Rival Report: Bowling Green

The Minnesota Gophers are just the first in a series of tests against bigger schools for the Bowling Green Falcons, who enter the game with their own inexperienced quarterback. Find out more about Bowling Green inside.

An older but still young Bowling Green team starts a two-game stretch against Big Ten teams Saturday at Minnesota. The Falcons, one of the youngest teams in the country last fall, embark on a killer schedule with games at Minnesota and Michigan State to begin the season.

Following two consecutive home games, the Falcons have another rough stretch with three straight road games, at Boston College, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State.

"We are going to be matching up with some big, physical teams," said BGSU coach Gregg Brandon. "Anytime a team goes into the Big Ten to play, those teams are going to wear you out."

The first order of business is the Golden Gophers. The Falcons finished with a 4-8 mark last season, the school's first losing season since its 2-9 mark in 2000. Stopping Minnesota's vaunted running game is the key to pulling off a big upset. The Golden Gophers, along with Northern Illinois, own the nation's longest Division I-A streak with a rusher registering a 1,000-yard season. A Minnesota back has run for 1,000 yards for the last eight seasons.

In a small surprise, sophomore Tyler Sheehan was named the starting quarterback for the opener at Minnesota. Sheehan played in four games last year but impressed the BGSU coaching staff with his passing accuracy.

The Falcons can attack the Golden Gophers with a talented set of running backs. The leading returning rusher, Chris Bullock, has been passed by newcomers Eric Ransom and Willie Geter on the depth chart. Brandon plans on utilizing his running backs in the passing game more this season.

"All of those guys, particularly Geter and Ransom, give us a good threat throwing the ball either out of the backfield or putting them in the slot," Brandon said. "Our challenge is to get two of the three on the field at the same time because with that kind of speed on the field it gives you different dimensions."


  • C Kory Lichtensteiger is the heart of the young offensive line. The Falcons led the conference in rushing last year and welcome back their top returning rusher, Chris Bullock, and two talented backs in Eric Ransom and Willie Geter.

  • LB Erique Dozier finished second on the team with 98 tackles last year. He started all 12 games, racking up nine tackles at Ohio State. He becomes the leader of the defense following the graduation of Devon Parks and Terrel White.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I told my coaches we need a Garrett Wolfe (the former Northern Illinois star), and that's when they found (Willie) Geter. Geter wasn't very highly recruited because he's not a very big guy, but he's a very powerful kid. A lot of teams didn't want to take a chance on him because of his size." — BGSU coach Gregg Brandon on his starting tailback, Willie Geter, a freshman from Miami, Florida.

  • Gopher Illustrated Top Stories