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Falcons begin to pull away

With an offense that scores over 40 points per game, it is easy to overlook the Bowling Green football team’s defense and special teams.

In the Falcons last three games, the defense has allowed under 15 points per game and the special teams has made vast improvements.

All of the team’s talent shined in BG’s last win against Ball State.

“That was probably our best game all year with all the phases of our game,” BG head coach Gregg Brandon said.

The defense sacked Ball State quarterback Cole Stinson eight times in the game and the special teams finished the game with their best game of the season. Return man B.J. Lane provided the team with their first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1997 and showed the rest of the Mid-American Conference that he was a threat to be reckoned with. Lane’s return gave him an average of 33.6 yards per return, good for third in the nation.

“That gives me an opportunity to carry the ball,” Lane said. “It’s an opportunity for me to do something special for my team.”

For Lane and the rest of the team’s specialist, they realize how important a solid special team’s effort can be in building a strong team.

“All special teams is an opportunity to put points on the board,” he said. “Whether it be blocking a kick or downing a punt inside the ten yard line.”

The kicking game is where the Falcons looked their strongest.

Punter Nate Fry gave BG a solid effort in the Ball State win, punting three balls inside the 20-yard line.

“That’s a focus everytime I go out there,” he said. “More specifically, I want to get the ball inside the ten if I can.”

Fry has strengthened his game by occasionally using a rugby-style punt in which he runs a little before kicking a line drive towards the sidelines.”

“We’re trying to keep it away from the returner,” he said. “I’ve got to keep it low so the return man doesn’t make the catch.”

With a game against Ohio this weekend, the Falcons are hoping to continue their success and pick up a win in Athens.

The Bobcats are a team that have struggled offensively the past two weeks, losing to Marshall, 16-13, and dropping last weekend to Toledo 31-13.

The team has had some problems moving the ball while adjusting to a pass-oriented offense. In year’s past the team has run an option offense.

“They’ve struggled the last two games,” Brandon said. “They’re going through growing pains on that side of the ball. Their quarterbacks are talented, their receivers are good and their backs are strong.”

Adjusting to the new scheme has gone far past just the skills players, though.

“The transition has been in the line,” Brandon said. “Until they get that transition mastered, they’re going to struggle.”

The team is running a two quarterback system this season and has talent all ove the field but has still had problems with consistency on their offense.

OU’s problems have reminded Brandon of a team he knew not so long ago.

“They remind me of where we were in 2001,” he said. “We were playing two quarterbacks and we were waiting for Josh [to master the offense].”

Ryan Hawk (1,213 yards and nine touchdowns) and Austen Everson (249 yards and two touchdowns) are under center for the Bobcats and have been solid in the pass game.

The Falcons are hoping to harass the two much like they harassed Stinson in last weekend’s game.

“I don’t think one guy goes in and does something differently than the other guy. Hopefully we can get both of them out of there and find out who the third guy is,” Brandon said with a smile.

The Falcons will try to do one thing this weekend in Athens, and that is duplicate their solid play as of late.

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