Quarterback carousel

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

BG coach Dave Clawson doesn’t plan to name a starting quarterback until the fall season, but today’s spring game could go a long way.

The annual spring game starts at 7:30 tonight, and is open to the general public.

Four different quarterbacks are competing to fill the void left by Tyler Sheehan, including Aaron Pankratz, Matt Schilz, Kellen Pagel and Caleb Watkins.

Among the four quarterbacks, Pankratz is the only one who’s thrown a Division I pass after serving as Sheehan’s back-up last season and completed 5-of-13 attempts in a loss to Boise State.

“Experience, it’s a huge thing.Practicing out here is a big difference then being on the game field in front of thousands of people,” Pankratz said.

While Pankratz’s experience is one of his strengths, Clawson feels each quarterback brings something different to the table.

According to Clawson, Schilz has picked up the passing game very quickly while Pagel and Watkins both bring physical tools to the table in regards to arm strength and athleticism respectively.

The open competition for quarterback has created a unique atmosphere for all four athletes.

“We’re all excited, we’re all close and we like to hang out,” Pagel said. “We’re all rooting for each other, but it’s going to be a battle.”

Schilz agreed.

“It’s good, it creates a lot of competition and everyone is working hard,” Schilz said.

It appears that no matter who is the starting quarterback, BG will still be a pass heavy offensive that helped produce one of the most prolific wide receivers in school history.

“We pass so much that’s probably my favorite part [of this system],” Schilz said.

That passing will be on display tonight, as the spring game will be a monitored scrimmage that pits the offense against the defense and will run under a scoring system Clawson used for last year’s game.

The scoring system rewards the defense for three-and-outs, fourth down stops and turnovers, while the offense will rely on a more traditional scoring system of touchdowns and field goals.

First downs will also be worth a point for the offense.

Last year the offense won 66-47, and Pankratz was one of the stars throwing for 71 yards and touchdown.

That experience may give him the upper hand in the spring game, as well as the race for the starting quarterback.

But no matter what happens at today’s spring game, who starts BG’s season opener Sept. 4 at Troy will not be determined.

“We’re in no rush to settle… we’ll evaluate it and that decision will probably clear up in summer camp,” Clawson said.

SPRING GAME SCORINGHow the offense and defesne will look to rack up points this evening.

Offense1 point for every first down6 points for a touchdown1 point for an extra point3 points for a field goal

Defense3 points for a three-and-out2 points for a stop (offense doesn’t score)1 point for a stop on fourth down6 points for a turnover6 points for a touchdown