BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football coach Dave Clawson was watching film of a recent game when he saw a play that caught his eye.
“I was watching the Akron game, and I watched one of our defensive linemen who was triple-teamed, but split the guys and put a nice lick on the quarterback,” Clawson said. “I thought, ‘Boy, that was a heck of a play by [defensive tackle] Chris Jones.
“Then I rewound it, and it was Ted Ouellet.”
Ouellet may not get the notoriety of Jones, who is considered one of the top defensive tackles in the country. But Ouellet, a junior nose guard, is making a name for himself this season.
“He’s a tough, hard-nosed, blue-collar guy,” Clawson said. “I’m really, really glad he stuck with us that first year when we got here, because he had some opportunities to stay closer to home.”
Home for Ouellet is Sherborn, Mass., which he said is roughly 15 minutes away from Gillette Stadium, the site of the Falcons’ game Saturday against the University of Massachusetts. As you might expect, Ouellet is excited about the opportunity to play a “home” game.
“I grew up going to Patriots games and stuff like that,” he said. “I’ll get to see a bunch of friends and family — the count is up to 50 or 60 people.
“It’s going to be a mess trying to see everyone after the game, but it should be fun. And tickets? I’ve just had to accept that I’m not going to get tickets for everyone.”
Ouellet said his connection to Bowling Green came in high school, when a friend who knew some of the coaches from the prior staff suggested he visit the school.
“I came out for the big man camp they had here in the summer,” Ouellet said. “I met Chris Jones and Jordon Roussos there, and they have become great friends.”
After redshirting as a freshman, the 6-3, 282-pounder played sparingly in 2010 before seeing action in nine games last season, including six starts, and finishing with 20 tackles.
“Last year was really my first year getting substantial time playing,” Ouellet said. “I think this year the game has slowed down, and I got a lot bigger and stronger.
“And last year I had a lot of injuries, and that made things harder.”
This season Ouellet has blossomed, posting 21 tackles — including 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks — despite playing nose tackle.
“The job of a nose guard is to take up two blocks, so he’s always joking, ‘It’s all right, I take this one for the team,’” Jones said. “But not only is he taking two blocks, he gets off the blocks and makes plays.
“He’s been a great asset for us this year. He’s an effort guy who gives great effort every play, chasing guys all over the field to make tackles.”
And his toughness isn’t up for debate. In the week leading up to the Akron contest Ouellet suffered a broken nose in practice, yet played and finished with five tackles, including the one that caught Clawson’s attention.
“It was cosmetic — it didn’t affect my breathing or anything like that,” Ouellet said of the injury. “[Head trainer] Nick [Richey] did a nice job snapping my nose back into place — he did it so fast I didn’t recognize he was doing it.
“I might have to have a little surgery after the season to fix it up and get pretty again.”
INJURY UPDATE: Clawson said sophomore running back Jamel Martin suffered knee ligament damage in the win over Miami and will not play again this season.
Martin is the sixth Falcon to be lost for the season, joining defensive linemen Jairus Campbell and Hunter Maynard, wide receivers Jermal Hosley and Heath Jackson, and senior rover Tim Moore, who suffered a broken foot.
Senior linebacker Dwayne Woods and junior tight end Alex Bayer each wore a yellow "do not hit" jersey while participating in practice Wednesday, and Clawson is optimistic both will be available for the UMass game.
Junior running back Jordan Hopgood, who missed the last two games, practiced Wednesday and is available, as is senior wide receiver Bart Tanski.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.