Monday, April 18, 2005

A Nice Day for...Football?

Orange tops White 45-42

Backup QB Anthony Turner looks for an open receiver.

WR Chuck Sharon gets ready to field a punt.

It was a gorgeous weekend here in Northwest Ohio. The skies were clear, the winds were calm (a rarity here in Bowling Green), and the temperatures were in the 70s. If you could bottle a perfect spring day, Saturday is the day you would have picked. So what was I doing in a football stadium?

Saturday was the date for BGSU's spring football game, a scrimmage that marks the end of spring practices. It was a great day to be outdoors, so I headed over to Doyt Perry Stadium to check out the new edition of our team. Of course, I would have been there even if it had been cold and raining (or snowing), but that's beside the point.

I was really looking forward to seeing the guys play. We have some key players returning, but we also graduated some guys who contributed a lot to last year's 9-3 GMAC Bowl championship team. I was particularly interested to see the progress of our receiving corps after losing Cole Magner, James Hawkins, and Cornelius McGrady. I also wanted a chance to check out our backup QB, Anthony Turner, a much-heralded prospect who redshirted last season.

Watching the game, I found myself ill-equipped to be a good scout. The batteries in my camera died shortly into the first quarter--I managed to get the two photos above and a few more besides, but there were plenty more I wanted to take. I also wish I would have had a notepad to jot down some thoughts as the game progressed.

Despite these shortcomings, I had a great time watching our offense explode up and down the field. Needless to say, with a final score of 45-42 and 719 combined passing yards, our receiving corps didn't miss a beat. Particularly heartening was the play of a couple of freshmen, Corey Partridge (who redshirted last season) and Luke Alexander (who graduated early from high school in order to enroll early at BGSU and participate in spring drills). They both looked outstanding, which bodes well for the future of our passing offense. Upperclassmen Steve Sanders (who showed some great speed) and Derrick Lett also looked good, as did top returner Charles Sharon in limited action.

Of course, starting QB Omar Jacobs (a Heisman candidate for next year) was incredible, after a bit of a slow start. It's going to be a lot of fun watching him play next season. I hadn't seen his backup, Anthony Turner, play before, but I had heard a lot of good things about him. He showed that the offense will be in good hands if and when we need him to play. He's got a good arm, and he did a nice job of finding receivers--if his primary guy wasn't open, he had no trouble going through his progressions and finding an open man. That's impressive for a guy seeing his first collegiate action. Granted, it was just a scrimmage, but he showed no signs of freshman jitters.

Defensively...well, it's hard to say. Being split up among two squads certainly didn't help them; hopefully they'll perform better when they're all on the same side. I'm sure that they will. In their defense, they certainly aren't going to see many (probably not any) offenses that are nearly as potent as the ones they faced on Saturday (our own). If it turns out that we need to outscore people in order to win, that's going to be just fine.

After the game ended and I got back home, I realized that camera batteries and a notepad weren't the only things I had forgotten. I didn't have any sunscreen, and the positioning of the sun had given me quite a sunburn...on the right side of my face and neck and my right arm. Lovely. Now I'm in pain and sure to be peeling soon. It was worth it to get my football fix, though. The Falcons don't play at home until October 1, so I definitely needed this to hold me over until then.

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