Notebook: Doege performs well in first start at QB
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – At times Bowling Green’s offense was rhythmic in Saturday night’s 24-13 loss at Middle Tennessee State.
At other times it was frustration out of the group that found a way to hurt itself with mishandled snaps and penalties.
Either way, it’s easy to see the potential in the offense with Jarret Doege at quarterback.
Doege, who replaced James Morgan in the fourth quarter last week at Northwestern, made his first career start at Floyd Stadium. He became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Bowling Green since Brian McClure in 1982.
Doege appeared calm for much of the night. He had his growing pains and those will continue through much of the season. But his touch was impressive as he made nearly every throw he was asked to make.
Doege finished 21-for-35 for 283 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions. He played the entire game, contrary to head coach Mike Jinks’ original thinking that both quarterbacks would play.
“There was a different energy in that first half,” Jinks said. “There was a different tempo to our offense that we hadn’t seen in a little while so we let him roll in the second half too.
”He played a better first half than I thought he would. It was a pretty good first half for his first start.”
Doege was 15-for-20 for 200 yards in the first half, hitting Scotty Miller for a 60-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
“I think he has a really good grasp of the offense,” Miller said of Doege. “He made a lot of great plays.”
Doege showed his ability to scramble out of the pocket and had the presence to throw away a few balls when coverage was tight.
The lone worry, which is more an incitement of the offensive line, was how many times Doege was hit by the defense.
“He won’t make it through two more games if we keep that up,” Jinks said.
“He got the ball out of his hand, but he was taking some shots. He won’t play much football for us if we continue to do that to him.”
Jinks did not commit to Doege starting next week saying, “We will watch the video. We’ll look at it. It’ll give you guys something to talk about all week.”
Bowling Green’s offensive line has arguably been its most disappointing unit early in the season.
The Falcons have hardly been able to create holes in the running game and there have been pass protection issues in all four games.
Bowling Green ran for just 1 yard in Saturday’s loss.
“It’s extremely worrisome,” Jinks said of Bowling Gree’s offensive line and the lack of run game. “If we don’t start running the ball better it’s going to be a long, long year. We have to be balanced. … We need to be able to run the ball and we need to be able to run play-action.”
Bowling Green was 7-for-17 on third-down conversions, but they allowed Middle Tennessee to go 8-for-12 on third down.
Bowling Green defensive lineman Shannon was ejected for targeting in the second half. He will miss the first half of next week’s game due to the penalty.
It is the second time Bowling Green has had an ejection due to targeting this season.
Bowling Green wore white helmets, white tops and white pants for the contest.
Bowling Green will host Akron at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Doyt Perry Stadium.