University of Toledo running backs coach Louis Ayeni had a conundrum on his hands in the preseason of 2011.
He returned a couple of 1,000-yard rushers in seniors Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams and needed to find carries for both of them. His predicament grew deeper when a sophomore out performed them both.
Ayeni likens the moment of David Fluellen’s rollicking introduction to Wally Pipp’s headache jump starting Lou Gehrig’s Hall of Fame baseball career.
Fluellen checked into a scrimmage-like situation after Thomas was benched for fumbling, took the handoff, and barreled over three or four defenders. The next play he put a move on a defensive back and outran another in the open field for a 60-yard touchdown.
In the Mid-American Conference’s East Division, two football programs have stood above the rest in recent seasons.
And those two — Bowling Green State University and Ohio — will meet at 7:30 p.m. today at Doyt Perry Stadium.
The Bobcats and the Falcons are the only East programs with more than one winning season in the last five years. Ohio’s 6-3 record makes it bowl eligible for the fifth straight year, while BG’s 6-3 mark gives it bowl eligibility for the third time in five seasons.
“Ohio has been the most consistent program in the East in my five years here,” BG coach Dave Clawson said. “That’s hard to do in this conference. Our coaches and our players have a great respect for Ohio.”
Ohio coach Frank Solich said he has the same respect for Clawson and his staff.