BGSU ‘Falcon efficient’ in team’s 2nd scrimmage


BOWLING GREEN — The second scrimmage for the Bowling Green State University football team continued the team’s frenzied pace as the Falcons ran 151 plays at a quick tempo.

Saturday’s scrimmage also could be termed “Falcon efficient” as the first team offense and defense both put together strong efforts.

“We moved a lot faster, and I thought it was a good scrimmage,” coach Dino Babers said. “This was our last big scrimmage for the [first teamers]; we’ll have a big scrimmage for the twos and threes [Tuesday], and then we’ll start getting ready for Western Kentucky.”

The first team offense had great success in creating drives that led to touchdowns, scoring on five of seven drives in the first half alone. The starting defense did not allow a touchdown in its time on the field and created interceptions by Ryland Ward and Paul Senn.

“I thought [the scrimmage] was balanced,” Babers said. “We know we’re working against a good defense, so if our offense has some success against them, hopefully that means we’ll have some success against other defenses.”

Ward said he thinks the BG defense is getting better in preparation for the team’s Aug. 29 opener at Western Kentucky, especially in the area of creating turnovers.

“Every day is a gradual progression,” he said. “This year we’re working hard on getting our hands on the ball [to create turnovers].

“That will create more opportunities for our defense. The easier it is for our offense to score, the easier it is for us to win.”

Meanwhile, starting quarterback Matt Johnson spread the wealth around in terms of passing touchdowns, connecting with Heath Jackson twice and Gehrig Dieter once while running for one TD and handing off to Andre Givens for another.

Babers said the receivers started at “ground zero” in learning the offensive system he brought from Eastern Illinois and have made strides in learning it.

“Those guys started with no clue — and that was a blessing,” Babers said. “When we started teaching the techniques and fundamentals we want them to use, they were brand new to them.

“They have not by any means mastered them, but they are continuing to get better.”

Dieter said he and the Falcons’ other receivers are working hard to master those specific skills.

“Their techniques are different from the last staff,” he said. “And we have a specific technique for everything that we do.

“We’re getting used to the techniques, and we’re getting better at them every day.”

One thing the Bowling Green receivers did well was eluding or running through tackles to add yards after the catch.

“The catch is just the first part of the journey,” Dieter said. “We want to do more than just catch the ball five yards [downfield] and go down.

“We want to get 15 yards after the catch — or more.”

NOTES: The NCAA still has not ruled on the eligibility issue of Baylor transfer Robbie Rhodes and Tennessee transfer Malik Brown. … Senior linebacker D.J. Lynch and junior running back Travis Greene were in uniform for the scrimmage but did not see action.

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