Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Defense
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Bowling Green Falcons Preview 2006 - BGSU Defense

What you need to know ... Patience will be the key word for the young defense that needs several underclassmen to play like seasoned veterans and add more speed to the front seven. Stopping the run will be the first priority after allowing 175 yards per game and 20 touchdowns, and it'll have to be quickness that does the trick with no size up front and big questions at middle linebacker. The secondary will make big mistakes early on before growing into something strong. Sophomore corners Antonio Smith and Kenny Lewis will be good ones if Devon Parks, Diyral Briggs, and the rest of the speed ends play as expected and get to the quarterback early and often.

Returning Leaders
Tackles: Terrel White, 100
Sacks: Diyral Briggs, 4.5
Interceptions: Antonio Smith, 2

Star of the defense: Senior DE Devon Parks
Player that has to step up and become a star: Redshirt freshman LB Cody Basler
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore DE Diyral Briggs
Best pro prospect: Parks
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Parks, 2) CB Antonio Smith, 3) LB Terrel White
Strength of the defense: Cornerback 
Weakness of the defense: Middle linebacker

Defensive Line
The Falcons line had a rough year getting pushed around way too much against the run and not generating nearly enough of a pass rush. It's a smaller line this season, but it's a lot faster and should be far more disruptive with Brad Williams moving outside in and more speed added to the outside with redshirt freshmen Jacob Hardwick and Thomas James backing up Diyral Briggs. Briggs and Devon Parks should form a devastating pass rushing tandem. Nick Davis has to be a star on the nose as the only bulk.
The key to the unit: Be stronger against the run and hope the overall quickness can overcome the lack of size.

Defensive Line Rating: 5

Projected Starters
- DE Devon Parks, Sr. - 56 tackles, 4 sacks, 8.5 TFL
A pure pass rusher with 13 career sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss, the speedy Parks has bulked up to 252 pounds and should be an even bigger force against the run. He has been a starter since day one and is the team's best overall defensive player. Now he has to be even more of a disruptive tone-setter who changes games by getting into the backfield.

- DT Brad Williams, Sr. - 63 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 10.5 TFL
A big defensive end and a small defensive tackle, the 256-pound senior will move inside to add more speed and quickness to the interior. He's a tough, hard-nosed tackler who'll hold up well despite his size. 

- NG Nick Davis, Soph. - 39 tackles, 1.5 TFL
Davis turned into a strong backup and needs to be a strong starter in place of Mike Thaler on the nose. At 280-pounds, he's the team's biggest lineman and should be a big boost to the run defense.

- DE Diyral Briggs, Soph. - 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 TFL, 11 quarterback hurries, 3 fumble recoveries
The 6-4, 216-pound sophomore might be light and a bit too thin, but he can move and has a fantastic motor. With all the attention paid to Devon Parks on the other side, Briggs should be freed up to be a big playmaker and a terror in the backfield.

Top Backups
- DT Bradley Minturn, RFr.
An undersized tackle at 250 pounds, got enough work this spring to be counted on behind Brad Williams. While he might be small, he's quick and should be active.
- DE Jacob Hardwick, RFr.
A top scout teamer last year, he should be a speed rusher on the outside combining with Thomas James behind Diyral Briggs. At 260 pounds, he's a far bigger option than Briggs.
- DE Thomas James, RFr.
He'll find his way onto the field sooner than later. At 255 pounds, he's a good-sized end with excellent quickness and the potential to start right off the bat if he has a big summer. He could see time on either end spot.

The run defense wasn't a rock last season and it could struggle even more if the linebacking corps doesn't play over its head. Call this a major question mark with the only sure thing being Terrel White getting a spot at one of the outside positions after leading the team in tackles. The middle is the biggest issue with Cody Basler and Jon Jakubowski needing to shine right away. The speed and athleticism comes this fall when Eugene Fells and Brandon Jackson arrive, but two true freshmen won't be the major difference makers needed right off the bat.
The key to the unit: A steady force has to show up in the middle while Terrel White and Erique Dozier have to be consistent.
Linebacker Rating: 5

Projected Starters
- Erique Dozier, Soph. - 19 tackles, 3 TFL
More of a safety than a linebacker at 6-1 and 198 pounds, Dozier had a decent season as a reserve and needs to be a major factor right away replacing Teddy Piepkow on the outside. He'll be used as a key pass rusher and he should be more of a factor against the pass.

- Cody Basler, RFr.
A good scout teamer last year, the 225-pound Basler is in a battle with John Haneline for the starting job and will have to fight off true freshmen coming in this fall. He's a rangy, tough tackler who's more than strong enough to handle the work in the middle. Consistency will be his key to keeping the job.

- Terrel White, Sr. - 100 tackles, 3 sacks, 9 TFL, 5 broken up passes
White went from being a good backup to the team's leading tackler able to play either outside position. The only returning starter to the linebacking corps, he has to be one of the defense's top leaders and a steady all-around performer again. He's 224 pounds and is always around the ball making plays, but he's not a special athlete and he's not quite good enough carry the entire corps.

Top Backups
- Jon Jakubowski, Sr. - 20 tackles
Jakubowski has been a nice reserve over the last few years as both a defensive back and a linebacker. He can run and he has bulked up enough getting to 221 pounds to get more work on the strongside.
- John Haneline, Soph. - 26 tackles, 1 interception
A bit banged up throughout spring, the 225-pound sophomore is neck-and-neck with Cody Basler for the starting job on the inside. He's a good tackler who can get into the backfield, but he's not a special athlete.

Defensive Backs
The secondary went from horrible to solid in the course of a year, at least statistically, but that was partly because everyone spent so much time running the ball. This is a young, young, young group that's going to be far better by the end of the year once a slew of redshirt freshman figure out how to play. Sophomore corners Antonio Smith and Kenny Lewis will be good ones in time, while Deandre Perry is a nice safety to build around. 
The key to the unit: Live through the mistakes. There will be some big rough patches early on before things tighten up.
Secondary Rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- CB Antonio Smith, Soph. - 57 tackles, 2 interceptions, 8 broken up passes
Smith took over a starting spot as a true freshman and was one of the team's best all-around defenders leading the team in broken up passes and taking two interceptions for touchdowns. While not all huge at 5-10 and 175 pounds, he's a good tackler and a physical cover corner. 

- SS Loren Hargrove, Jr. - 35 tackles, 1 sack
Hargrove went from not getting off the bench to starting by the end of the season. He's an athletic 5-11 and 204 pounds with good potential as the cousin of former Ohio State and NFLer star Shawn Springs and former Cincinnati Bengal James Brooks. He's a smart player who needs a little more time before he can be a confident difference maker.

- FS Deandre Perry, Jr. - 66 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 interception
The team's best safety, Perry is a big-hitting 6-1 and 214 pounds with 105 tackles over his first two seasons. Now he has to become a bigger factor against the pass and use his experience to be in better position. He'll be the quarterback in the secondary and could be an All-MAC performer if he gets his interception stats up there.

- CB Kenny Lewis, Soph. - 5 tackles, 1 interception, 2 broken up passes
Lewis stepped in as a true freshman and saw time as a nickel back and on special teams picking off a pass against Miami University and showing off good potential. He's a great athlete and a top prospect who'll need to take several lumps early on. The mistakes will pay off over the second half of the season; he'll be solid once he gets more playing time.

Top Backups
- CB Jarrett Sanderson, RFr.
A good-sized reserve at 6-0 and 180 pounds, he'll see the field early and often as a backup corner behind Kenny Lewis as well as a nickel back. He needs time, but he has starting potential once he figures out what he's doing.
- CB Van Johnson, Sr. - 7 tackles
For a while Johnson was the team's number two quarterback and even saw a little bit of time in the win over Kent State last season. He hasn't done too much on the defensive side, but he's the team's most experienced player and has the athleticism and knowledge of the system to be more of a factor.

Special Teams
The kicking game is up for grabs with Nick Goss getting the first shot at improving the field goal situation. Alonso Rojas was rated the number one punting recruit in the nation and has to kick like it right away. Corey Partridge will handle the punt returns after returning three kicks last year for 98 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Jones will takes over for B.J. Lane as the main man on kickoff returns. The punt coverage unit only allowed 2.6 yards per return last season.

The key to the unit: Hope for the freshman kickers to be up-to-snuff right away. Far more production is needed on kickoff returns after averaging 18.5 yards per try.
Special Teams Rating: 6

Projected Starters
- PK Nick Goss, RFr.
Goss is a big, athletic kicker with a nice leg and decent range. He'll try to improve a mediocre situation with Joe Timchenko and Nate Fry combining to hit only five of nine kicks and showing no ability to hit from appreciable distances.
- P Alonso Rojas, Fr.
One of the nation's best punting recruits, the 6-3, 200-pound Miami product averaged 46 yards per kick last season and should instantly add more pop to the punting game replacing Nate Fry. He has a huge leg and should be an All-MAC star early in his career.

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Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
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Bowling Green Preview 2006 - Offense
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