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Published: Tuesday, 4/19/2011

BG looks to clean up mistakes

Offensive linemen shaky in spring game

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson talks to his team after the spring game on Friday. The Falcons will be practicing again this morning. Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson talks to his team after the spring game on Friday. The Falcons will be practicing again this morning.
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BOWLING GREEN — Spring isn’t quite over for the Bowling Green State University football team.

The Falcons held their spring game at Perry Stadium last Friday night, but BG coach Dave Clawson has scheduled one more practice for Tuesday morning.

The reason the Falcons will have a practice after the spring game — the traditional end of spring drills — is to clean up problems the spring game uncovered.

“I always walk out [of the spring game] with a sick feeling in my stomach after some of the mistakes we’ve made,” Clawson explained.

One thing the 10-7 victory by the White team over the Orange in the spring contest underscored was the improvement the defense has made.

All-Mid-American Conference defenders Chris Jones and Dwayne Woods played well, which was expected.

But Jones got help on the D-line from Kevin Moore, who has changed his last name from Alvarez, and Ted Ouellet.

Paul Swan has stepped up to help Woods at linebacker, while Keith Morgan and Jerry “Booboo” Gates have solidified the “rover” position.

The defensive backfield is young, but potential starters such as cornerback Cameron Truss and safety Ryland Ward have stepped forward.

The ability of that unit to put pressure on the offensive line forced both offenses to struggle Friday. And that shone a bright spotlight on a concern entering the fall: the development of the offensive line, whose struggles last fall were a reason the Falcons finished 2-10.

“Right now we’re better on the defensive line than we are on the offensive line,” Clawson said. “And we should be — the defensive line has guys who have played more.

“I think we are better on the offensive line, but the defensive line usually gets the better of the two units. You just hope the offensive guys get better going against guys like Chris Jones and our defensive linemen.”

The bad news from the spring game was that the two offensive lines combined to allow 11 sacks. The good news is that the young line has been without two injured seniors this spring, and the return of Ben Bojicic and Scott Lewis this fall should bolster that unit.

“Through this whole spring we have focused on getting better,” Jones said after Friday’s game. “We’ve tried to put pressure on the O-line, and we did a decent job with that.

“The offense has stepped up — we have a young offensive line, and those guys are getting better.”

Sophomore quarterback Matt Schilz, the starter most of last season, seems to have an advantage in the competition with redshirt freshman Trent Hurley.

Both quarterbacks played with the first and second teams, and Schilz had the better numbers. Schilz completed 20-of-37 passes for 249 yards and a TD, while Hurley connected on 10-of-25 for 111 yards with an interception.

Schilz led the three drives that resulted in points, but Hurley did have one drive to the goal line.

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



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