BOWLING GREEN -- There is an air of mystery surrounding the Bowling Green State University football team's opponent Saturday.
Oh, the Falcons know that they will be playing Kent State that day at KSU's Dix Stadium starting at 1 p.m. What team will appear for the Golden Flashes -- or, to be more precise -- what players will fill what positions for the Flashes?
Kent State, which is 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the Mid-American Conference, used an off week to make wholesale switches on the offensive line to prop up a struggling offense.
First-year coach Darrell Hazell and his staff moved junior Josh Kline from right tackle to left guard and inserted 300-pound junior Kent Cleveland at right tackle. They even threatened to move fifth-year senior Chris Anzevino, an All-MAC player last year, away from the center position where has started 43 times in his career.
BG's Chris Jones said the uncertainty of the Flashes' starting offensive line can't affect the preparation of he and the rest of the defensive line.
"We generally look at what they do as an offensive line as a whole," the junior said. "We [on the defensive line] put a lot on our backs. We feel that, if we play well, the rest of the team plays well -- it works from front to back. So you can say the onus is on us."
Earlier this week Jones, a junior from Brownsville, Ind., was named MAC East Division defensive player of the week after collecting three sacks in BG's win over Temple Saturday. Jones played a key role in the Temple victory, posting a sack to stop one late drive and a quarterback "hurry" to help close down another.
He said part of the reason for his late-game success was the Falcons' commitment to playing more defensive linemen into the game.
"In the last game we had a lot more rotation of linemen -- we had Darius Gilbert and Hunter Maynard play a lot more," Jones said. "I felt a difference. I felt a lot more fresh at the end of the game than I did the previous few weeks.
"When you have more energy, you make more big plays. And it's great to have a rotation on the d-line because you're banging every play and you need a rest every so often."
Sophomore rover BooBoo Gates said he and his BG teammates can't allow any uncertainty about Kent State affect the Falcons preparation and performance Saturday.
"Whoever plays [for them] plays, and we've got to be ready for them regardless," he said.
INJURY REPORT: The Falcons are getting closer to full strength thanks to the return of sophomore Ted Ouellet on the defensive line and freshman cornerback Darrell Hunter to the secondary.
The bad news was that freshman running back Anthon Samuel was not on the practice field yesterday because he is suffering post-concussive symptoms. At this point Clawson said Samuel is "probable" for Saturday's game.
Sophomore Jordan Hopgood and redshirt freshman Jamel Martin took most of the snaps at running back with the first team at yesterday's practice.
MAGIC NUMBERS: Samuel could set a Bowling Green record for rushing yardage by a freshman with a strong performance at Kent State.
Samuel enters the game with 704 yards rushing, third on BG's all-time list for a freshman. Chris Bullock had 769 yards in 2006, while Godfrey Lewis finished with 753 yards in 1998.
Senior wide receiver Kamar Jorden is poised to crack BG's top 10 list for career pass receptions despite playing in just his second season with the Falcons. He has 143 career catches, with Kurt Gerling tenth on that list when 152 catches from 1998-2001.
Jones, who leads the MAC with seven sacks this season, has 14 for his career to rank seventh in BG history. His next sack will tie him with Ryan Wingrave (1998-2001) for sixth on that list, three being Mitch Crossley's 18 from 2001-04.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.
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