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Published: Sunday, 3/30/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

BG’s offense plays catch-up

Falcons improve within break-neck pace set by Babers

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
BG quarterback Matt Johnson was 18 of 26 with five touchdown passes in Saturday’s scrimmage. BG quarterback Matt Johnson was 18 of 26 with five touchdown passes in Saturday’s scrimmage.
BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge

BOWLING GREEN — “Falcon Fast” is getting faster.

The Bowling Green State University football team held its second scrimmage this spring at Perry Fieldhouse on Saturday, and it took the Falcons less than 75 minutes to run 129 plays under new coach Dino Babers fast-break offense.

That is almost two plays per minute, and actually faster if you include the halftime break midway through the scrimmage.

“From Day One [of practice] to the first scrimmage there was a little bit of improvement,” quarterback Matt Johnson said. “I think from our first scrimmage to this one there was a huge improvement.

“I felt the O-line was getting to the ball faster, and the skill guys were seeing the signals faster. And when the play was over we were getting right back to it.

“I felt we were moving today.”

The pace was quicker, and the offense was able to cut down on turnovers that plagued it in the team’s first scrimmage.

“We still had a lot of penalties, which was disappointing,” Babers said.

“I thought it was a little more even; I thought the defense really won the first scrimmage, and this one was more balanced.”

Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers had his offense run 129 plays during the 75-minute intrasquad spring scrimmage. Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers had his offense run 129 plays during the 75-minute intrasquad spring scrimmage.
BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge

There were seven touchdowns in Saturday’s scrimmage as Johnson threw five TD passes and led the offense to scores on six of the eight drives he directed.

“I think they’re starting to figure it out — but I also think there’s a long way to go,” Babers said. “But they are starting to understand the little things they need to do to make us run even faster.

“Some guys are still making some elementary-school mistakes, and we need to get them into college really quick.”

Johnson completed 18 of the 26 passes he threw and had two TD tosses to Chris Pohlman as well as one to Gehrig Dieter, Teo Redding, and Heath Jackson.

James Knapke completed 12 of 23 passes, including a deep scoring strike to Roger Lewis, and Travis Greene also had a touchdown run.

While the offensive line struggled at times with false starts, center Alex Huettel said that group is starting to mesh.

“I think the chemistry is coming together better and better with every practice,” he said. “Our chemistry is as good as I’ve seen since I’ve been here, and you could feel the chemistry [on the field] was better than last week.”

While the defense wasn’t able to force the turnovers it did in the first scrimmage, that didn’t concern Babers.

“When our defense can line up and play against this offense, you’re not even seeing the tip of the iceberg as to how good this defense can be,” Babers said.

Linebacker D.J. Lynch liked the play of young defensive backs on the field as probable starters such as Ryland Ward and Jude Adjei-Barimah deal with injuries.

“It’s unfortunate we have guys who are injured, but the injuries give a chance to some young guys out there,” Lynch said. “It lets them get more snaps and more experience.

“They will get more comfortable the more they are out on the field.”

NOTE: The Falcons will host their annual Spring Game at 2 p.m. Saturday. Babers said the Spring Game will be run in the same format as the first two scrimmages, which saw no special teams play and instead had the team divided into offense against defense.

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



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