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April 11, 2024

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Turner prepared to start at QB

After losing their star quarterback, Omar Jacobs, to a shoulder injury and getting trounced by Western Michigan last Saturday, the Falcon players and coaches look different.

It’s not panic in their eyes, and it is not fear – it is focus. Intense focus.

The team understands that this is it. It all comes down to this final stretch run, including Saturday’s game at home against the Akron Zips.

The whole season, and in some cases whole careers, will be measured by these final four games.

“We only have four games left,” said senior linebacker Ted Piepkow. “I have four games left as a Falcon. It’s my senior year and I don’t want to go out on a bad note.

“So myself and the other seniors we just have to [say] ‘How do you want to be remembered?'”

How does Piepkow want to be remembered?

“As a team that continued the tradition of Bowling Green football – winning games and playing hard,” he said.

This is a fact that is not lost on head coach Gregg Brandon. He has let his players know that this is the time where everyone needs to step up – especially his seniors.

“Those guys have four hours of football left” in their collegiate careers Brandon said.

As of press time, the status of Omar Jacobs was uncertain, but the team was being led in practice by backup Anthony Turner, a red-shirt freshman.

Turner came in for the injured Jacobs in the Western Michigan game and completed 20 of 38 passes for 242 yards and threw two interceptions.

Jacobs status is determined by how much pain he can tolerate in the non-throwing shoulder that was separated and how much range of motion he has in the shoulder.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Anthony run around Saturday,” Brandon said. “I think it will be fun.”

Turner is a much more mobile quarterback than Jacobs, which means the coaching staff will dust off some old plays from the Josh Harris era to utilize Turner’s strengths.

“Omar can get those yards passing so we didn’t necessarily need to run them, and Anthony can do it too, but I think he’s a dynamic runner,” Brandon said.

However, for the Falcons to beat the Zips they will have to get positive production from much more than the quarterback position.

“The defense is going to have to refocus,” said defensive end Brad Williams.

“The defensive line and linebackers are going to have to step up this game and make some plays,” he said.

Williams said the game plan is simple, making plays will get the defense off the field and puts the offense on the field, and that will lead to points.

“Our offense is so explosive, they making things happen,” he said.

Mike Thaler, a team captain and leader of the offensive line, expects big things from Turner.

“You really don’t have much of a falloff when you have a back-up like Anthony Turner. I look to see some great things from Anthony,” Thaler said. “Omar is a great player, but we have another great one in Anthony.”

If Turner is forced out of the game the plan is for freshman Freddie Barnes to play quarterback, although that would cause him his red-shirt status, which means he would lose a year of eligibility.

Van Johnson, presently a backup cornerback had been in the system as a quarterback prior to this season and he is also an option available according to Brandon.

“Right now it’s Freddie Barnes,” he said. “It depends on the situation in the game.”


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