ATHENS, Ohio - Redshirt freshman Matt Schilz started at quarterback for the Bowling Green State University football team Saturday in the Falcons' 49-25 loss at Ohio.
Schilz, who had missed the previous two games after suffering an injury in the Marshall win, had both good and bad moments in the lopsided loss. He finished with 23 completions in 37 pass attempts for 277 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing an interception.
Most of the good came in the second half, when he connected on 17-of-22 passes for 245 yards and two scores, both to Kamar Jorden. Jorden caught a 10-yard scoring strike early in the fourth quarter, then got behind the defense for a 59-yard bomb with
4:30 left in the game.
"I think the offense got into a rhythm [in the second half]," Schilz said. "We started meshing better; it was the first time I had been out there in three weeks, so that's probably why it started a little slow."
In the first half, Schilz completed just 6-of-15 passes for just 32 yards.
"I thought he played with a lot of guts and a lot of heart," coach Dave Clawson said of Schilz. "I'm not disappointed with how he played at all.
"He had seven dropped passes in the first quarter and a half. Some of it was good coverage, but he put the ball into guys' hands and they didn't catch it."
Schilz said he didn't let the drops in the first half affect him.
"I just tried to keep those guys positive," Schilz said. "It's important to catch the ball on every play because our offense is based on our passing game, so that slowed us down a little on those key third downs."
One play that especially impressed Clawson was a two-point conversion pass to Justus Jones after the final TD.
"On the last two-point play there was a guy unblocked in his face, and he stuck [the pass] right in to Justus," Clawson said.
Schilz said the toughest thing about the injury was not playing the past two weeks.
"That was the toughest thing: Watching these guys and knowing I can't do anything about it," Schilz said. "It felt good just to get back out there."
LINE SWITCH: Sophomore left tackle Blaec Walker returned to the lineup after missing last week's game, but the offensive line continued to struggle.
BG had just 51 rushing yards in the first half, 23 of which came on one run by Willie Geter.
But in the second half freshman Dominic Flewellyn and sophomore Jordan Roussos, who switched from defense to offense a month ago, saw extended playing time. And the BG offense seemed to be more effective, putting together drives of 93 and 74 yards for touchdowns.
"Certainly Ohio was blitzing less and playing more umbrella coverage, and I think that made guys' jobs easier," Clawson said of the line. "But on the two drives they were in there, we went up and down the field."
ROAD WOES: Road construction in Nelsonville, Ohio, delayed the arrival of the BG football busses to Athens. As a result, the start of the game was delayed 15 minutes to give the Falcons extra time to prepare.
But Clawson said those troubles were no excuse.
"Things happen, and that has nothing to do with what happened on the field," he said. "To me, if guys are looking for a cheap out, that would even be too cheap to mention."
SHORT YARDAGE: Sophomore linebacker Dwayne Woods again led the Falcons in tackles with nine, while senior linebacker Eugene "Champ" Fells was second with eight. … The BG defense allowed Ohio to convert just 2-of-7 third-down plays, but the Falcon offense was successful on third down just 5-of-13 times. … Kamar Joden finished with eight catches for 129 yards and two TDs; all but one of those catches and 10 of the yards came in the second half.