BOWLING GREEN — To use the parlance of football coaches, the Bowling Green State University football team’s scrimmage Saturday was filled with “teachable moments.”
In other words, there were mistakes on offense and defense during the roughly 100 snaps in the scrimmage at sunny but frigid Doyt Perry Stadium. Many of the mistakes revolved around penalties, which wiped out several long pass plays by the offense but also at times hamstrung the defense.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Falcons coach Mike Jinks said. “We wanted the officials to call it ‘close’ — if there was a call that was close, I wanted the officials to call it to emphasize the things we can’t do and the things we need to improve. …
“If we’re going to talk about things like penalties and turnovers, we have to put systems in place to magnify [the consequences].”
Quarterback Jarret Doege looks to pass during the Bowling Green State University spring football game at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio.
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Although it still is early April and the 2018 season opener at Oregon is five months away, Jinks said the turnovers are a cause for concern.
“If we don’t clean those things up, we’re going to have the same results we had [last year],” he said. “If we clean those things up, we have enough talent and depth to line up and score and stay in every game.”
The penalties seemed to punish the offense more. One example came on the first drive of the scrimmage, when quarterback Jarret Doege threw a long pass Quintin Morris caught just short of the goal line on a play that was wiped out by a holding penalty.
But penalties also plagued the defense. The most egregious came when Doege threw an incompletion on a third-down pass from his own end zone, only to see the defense flagged for holding. The offense took advantage and drove the length of the field, with Doege capping the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Clater.
“We had eight touchdowns called back [by penalties] last year — that’s a crazy number,” Jinks said. “If we don’t do those things, we’re a better football team.”
Doege completed 14-of-21 passes for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was more pleased by directing the offense on several long drives.
“I just wanted the offense to move the ball efficient and fast,” he said. “We made some explosive plays, but we had some of them called back by penalties.”
The sophomore clearly is the Falcons’ starter at this point, and that is a far cry from last season when he enrolled in school early just to get his college career started.
“Last spring, my head was spinning around trying to learn everything,” Doege admitted. “This year, the game has slowed down for me a little bit.
“I’m trying to ‘check’ us into good plays, making my reads and making a play.”
Jinks also liked what he saw from redshirt sophomore quarterback Grant Loy and true freshman Bryce Veasley, who like Doege enrolled early to get a jump on learning Bowling Green’s offense. Both backups ran the quarterback-option well, with Loy gaining 12 yards on three carries and Veasley adding 47 yards on seven attempts.
“I was pleased with his demeanor,” Jinks said of Veasley. “He was a little too calm in the two-minute drill, but he has a presence about him, especially when you consider that was just his second scrimmage out here. It was unique.”
Jinks said he liked what he saw from all three quarterbacks in the scrimmage.
“Right now, Jarret’s the guy,” Jinks said. “But we feel we have two guys behind him that we can go out and win with, and that’s where we’re trying to built as a program.”
NOTES: Morris caught a pair of passes before suffering an apparent arm injury. His arm was in a sling by the time the scrimmage ended. … Sophomore running back Andrew Clair carried the ball 14 times for 77 yards. … New placekicker Nate Needham made field goals of 36 and 32 yards, missing a 44-yarder that had enough distance but was wide left. … Defensive back Torrian Hampton intercepted a Hail Mary pass by Veasley for the only turnover. Hampton also almost created a safety thanks to a tackle of running back Charles Lamar just outside the end zone.
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