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Falcon offense finally sheds sluggish start

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    Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz fires a pass as Miami linebacker Pat Hinkel, 37, moves in during the third quarter of their football game at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

    The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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    BG quarterback Matt Schilz led an opening-drive score Saturday, a first for the Falcons against a FBS opponent this season.

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Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz fires a pass as Miami linebacker Pat Hinkel, 37, moves in during the third quarter of their football game at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
Enlarge | Buy This Image

BOWLING GREEN – The Bowling Green State University football team scored on its first possession in the Falcons’ win over Miami Saturday. Then BG added 10 points in the second quarter for a 17-6 halftime advantage in a game the Falcons eventually won 37-12.

While that may not seem like a big deal, it certainly was unusual.

The Bowling Green offense had started slowly against FBS opponents this season, punting on its first possession all five times against FBS schools before Saturday. The Falcons had scored just 14 first-quarter points and 17 first-half points total in those five games.

“We have not been getting off to the best starts on offense, so it was good to see [the offense] respond with a touchdown,” BG coach Dave Clawson said. “After the second half at Akron, I was hoping that momentum would carry over.

“If I knew [how we did that], I would try to do it every week.”

The Falcons found trouble quickly on that first drive, getting no yards on a first-down running play and throwing an incompletion to face a third-and-10 from their 39. But quarterback Matt Schilz completed a 12-yard pass to Shaun Joplin to convert the third-down play and set the drive in motion.

“That was big,” Clawson said. “We didn’t have a good run on first down and missed a quick screen on second down, and we were third-and-long.

“The pocket broke down a little bit, but Matt found Shaun Joplin for a first down, and that got us going. I think making that first down, moving the sticks and getting into a rhythm [was important].”

Later in the drive Schilz completed a 14-yard pass to Ryan Burbrink, and Anthon Samuel ran for 22 yards on the drive to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by John Pettigrew.

“We just made some plays early, and I don’t know if there’s anything more to it than that,” Clawson said. “Our offense may have found some rhythm and some confidence in the Akron game, and we went into [the Miami] game confident.”

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore running back Jamel Martin will not play against UMass Saturday. The nature of his injury has not been announced, and his status for the games following the UMass contest has not been determined.

Junior tight end Alex Bayer suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Miami game and did not return to that contest, but he is listed as probable for Saturday. Also senior linebacker Dwayne Woods, who missed the game with the RedHawks because of back problems, is listed as probable for Saturday's game.

JONES HONORED: Senior defensive tackle Chris Jones was named Mid-American Conference East Division defensive player of the week.

The Brownsville, Ind., native had five tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, and also had a quarterback hurry Saturday.

The RedHawks entered that contest averaging 24.8 points and 394.5 yards per game, but were limited to just 12 points (and only one touchdown) as well as 256 total yards, including three net yards rushing on 20

BG volleyball player earns MAC award

BOWLING GREEN – BGSU volleyball player Ashley Dunn has been named the MAC East Division defensive player of the week for the third consecutive week.

A junior defensive specialist and Bowling Green native, Dunn had at least 24 digs in all three of the Falcons’ five-set victories last week as the Falcons extended their winning streak to nine matches and improved to 8-0 in MAC play.

Dunn posted 25 digs in a midweek victory over Oakland, then had 28 digs at Eastern Michigan and 24 at MAC West leader Central Michigan.

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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