724-6481.



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