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HomeSportsUT
Published: 9/26/2007

UT's linemen making strides Offensive unit key in victory

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
John Greco congratulates Jalen Parmele after a touchdown against Iowa State. Greco has been an anchor at left tackle. John Greco congratulates Jalen Parmele after a touchdown against Iowa State. Greco has been an anchor at left tackle.
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Offensive linemen are often only noticed when they do something wrong, like give up a sack or flub a snap.

Saturday at the Glass Bowl, the University of Toledo offensive line got some camera time, for a play, anyway.

In the third quarter against Iowa State, quarterback Aaron Opelt found receiver Stephen Williams open on the left side about five yards downfield.

Williams took the ball 42 yards for a touchdown, but it wouldn't have been possible without two monster downfield blocks administered by tackle John Greco and center David Perkins.

"That's our assignment," Greco said. "We did what we were supposed to do. We made our blocks, and Steve did the rest."

After a few weeks of lineup shuffling because of injuries and inconsistency, the same five line starters have been together the past two weeks. The group has picked up its play.

"They're meshing together better," UT coach Tom Amstutz said. "I think [Jared] DeWalt and Greco both had really good games at the tackle position. Perkins is getting better and better."

Greco has obviously been a staple at left tackle, and Kevin Kilgo has started every game at left guard. The last two weeks Perkins, Kevin Kowalski and DeWalt have joined them. Sam Azner has also played frequently.

"We actually had the same starting five two weeks in a row now," Greco said. "That helps. The guys that are playing next to each other build chemistry from week to week."

ROSS DISMISSED: UT men's basketball coach Stan Joplin said sophomore forward Shane Ross has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.

Ross, from Lansing, Mich., averaged 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds in six minutes a game his freshman year. The team begins official practice Oct. 12.

SOCCER SIZZLING: The UT women's soccer team came into the season without nine seniors, including six starters, from last year's Mid-American Conference championship team.

The Rockets' young players haven't missed a beat. UT is 5-2-1 heading into conference play, the third-best start in school history. The nonconference record is the second-best in the MAC to Akron. Sophomore Molly Cornwell is leading the MAC with 15 points, and sophomore Ali Leak is fourth with nine.

"The offense, like our defense, is a work in progress, and we have a lot yet to do," coach Brad Evans said. "The good news is that we still have potential for growth, and that's a testament to our talent."

The Rockets open league play this weekend, hosting Western Michigan on Friday at 4 p.m. and Northern Illinois Sunday at 1 p.m.

AROUND CAMPUS: Cornerback Greg Harris is back practicing this week after missing the past two games because of injury. The volleyball team is off to an 0-2 start in MAC play, but the Rockets host 0-2 Ball State tomorrow night. The women's golf team is looking to bounce back from a 13th-place finish at the Lady Northern Intercollegiate with a good performance this weekend in the Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor. Freshman Erica Rivard has been the Rockets' top golfer in the past three tournaments and leads the team with a 76.5 stroke average. A freshman contributor on the men's golf team has been Jean-Hubert Trahan. From Lachenaie, Quebec, Trahan is second on the team with a 73.3 stroke average.

Contact Maureen Fulton at: mfulton@theblade.com or 419-724-6160.



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