2008 Bowling Green Preview - Offense
Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes
CollegeFootballNews.com 2008 Preview - Bowling Green Falcon Offense
Preview 2008 - Offense
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What you need to know:
The offense went from being
all-pass, no-run in 2005, to all run and no pass in 2006, and
then back to being a passing attack finishing second in the MAC
averaging 279 yards per game through the air, and 12th in
rushing averaging a mere 124 yards per game. There could be more
of a balance with four excellent runners, led by Anthony Turner,
to work around, but the line will be mediocre with three
starters needing to be replaced from last season's disappointing
front wall. The receiving corps, led by the multi-talented
Freddie Barnes, will be excellent, and Tyler Sheehan is a rising
star at quarterback, if he's able to fend off JUCO transfer
Andrew Beam. It'll be an explosive attack again, and now it has
to be consistent.
Passing: Tyler Sheehan
303-476, 3,264 yds, 23 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Anthony Turner
106 carries, 519 yds, 9 TD
Receiving: Freddie Barnes
82 catches, 962 yds, 9 TD
Star of the offense: Junior QB Tyler Sheehan
Offensive line, rushing production
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior OT
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman C Ben Bojicic
Best pro prospect: Junior WR Freddie Barnes
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Sheehan, 2) Barnes, 3)
WR Corey Partridge
Strength of the offense: Skill position experience, skill
depth, passing game
Weakness of the offense:
Projected Starter: Junior Tyler Sheehan stepped up
and made an iffy situation solid by completing 64% of his throws
for 3,264 yards and 23 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. At 6-3
and 224 pounds, he's a big, strong passer, and he's also mobile
with 148 rushing yards and three scores. If that wasn't enough,
he also caught two touchdown passes. But for all the good things
he did, like throwing for 388 yards in the upset over Minnesota
and 351 yards and four scores against Temple, the door is still
considered open for the starting job. Whatever. Sheehan will be
the team's leader.
Projected Top Reserves: Coming in from the JUCO
ranks to compete right away for a job is junior Andrew Beam,
a 6-4, 230-pound bomber with an extremely accurate arm and
tremendous upside. An excellent passer, he'll be given a shot to
win the starting gig. If he comes into fall camp and is lights
out, Sheehan will have a major fight on his hands.
Redshirt freshman Nate Brown
is being given every chance to turn into a major factor in the
offense. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, he's a big, strong passer and a
tremendous runner. He still might be a year or two away, but
he'll eventually be the team's starter.
Watch Out For ... no real quarterback controversy.
Allegedly Sheehan struggled over the
second half of the year, at least according to the coaching
staff, but he led the Falcons to four wins in a row to end the
regular season and he threw just two picks over the final eight
games. Forget about it; Sheehan's the main man ... at least he
is unless Beam is unbelievable later this summer.
Strength: Size and mobility combination. The three quarterback
options are all very tall, very big, and very mobile. There
might not be a Michael Vick in the group, but the offense will
always have the threat of a runner under center.
Weakness: Controversy. Considering what a tremendous season
Sheehan had, does he really need to get a push? A great young
passer, a vote of confidence would likely mean the direction of
the program is set. Instead, there's a chance everything can be
thrown out of whack if Beam is the real deal.
Outlook: Brown is a great option and an excellent
prospect, but he'll have to wait at least another year or two
because Sheehan and Beam are about to do battle. Sheehan is a
franchise quarterback, and as long as he's consistent, the job
will stay his and Beam might redshirt. However, the coaching
staff is leaving all the options open.
Projected Starters: It has been an interesting career for
6-2, 229-pound senior Anthony Turner. A running back when
he started out his career, he has thrown for 2,153 yards and 16
touchdowns, with nine interceptions, and then he became a
running back and a strong receiver. The team's leading rusher
last season, he ran for 519 yards with nine touchdowns and
caught 22 passes for 185 yards and a score, but it took
half the year for him to get rolling. He was the main man down
the stretch, and now he'll be the starter going into the year
despite a push from the other three options.
Projected Top Reserves: Pushing for the starting
job will be 5-8, 170-pound speedster Willie Geter, the
team's second leading rusher and third leading receiver with 432
yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, with 37
catches for 296 yards. The sophomore is a dangerous speed option
who has the talent to hit home runs when he gets the ball in
space, and while he was great as a rusher, he needs to break off
more big plays by using his 10.6 100-meter speed as a receiver.
5-11, 220-pound power back Chris Bullock led the team
with 769 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman, and then was
the third man in the mix rushing for just 281 yards without a
score as a sophomore. Now the junior has to find a niche. He's a
tough back who can get the hard yards, and he can be used as a
fullback, but he'll be needed from time to time as a workhorse
if Turner wears down.
Trying to get back from a knee
injury is former JUCO transfer Eric Ransom, a quick 5-10,
185-pound back who only ran for 46 yards in two games before
getting hurt. A tremendous high school prospect as a junior, he
got hurt and everyone backed off. He was a good get for the
program after running for over 2,300 yards in two years at
Trinity College in Texas, and now he has to work his way back in
Working as a fullback, when the offense uses one, and partially
a tight end will be 6-4, 240-pound junior Jimmy Scheidler,
who'll take over for Pete Winovich. A top special teamer so far,
he saw a little bit of time in the backfield and made a catch,
but it was for -4 yards. He'll be a blocker, but an athletic one
who can also line up at tight end.
Watch Out For ... a continued rotation of backs.
There are four good options and they'll all be used more after
the Falcons finished 12th in the MAC and 96th in the nation in
rushing. The passing game dominated last year, but there are too
many veterans to not do a lot more on the ground.
Strength: Options. There are four talented, veteran backs who
can carry the running game on their own at any time. The
coaching staff can go with the power of Turner and Bullock, or
the speed of Geter and Ransom. There's plenty of talent to work
Weakness: A true number one. None of the backs were able to
distinguish himself and stand out this spring, and while there
are several good players and options, it would be nice if one
back turned into a dominant focal point to work around.
Outlook: The Falcons led the MAC in rushing two
seasons ago because there was a ton of production from the
quarterbacks. Even though Tyler Sheehan ran well last year and
finished in the positive despite taking too many sacks, the
running game didn't step forward. Now, with four good backs.
there's no reason not to be more balanced. The Falcons have to
average far more than 124 yards per game, and they will.
Projected Starters: 6-2, 212-pound junior Freddie
Barnes started off his career as a quarterback and was a
dangerous option for the first half of the 2006 season,
highlighted by a 158-yard, two touchdown rushing day in his
debut against Wisconsin. He moved to wide receiver last season
and became a killer catching a team-leading 82 passes, 36 more
than the second leading receiver, for 962 yards and nine
touchdowns. A steady, dangerous playmaker, he was also clutch
and extremely consistent catching at least six passes in eight
games. He'll start on the outside X position.
Returning to the E slot on the inside is 5-11, 200-pound senior
Jermiah Kelly, a former JUCO transfer who made 12 grabs
for 219 yards and three touchdowns. It took him most of the
season to become a factor, catching just one pass in the first
nine games, and then became a major complementary receiver.
5-10, 190-pound junior Chris Wright became a top
playmaker as the season went on making 20 of his 26 grabs over
the final six games. He has the speed to be a deep threat at the
Z, and at 5-10 and 190 pounds, he has decent toughness going
across the middle.
Trying to get back from a knee injury is senior Corey
Partridge, the team's second leading receiver last season
with 46 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns before going
down. He was the team's main man two years ago with excellent
quickness and great hands, and while he gave up his kick return
duties to become a more complete receiver, he's still one of the
team's most dangerous athletes. Now he has to get back healthy
to work again at the H.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Marques Parks
had a problem getting healthy two years ago and showed what
he could do last year when he was right catching 28 passes for
360 yards and five touchdowns averaging 12.9 yards per grab. The
5-11, 194-pounder saw his workload decrease dramatically as the
season went on, and he didn't grow into the deep threat he was
expected to, but he'll be a good reserve behind Partridge at the
6-0, 181-pound junior Tyrone Pronty worked as a decent
backup and will be the main reserve behind Wright at the Z after
making 19 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He's a
slippery-quick receiver who needs to do more with the ball in
his hands on the move.
Watch Out For ... the workload to be spread out a
bit more. Barnes became too good to not get the ball all the
time, but for the passing game to be even more explosive, other
receivers have to get more involved. They will be.
Strength: Veterans. Including Anthony Turner, the top seven pass
catchers return. There's no reason to not have a consistent
combination of explosion and playmaking at all four spots.
Weakness: A tight end. The offense doesn't really use one, and
there isn't a viable one even if the coaching staff wants
to put one in. Jimmy Scheidler is an option, but this is a true
four-wide receiver set.
Outlook: The corps the needed a year of seasoning
and experience should come out roaring. There's a true number
one in Barnes to work around, decent depth, and a slew of
complementary targets to work into the fold. There are several
good options to see more action and too many strong veterans to
not have an even crisper passing attack.
Projected Starters: The biggest issue going into spring
ball was replacing Kory Lichtensteiger at center, and redshirt freshman
Ben Bojicic came through. He's nowhere near as strong as
Lichtensteiger, and he's not even close to as big at 6-4 and 273 pounds,
but he should be a rock for the next four years. Any and all fears about
the position were alleviated after spring ball.
Moving from guard to tackle will be senior Jeff Fink, a decent
veteran who has a little starting experience and was a good run blocker
when he saw time last year. The 6-5, 290-pounder is a good athlete who
needs to quickly grow into a consistent pass protector on the left side.
The right tackle spot is also open with 6-6, 281-pound sophomore
Tyler Donohue needing to fill the role and be steady in place of
Kevin Huelsman. Donohue still has room to grow into his frame, but he
can't lose his quickness.
6-2, 285-pound senior Brandon Curtis started every game at right
guard, and could play center if needed. He started off his Falcon career
as a defensive lineman before moving to the offensive side, and he
brought that toughness to the other side of the ball. While not a
dominant run blocker, he's dependable veteran who should help Donahue on
the right side.
Also returning at guard is 6-3, 302-pound junior Shane Steffy,
who started every game but the bowl on the left side. He's a big blocker
who has been a good pass protector, but he has to use his big body and
strength to pound more in the running game.
Projected Top Reserves: While Fink is considered a
possible fixture at left guard, he'll have to fend off 6-6, 291-pound
senior Aaron Kent, a decent reserve who slimmed down a bit and
should be a good option who'll see a little bit of time. The ten games
he played in were the first he had seen, and now he has to make another
jump up in his consistency.
Pushing for time at right guard is 6-4, 288-pound junior Brandon
Minturn, a spot starter on defense who made the move to the other
side of the ball last year after making 22 tackles as a freshman. He's a
tough, strong blocker who still needs a little polish. He got the start
in the bowl game, and can step in again when needed.
Watch Out For ... Bojicic. Bowling Green has
become a factory for good centers, and Bojicic appears to be the next in
line. He might not be a road grater, but he has the look of a solid
technician who'll anchor the line for the next four years.
Strength: The interior. Assuming Bojicic is as good as he was
this spring, the inside should be solid with veteran guards, good depth,
and options to move around where needed.
Weakness: Production. Even with a veteran line last year, there
wasn't nearly enough done for the running game while Tyler Sheehan got
beaten and bruised. This could be the team's biggest issue if the
tackles don't shine early on.
Outlook: A major disappointment last year, the
line will be a big concern going into this season. The guards are fine,
but hardly special, and two new tackles are taking over. Considering
three new starters are stepping in, there's decent depth to push for a
good rotation, and there's potential at center and with Donahue at right
tackle, but this group has to be far more consistent and far more
physical than it was last season.