Bowling Green quarterback James Morgan is expected to be the team's starter this season, but he could have some challengers. BLADE PHOTO
BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University football team continues practice this week, trying to sort out its two-deep lineup over the next few weeks.
The focus, obviously, is on who will earn a starting role for the Falcons entering the season opener at Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 2.
But there are some interesting battles for back-up roles as well. Here are three that bear watching as BG camp continues.
1. Quarterback — It seems a foregone conclusion that James Morgan is the starter. But history tells us that often more than one quarterback is needed in Mid-American Conference play — even by good teams. So who will back up Morgan? It is early in the process, but Jarret Doege has turned heads since enrolling in school in January, and Grant Loy has impressed after walking on before last season began. Having said that, don't count out Elijah Cunningham — that's how wide-open this battle is.
2. Wide receiver — With the wear and tear the BG offense puts on wide receivers, picking out four starters will not be enough. Injuries often push reserves into starting roles, and competition for playing time may help some current receivers improve their game. There's a long list of players to watch here, including Matthew Wilcox, who also enrolled in January, and Texas freshmen Calvin Clater and Jared Wyatt.
3. Defensive line — In recent seasons BG has had success rolling defensive linemen into the contest in waves, keeping players fresher and giving valuable reps to younger players. This also is a position where competition would help raise the level of play. Potential "competitors" for increased playing time include freshman Josh Croslen and sophomore Kyle Junior among others.
3b. Offensive line — This one bears watching not for this season, but more for the future. Seniors Tim McAuliffe, Ryan Hunter, and Clark Clancy will be gone after 2017; now is the time to determine potential replacements for the future and give them some experience when possible. There are also a number of candidates to watch here, including redshirt freshmen Tim Blair and Caleb Bright.