Offense can be dangerous this season

Minneapolis – The BG offense was a question mark until 1:19 into Saturday night’s game. Now it’s their biggest strength.

The Falcons had one of the most dangerous offenses in the MAC from 2001 to 2005 before the hiccup that was last season. Head coach Gregg Brandon was offensive coordinator from 2001 to 2002 before taking over as head coach upon Urban Meyer’s departure.

Brandon has always had the ability to spread out defenses and give different looks to confuse his opponents.

Last year, the loss of his best weapons and the youth his team hindered that ability.

“[There were] a lot of things that we ran Saturday that we couldn’t even come close to running last year,” Brandon said.

Now that he’s got two very reliable receivers in Corey Partridge and Freddie Barnes and two backs who can catch passes out of the backfield in Eric Ransom and Chris Bullock, Brandon should be feeling pretty good about what his offense can do.

Add Zach Charles, Marques Parks and Tyrone Pronty into the receivers picture and you’re talking about a pretty potent offense. Not to mention freshman Willie Geter who has yet to make an impact (give him some time).

Then there’s the X-factor Anthony Turner. He didn’t have the arm that Brandon wanted to run his offense, but he’s got great vision between the tackles.

Saturday Turner ran for 29 yards on four carries and scored a touchdown. When the Falcons put five receivers into the game, it’s nearly impossible to stop Turner from barreling through because he sees his holes so well.

Throw all of those ingredients into the mix along with a tight end and a fullback who can catch the ball and the Falcons have one of the most versatile offenses in college football.

We saw the potential on Saturday. Sheehan threw to seven different receivers and even caught a pass from Partridge.

When the Minnesota defenders went one way, the ball went the other. On Sheehan’s catch, Partridge took a handoff on an end-around and looked like he was Gopher bait. But the former high school quarterback set his feet and lobbed the ball across the field to Sheehan for an easy score.

That is the type of play that used to make the offense so dangerous when Josh Harris and Cole Magner were on the field together. Turner’s ability is reminiscent of when P.J. Pope used to take direct snaps and exploit defenses when they were spread out.

Perhaps the most intriguing factor is Sheehan. The sophomore did not make any bad decisions. He threw the ball away when needed. He checked down when he needed to. And perhaps his biggest improvement, he got rid of the ball quickly. His coach will be the first one to tell you that improvements for Sheehan were inevitable.

“I don’t think last year was a fair evaluation,” Brandon said. “He came into tough situations ” We brought him in when we were down.

“[He’s had] the whole off-season to work on the system and learn the system.”

It’s still too early to say, but the Falcons have the potential to score a lot of points this season. They scored their second touchdown with 8:22 left in the first quarter Saturday. Their time of possession was 2:30 at that point and they’d run eight plays. Sheehan was 6-for-6 for 124 yards on his first two drives.

However we look at it, BG’s offensive performance was a big step in the right direction Saturday.

The high-powered offense that we all grew to love may be back sooner than we thought.