Preview 2007 - Offense
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What you need to know:
The offense went from being
all-pass, no-run in 2005 to being a running team last year
thanks to mobile quarterbacks in Anthony Turner, and early on,
Freddie Barnes. Now there's a battle between Turner and Tyler
Sheehan for the starting job with the hopes of balancing things
out. The backfield should be excellent with the addition of JUCO
transfer Eric Ransom to go along with power of Chris Bullock and
Dan Macon. All-star center Kory Lichtensteiger leads a good
line that should get better and better as the year goes on. The
one area of development will be receiver with some deep threats
needing to emerge to go along with mid-range possession-target
Passing: Anthony Turner
144-252, 1,596 yds, 11 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Chris Bullock
160 carries, 769 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Corey Partridge
55 catches, 658 yds, 3 TD
Star of the offense: Senior C Kory Lichtensteiger
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore
QB Tyler Sheehan
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Eric Ransom
Best pro prospect:
Top three all-star candidates: 1)
Lichtensteiger, 2) WR Corey Patridge, 3) Ransom
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, running backs
Weakness of the offense:
Projected Starter: The quarterback situation is a long way
from being resolved, but sophomore Tyler Sheehan has the
inside edge to start on opening day after completing 23 of 43
passes for 192 yards when thrown to the wolves as a true
freshman. He didn't throw any touchdown passes and gave away
four picks in his limited time, but at 6-3 and 225 pounds, he's
the type of big passer who should get the air attack back on
Projected Top Reserves: Sheehan might be the
number one, sort of, but 6-2, 229-pound junior Anthony Turner
is No. 1A and will likely see time throughout the year
because of his mobility and experience. He completed 57% of his
passes for 1,596 yards and 11 touchdowns with five
interceptions, but it was his mobility, finishing second on the
team with 480 yards and five touchdowns, that makes him such a
The X factor will be 6-3, 212-pound redshirt freshman
Anthony Glaud, a developing passer with tremendous
all-around skills who might be the number three quarterback to
start the season, but is good enough to potentially see time as
the number two.
Watch Out For ... the quarterback situation to be
an issue all year long. Whoever is under center will always be
looking over the shoulder at two good options behind him.
Strength: Size. The three quarterback options are all big and
relatively mobile. They'll all young and will get plenty of
opportunities to grow into the system.
Weakness: Throwing the football. While Sheehan will be strong
with more work, and Turner wasn't all that bad last year, the
Falcons finished tenth in the MAC in passing offense and 91st in
the nation in passing efficiency. It was a far cry from the days
of Omar Jacobs.
Outlook: Consistency will be the key for whoever
takes over the starting job. While it would be nice to have a
weapon who could do a little of everything, being able to spread
the ball around to several different targets and keep the chains
moving is vital. Expect plenty of second-guessing throughout the
Projected Starters: The Falcon backfield has good, veteran
talent returning, so it should say something that JUCO transfer
Eric Ransom has come in and established himself as the
likely number one option. The junior is a 5-10, 185-pound quick
back who ran for over 2,300 yards in two years at Trinity
College in Texas. He would've been a far hotter prospect coming
out of high school, but he was hurt his senior year.
pave the way, and serve as a do-it-all player for the offense,
will be senior fullback Pete Winovich. After moving over
from the defensive side, the 6-3, 248-pounder got a little bit
of work rushing for 78 yards and averaging 6.5 yards per carry
while catching one pass for a seven-yard touchdown.
Projected Top Reserves: 5-11, 220-pound sophomore
Chris Bullock had a big first year leading the team with
769 yards and four touchdowns while catching 14 passes for 119
yards. Originally considered to be a fullback, he became too
tough and too productive to not use as a tailback. He basically
carried the team during the middle of the year as the workhorse
for the offense, and then his workload began to tail off over
the final three games.
6-1, 214-pound senior Dan Macon is
a nice third running back to have, if he actually becomes the
number three man in the mix. He was the starter at the beginning
of last year and finished with 387 yards and a touchdown. While
he's not a burner, he has good quickness and could be perfect
for 5-to-7 carries a game.
Watch Out For ... an excellent rotation of backs.
Ransom brings some desperately needed speed to the backfield,
while Bullock and Macon bring the power.
Strength: Options. Not only does Bowling Green have three
starting-caliber backs, it has Freddie Barnes, who's part
quarterback, part receiver, part runner, just in case there
needs to be even more of a pop.
Weakness: An outside threat other than Ransom. Bullock and Macon
can be productive, but if Ransom doesn't pan out as expected,
the Falcons will be searching for someone to provide more of a
speed option to turn the corner.
Outlook: The Falcons led the MAC in rushing last
season mainly because the most dangerous runners where under
center. If Tyler Sheehan, who's not really a runner, takes over
the starting quarterback job, the backfield will have to handle
more of the workload. As long as Ransom is solid, there will be
good production among the backs with a nice blend of speed and
power to utilize in different situations.
Projected Starters: Returning after a breakout sophomore
year is 5-11, 184-pound junior Corey Partridge, who led
the team with 55 catches for 658 yards and three touchdowns. A
quick target who can also return punts and kicks, he was the
main receiving weapon throughout the year, and then he blew up
over the final three games with ten catches for 107 yards
against Akron and 14 catches for 161 yards and a score against
Toledo. He'll start at the inside H position and will once again
be the go-to target.
At the outside X will be junior Marques
Parks, who made just five grabs for 30 yards last year.
While he was still trying to get healthy after missing most of
the second half of the 2005 season, he still never made his
presence felt as a deep threat. That has to change this year.
At the Z will be sophomore Tyrone Pronty after a
five-catch, 37-pyard freshman season. He didn't see action over
the first half of the year, but was brought in late to try to
boost up the passing game. One of the quicker receivers, he can
also see time as a kick returner.
The offense's most versatile
and exciting player is 6-2, 212-pound sophomore Freddie
Barnes, who started the season at quarterback and ran for
158 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin and finished with
405 yards and nine scores to go along with 210 passing yards and
a touchdown with two interceptions. He turned into a
jack-of-all-trades finishing with 20 catches for 203 yards and
two scores, and now he'll start at the E position.
At tight end,
when the offense uses one in its spread formation, will be
sophomore Jimmy Scheidler, a 6-4, 244-pound blocker who
might see a catch or two here and there. He's a good athlete
with the hands to get the ball thrown his way more often.
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Zach Charles
was a rising playmaker for the offense with 14 catches for
50 yards as a true freshman, and then got hurt five games into
the season and was out for the year. He's lightning fast with
the potential to crank out home runs at the H behind Corey
Moving over from the defensive side will be sophomore
Calvin Wiley, who made 23 tackles last season in the
secondary. He's a great athlete who'll move in behind Prority at
Watch Out For ... Barnes to explode as a full-time
receiver. The coaching staff will use him in a variety of ways,
but he'll be the dangerous playmaker the receiving corps lacked
Strength: Quickness. This isn't necessarily the fastest group
around, but it's quick and should be able to get into the open
without an issue. They'll be good on the short-to-midrange
Weakness: A proven deep threat. It's partly the fault of the
quarterbacks who weren't able to deliver the ball deep, but the
receivers have to do more when it comes to making big plays.
Barnes can be a deep-ball threat, but it would be nice if Parks
developed into one.
Outlook: The receiving production fell off the map
with a change in quarterbacks after Omar Jacobs left, but it was
also a new group that struggled to find any sort of a groove
last season. The potential is there to do more with passer Tyler
Sheehan likely under center, but Anthony Turner has experience
and could do more through the air, too. Partridge is a nice
number one mid-range target, and now more explosive receivers
have to develop.
Projected Starters: While it's hard to call a center the
star of the offense, 6-3, 300-pound senior Kory Lichtensteiger is
one. A tough guard in the first part of his career, he made the move
inside and earned first-team All-MAC honors as a great leader and
all-around blocker. His NFL future is likely at guard, but he'll be one
of the nation's best in the middle this year.
Next to Lichtensteiger on the left
side will be sophomore Shane Steffy, a 6-3, 302-pound run blocker
who saw a little bit of time in ten games last season.
At left tackle
will be senior Drew Nystrom, who's coming off a great season
starting nine games as one of the team's better pass blockers. He's 6-5,
300 pounds and mobile.
Also returning is senior Kevin Huelsman at
right tackle, who's starting to come into his own as the top all-around
blocker he was expected to be when he came to Bowling Green as a top
recruit. He's 6-5, 290 pounds and can hit.
Former defensive lineman
Brandon Curtis will get the start at right guard. The 6-2, 285-pound
junior is physical, and he's not starting from scratch having played on
the O line in high school.
Projected Top Reserves: In the hunt for the
starting left guard job will be 6-4, 288-pound sophomore Brandon
Minturn, who started three games last year on the defensive side
finishing with 22 tackles. While he's not as big as Steffy, he'll do
some pushing around.
6-5, 290-pound junior Jeff Fink will be
given every opportunity to win the job at right guard in a battle with
Curtis. He started the final three games last year and was fine, but he
has to do even more for the running game.
Watch Out For ... Lichtensteiger to make everyone
around him better. It's always easier to break in new starting guards
when you have an all-star in the middle.
Strength: Tackles. Nystrom and Huelsman weren't all-stars last
year, but they might be this season. They were good in pass protection
and have the potential to be great all-around performers.
Weakness: Veteran guards. Considering how much the running game
revolved around pounding it up the middle last year. Steffy and Curtis
had better be great from the word go.
Outlook: This has the potential to be one of the
better lines in the MAC as long as the guards come through. A heralded
recruiting class of a few years ago will finally mature providing
veteran starters on the outside and Lichtensteiger in the middle leading
the way, and the skill players will benefit. While the pass protection
numbers from last year were fine, it helped to have a mobile quarterback
in Anthony Turner to lead the way. If Tyler Sheehan is under center, the
line will have to do an even better job to give him time.