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2011 Bowling Green Preview – Offense
Bowling Green C Ben Bojicic
Bowling Green C Ben Bojicic
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 22, 2011


CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - Bowling Green Falcon Offense


Bowling Green Falcons

Preview 2011 - Offense

- 2011 Bowling Green Preview | 2011 Bowling Green Offense
- 2011 Bowling Green Defense | 2011 Bowling Green Depth Chart

What You Need To Know:
The offense that was so fantastic and so productive in 2009 sputtered and coughed in a rebuilding 2010. The problem wasn’t just that so many key players had to be replaced; it was that the line struggled through injuries. Now the payoff should come with the potential for the line to be far, far better with several young starters to get excited about. The nation’s worst running game isn’t going to do too much, but there’s speed in the backfield to give it a try. The Falcon offense is all about the passing game, and QB Matt Schilz should be terrific after taking his lumps behind a porous line in his first season. WR Kamar Jorden could lead the nation in receptions and should be a mortal lock for 100 catches.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Matt Schilz
229-377, 2,223 yds, 8 TD, 14 INT
Rushing: Jordan Hopgood
76 carries, 167 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Kamar Jorden
96 catches, 1,109 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Kamar Jorden
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore RB Jordan Hopgood
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OG Dominic Flewellyn
Best pro prospect: Jorden
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Jorden, 2) C Ben Bojicic, 3) QB Matt Schilz
Strength of the offense: Passing Game, Kamar Jorden
Weakness of the offense: Proven Pass Protection, Running Game

Quarterbacks

State of the Unit: The Bowling Green passing game that was so productive two years ago was wildly inefficient last season as it had to fight through breaking in a new starting quarterback and with turnover all across the offense. Things should be better with a year under everyone’s belt, and while there might not be a quick return to the 2009 days under Tyler Sheehan, the attack should be better.

Sophomore Matt Schilz took over the starting job after a fight throughout the 2010 offseason and he struggled. He completed 61% of his throws for 2,223 yards, but he only tossed eight touchdown passes with 14 picks. At 6-2 and 212 pounds he has decent size and just enough mobility to not be a statue, running for three scores, but he’s not going to take off running and he has to be far more efficient. With a live arm and good upside, the Californian had several offers from BCS schools and had his pick of non-BCS teams, and now he has to show more improvement after showing signs of life late last year with 282 yards in the season-finale against Western Michigan and with seven 200-yard passing days in ten outings.

6-4, 215-pound redshirt freshman Trent Hurley worked his way into the No. 2 job over the second half of last year and showed enough upside to possibly get a little time if Matt Schilz struggles. A pure passer, he’s a bomber who has a strong, accurate arm and should be able to step in and produce without much of a problem. He’ll be pushed for the backup gig by Aaron Pankrantz, an imposing 6-6, 225-pound junior who stepped in for a few games last year and finished with 520 yards with four scores and five picks. His problem is accuracy, completing just 46% of his throws, and even though he has the size and the arm, he’ll likely just be an emergency option.

Watch Out For … Matt Johnson . The team’s top recruit isn’t all that big and he doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he’s a playmaker with a baller mentality. He could win the No. 3 job early on and could push hard for the backup spot.
Strength: One year of experience. Schilz is one of the MAC’s good young prospects with all the tools to be a great one. His struggles of last year were expected and the team was supposed to live through them, and now the payoff should come.
Weakness: Passing efficiency. Considering the offense was so miserable at running the ball, the passing game had to be far more effective. The Falcons were 105th in the nation and 11th in the MAC in passing efficiency, and while the porous offensive line was part of the problem, Schilz has to be stronger.
Outlook: The offensive line gave up 34 sacks as defenses got to tee off on the untested quarterbacks, and now the passing game has to be more effective with Schilz needing to be a better decision maker and has to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry. The yards will come, the Falcons will put up over 3,000 yards through the air, but they have to be more efficient.
Unit Rating: 5.5

Running Backs

State of the Unit: There are running games, there are bad running games, and there’s the Bowling Green ground attack. The offense doesn’t pretend to do much more than throw the ball, and it showed last season finishing dead last in the nation in rushing with just 754 yards on the year averaging 2.1 yards per carry. There won’t be more of an emphasis on the ground game this year, but it can’t be any worse even though leading rusher Willie Geter is gone.

Getting the first look for the starting job will be sophomore Jordan Hopgood, a 6-0, 200-pound all-around talent who ran for just 167 yards averaging 2.2 yards per carry, but he scored six times and caught ten passes for 60 yards. He brings good power and nice hands, but he didn’t get any room to run. While his lone highlight was running for the game-winning score against Central Michigan, he’s capable of doing far more if he gets more chances. Wanted by Nebraska after staring as a high school quarterback, and after originally being considered a receiver, he has found a home.

Sophomore Erique Geiger is a tough runner with shifty speed through the hole, but he didn’t get much work last year with just five yards on five carries. A possible safety prospect when he first came to school, he’s a strong 5-9 and 203 pounds with good cutting ability. While Geiger can move, he’s not the speedster that junior John Pettigrew is. The 5-10, 184-pounder can be used as a kick returner and has the potential to bust out big plays, but he didn’t get any chances with just one carry for five yards. He was a workhorse in high school cranking out 2,158 yards and 23 scores as a senior after tearing off 1,948 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior.

When the offense uses a fullback, which isn’t all that often, 5-8, 197-pound senior Zach Akenberger will step in after getting knocked out last year with a broken leg. While he’s not built like a blocker and is mostly a special teamer, he’s a tough player who’ll do whatever is asked. With Akenberger out over the second half of last year, sophomore Tyler Beck was used as a fullback, but the 6-4, 250-pounder is a tight end.

Watch Out For … Hopgood being a threat for 1,000 yards. Willie Geter ran for 718 yards and five scores, averaging 3.6 yards per carry, and Hopgood has the talent and potential to do far more. Bowling Green won’t run the ball much, but the potential is there for a big year if Hopgood could average more than four yards per carry.
Strength: Quickness. Hopgood is slippery-quick and Pettigrew can move. Geiger has enough quickness to used in a variety of ways.
Weakness: The Bowling Green offense. It’s not like things are going to change too much after finishing 114th in the nation in 2009 and last in 2010. The line won’t beat anyone up and the chances won’t be there to make too much of an impact.
Outlook: To be fair, the miserable sack total brought the total yards down, but still, gaining 1,205 yards of rushing isn’t anything to get excited about. The potential is there to do far more with the hope that more experience under center and up front will take some of the heat off, but it’s all about the attempts. If Hopgood gets 200 carries, he should have a good season.
Unit Rating: 4

Receivers

State of the Unit: The receiving corps had to replace Freddie Barnes, who set an NCAA record with 155 catches and 19 scores by himself. The returning receiving corps has the potential to blow up with a more experienced quarterback in Matt Schilz pushing the ball deeper, and there should be more passes spread around and more all-around production.

While Kamar Jorden wasn’t Barnes, he put up the numbers to suggest that he has a 100-plus catch season coming up with 96 grabs for 1,109 yards and four scores. The 6-3, 196-pound senior is a true No. 1 target with great route-running ability, terrific hands, and good speed, but now he has to find the end zone after scoring just once in the final six games of the season and with two of his four touchdowns coming against Ohio. When he was on, he was unstoppable catching 14 passes against Tulsa, 11 against Marshall, and 12 against Temple, but now he’s going to be a marked man. Even so, he’ll find ways to get open and produce at the outside X.

The two other starting spots are open, and the hope will be for senior Adrian Hodges to play a bigger role after catching 20 passes for 156 yards and a score as he came on in the second half of the year. At 5-11 and 181 pounds he has decent size and is extremely quick, and he has the experience and the potential to do far more after making 46 grabs in 2009.

5-10, 180-pound Eugene Cooper came in from the JUCO ranks and was a decent part of the rotation making 17 catches for 130 yards, but he made his biggest impact as a star punt returner averaging 11.5 yards per pop with two scores. Now he’ll be a No. 3 receiver using his speed and quickness inside and out.

With two of the jobs open, three good prospects will fight it out for time. Ray Hutson is a big 6-2, 207-pound target who was expected to make a huge impact from the Z position, but he only caught two passes for 25 yards. The Michigan all-star sprinter in the 400 has the athleticism to do far more, while 6-2, 196-pound senior Justus Jones and 5-8, 175-pound senior Steve Dunlap have been around long enough to know the offense well enough to finally be a part of the rotation.

The Falcons are loaded at tight end, even though starter Nick Rieke is done. Tyler Beck was mostly used as a fullback last year, but the 6-4, 250-pound sophomore has good hand to go along with his tough blocking skills. He made two catches last season, while sophomore Nick Bayer was a huge part of the attack with 22 catches for 298 yards and a score. The 6-4, 242-pound Bayer is a great route runner with soft hands. He always seems to find the holes in the secondary.

Watch Out For … Jorden to be the nation’s top receiver. He won’t win the Bilitnikoff, but he’ll be in the hunt to be the nation’s leader in receptions. If he stays healthy, he should be a mortal lock for 100 catches.
Strength: The offense. The passing game will be the main mode of transportation, and the Falocns aren’t going to be shy about using Jorden and the rest of the targets over and over and over again to spread things out.
Weakness: A true No. 2. Hodges should be the second target next to Jorden, and he has the potential to do far more, but going into the season the offense is about Jorden and everyone else is along for the ride.
Outlook: The Falcons are going to throw, throw, and throw some more, and with a more experienced Matt Schilz chucking it and with Jorden a phenomenal playmaker to take all the heat off, the rest of the receiving corps should be strong. The tight ends should be strong, too, with Bayer and Beck each able to be a major part of the equation.
Unit Rating: 6

Offensive Line

State of the Unit: The line went from being decent in 2009 to disastrous in 2010 giving up a whopping 34 sacks and doing nothing for the running game. The front five was expected to be fine as long as injuries didn’t strike, and sure enough, there were several problems as is seemed line the Falcons never had the same starting line two games in a row.

The biggest problem last year was in the middle where senior center Ben Bojicic, the leader and best player up front, tried to fight through nagging injuries, having problems with his leg and his shoulder, and missed too much time. The 6-5, 295-pounder has bulked up over the years and has become a tough, smart quarterback for the line. He’s the leader up front and he has to stay healthy.

6-4, 294-pound junior Jordan Roussos started the season at defensive tackle before moving over to the offensive side and starting the final six games at right tackle. He’s still learning on the fly and he still needs time, but he has the frame and the toughness to be effective. Roussos will get a look on the left side, as will Kyle Brant, a 6-6, 300-pound sophomore who spent last year as the understudy behind Tyler Donohue. With great size and nice feet, he has the potential to be the team’s top pass protector for the next few years.

Starting again at guard will be sophomore Dominic Flewellyn on the left side and Chip Robinson on the right. The 6-6, 315-pound Robinson, a junior, was the only rock up front starting every game and has the potential to be the team’s top run blocker. He still needs work as a pass protector, but he can hit. The 6-3, 295-pound Flewellyn got a few starts over the first half of the year before holding on to the job for the final five games of the season. He has all-star potential if he can be a bit more consistent; he could be the anchor.

6-2, 300-pound senior Scott Lewis was supposed to be the starting left guard coming into the season, but he suffered a foot injury and missed most of the season. He stepped in at center when Ben Bojicic went down, and now he’ll push for time on the inside and will be a versatile, key backup for all three spots in the interior.

Watch Out For … Flewellyn. An athletic guard who’s a good hitter, the potential is there for him to become a pounder of a left guard who can finally give the offense a running game. He’ll be an all-star before his career is up.
Strength: Experience. The problems of last year with various injuries and line combinations should pay off with far more production if everyone can stay healthy. Just getting Bojicic back full-time is a big plus.
Weakness: Blocking. Youth, injuries, and inexperience can be blamed, but the pass protection was miserable and the run blocking was non-existent. The offense had a lot of problems across the board, but the line was the biggest culprit.
Outlook: The potential is there for a night-and-day difference in production. If the starting five can stay healthy and can get a few games to jell, it should be far tighter in pass protection and far more effective for the ground game. Bojicic is an all-star, while Flewellyn, Robinson and Roussos are strong young talents to get excited about.
Unit Rating: 5

- 2011 Bowling Green Preview | 2011 Bowling Green Offense
- 2011 Bowling Green Defense | 2011 Bowling Green Depth Chart