CB Janssen Patton

2002 Statistics

Coach: Gregg Brandon
1st year
2002 Record: 9-3
at Kansas WON 39-16
OHIO WON 72-21
at Cent. Michigan WON 45-35
at Kent State WON 45-14
at Northern Illinois LOST 17-26
at South Florida LOST 7-29
at Toledo LOST 24-42

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

The only goal Coach Brandon has laid out to his team is winning the west to make the MAC championship. They have made waves in the conference during the last two seasons, posting a nation's best six-game turn around in 2001 and jumping out to an 8-0 record in 2002 before faltering.

The offense should again be explosive with the wizard behind the curtain now running the show. Brandon's offense broke MAC records of most points (490) and most touchdowns (65) scored in a single season. On a marquee team, Harris would be a legitimate Heisman Candidate. Having said that, with a big season you may hear some dark horse whispers emerge. With a 5-0 record against BCS schools, Harris has proven he can play with anyone. The one thing that stands out in the skill players is the flexibility they provide in calling plays - each runs, catches, and throws, which will cause plenty of sleepless Friday nights for opposing coaches. So, with all of this firepower, how can Bowling Green not be the favorite in the MAC?

The answer: fundamentals - front lines on both sides of the ball. Coach Brandon will use a seven-man rotation this fall to allow for plenty of competition in hopes to answer these before August 29th.

Defensively, Bowling Green played very well at times and will be looking for the consistency eight returning starters provide. Bringing back (what may be) the most experienced secondary will allow time to gel, but a nasty non-conference schedule before making their MAC run will allow for trial-by-fire learning that surely will pay future dividends. DC Beckman is not afraid to take chances and, with such speed at the corners, he will have the capability to play more man-to-man. Look for BGSU to be ranked in the top three in the MAC by season end.

Though Former Coach Urban Meyer did raise the expectation bar for what can be at Bowling Green, he left the players needed to accomplish 2003's goals. Coach Brandon has made it very clear that while the non-conference schedule is important, the MAC is the main focus of this team. The non-conference schedule will most likely leave BGSU at 2-2 going into MAC play (at Purdue and Ohio State; home vs. Liberty and Eastern Kentucky). The MAC schedule is slightly favorable - getting Northern Illinois and Toledo (both are improved, too) at home where Bowling Green has outscored their last seven opponents by an average of 30 points. These two games will make or break a shot at the west title. Not to say that playing at Ball State or Miami (Ohio) won't be tough, but if the Falcons are for real, they need to win those games. It seems that only a few things need to come together for this to be THE year for the Falcons to lay claim to a MAC trophy. A slip up in the MAC won't be enough to keep them out of the big game. Bowling Green should have no more than three losses going into the battle for the coveted peace pipe on November 29th (winner represent the West.)

Projected 2003 record: 9-3
WR James Hawkins
QB - 4.5 DL - 2
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Josh Harris, 353-198-11, 2425 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: Josh Harris, 186 att., 737 yds., 20 TD

Receiving: James Hawkins, 44 rec., 546 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Josh Harris, 22 TD, 1-two pt. conv, 134 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Shaun Suisham, 12-14 FG, 57-59 PAT, 93 pts.

Tackles: Jason Morton, 85 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Mitch Crossley, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Janssen Patton, 3 for 52 yds.

Kickoff returns: John Nicholson, 7 ret., 21.9 avg.

Punt returns: B.J. Lane, 3 ret., 12.7 avg.


OFFENSE: Robert Redd-WR, Joe Alls-TB, Dennis Wendel-OT, Jon Mazur-C, Greg Kupke-OG, Martez Johnson-KR
DEFENSE: Chris Haneline-MLB, Alex Glantzis-NG, Luis Llamas-LB, Jerry Wagner-FS, Marcus Allen-SLB, D.J. Owchar-DE, Pat Fleming-P

written by Joe Brunson

First year Head Coach Gregg Brandon will get a legitimate star QB, Senior All-American candidate Josh Harris, to lead the Falcons. He set five school records and two MAC records en route to gaining 3,211 total yards and 41 scores.

BGSU welcomes back three of their top four wideouts but must replace the 83 catches and nine touchdowns of Robert Redd. Enter Junior H-Back Cole Magner. Rivaled only by Harris in play-making ability, the former Alaskan High School QB scored rushing, receiving, and passing. Bowling Green will find ways to get this two-sporter (basketball) the ball.

Coach Brandon has coached in wide-open offenses his entire career so don't be surprised when he often goes four-wide. The second and third receivers from a year ago (Charles Sharon and James Hawkins) will provide the leadership in the receiving corps. When they do use their Z-Back (4th WR), it will be Junior Cornelius McGrady, a nice target in a 6-3 200lb frame. BGSU will also utilize another slash-type player in redshirt freshman Van Johnson. He is listed on the depth chart as the third string QB, but Coach Brandon believes, "he is too good an athlete to be standing next to me on the sidelines." Look for Johnson to play multiple positions and gain more playing time as the season progresses. Craig Jarrett is back from injury and should make the position change to TE without missing a beat. The former fullback is a gifted athlete. And if the knee problems (that kept out most of 2002) heal as scheduled, you may see Jarrett become a favorite target for Harris.

At running back, BGSU will most likely split time between to Sophomore P.J. Pope and B.J. Lane. Pope is the more experienced back (just under six-yard average per carry) and should get the starting nod. Both backs are relatively small and shifty and will be utilized more out of the backfield in the passing game to showcase their elusiveness. One player to watchout for is redshirt freshman Raishaun Stover. He is similar in stature to Pope and Lane, but uses his 5'10", 190lb frame as a battering ram with game-breaking speed.

The biggest concern will be the replacement of three starting offensive linemen. 2002's veteran line gave up only twenty sacks. Of course the escability element of Josh Harris comes into play here, but the fact remains - BGSU needs someone to step up. Junior Scott Mruczkowski started in all 23 games he has played at LG, but will make the switch to the left tackle spot. He has made the adjustment with flying colors (so far), and should prove to be the leader of this line. The other side should be concrete as well. RT Robert Haley and RT James Williams are returning for their fifth years to provide solid bookends to the line. They split time last season due to an injury to Williams. The interior line will be Bowling Green's Achilles Heel. All three projected starters have only played as backups. They are veterans with some experience, so the ingredients are there. Similarly, there are some young players also in current back-up roles, so don't be surprised if the depth chart changes again.

Coach Brandon will keep the offense identical to what they ran while he was O-coordinator. After ranking ninth nationally in total offense (448.9 yds/game) and third in scoring offense (40.8 pts/game), there is no real need to tweak.


QB Josh Harris


Returning Starters in bold
QB Josh Harris-Sr (6-3, 225) Omar Jacobs-Fr (6-4, 215)
TB P.J. Pope-So (5-9, 210) B.J. Lane-So (5-10, 195)
WR Charles Sharon-So (6-1, 180) Steve Sanders-So (6-3, 195)
WR James Hawkins-Jr (6-1, 210) Cornelius McGrady-Jr (6-3, 200)
WR Cole Magner-Jr (6-2, 190) Brandon Jones-Fr (6-0, 170)
TE Craig Jarrett-Sr (6-2, 250) Steve Navarro-So (6-2, 230)
OT Scott Mruczkowski-Jr (6-4, 305) Rob Warren-So (6-6, 290)
OG Ryan Lucas-Sr (6-4, 290) Derrick Markray-Fr (6-5, 334)
C Jesus Yanez-Sr (6-3, 295) John Lanning-Fr (6-4, 275)
OG Vardan Mkhitarian-Sr (6-3, 290) Jonathan Culp-So (6-6, 275)
OT Robert Haley-Sr (6-4, 290) James Williams-Sr (6-5, 295)
K Shaun Suisham-Jr (6-0, 196) ..



written by Joe Brunson

The bad news is BGSU gave up over 365 yds plus 25.3 pts/game in 2002. The good news is they welcome back eight starters, including two-time All-MAC CB Janssen Patton. He will lead one of the most experienced backfields in the nation with a combined total of 83 starts among the starting four DB's. Junior Keon Newson (also a BGSU basketball player) will man the other corner. Both players can run with almost anyone and allow Defensive Coordinator Tim Beckman plenty of options. Back for a fifth year at Strong Safety is Mike Malone. He was bothered by a separated shoulder, but looks to be back in form after spring ball. Senior FS James Morton will help to make the secondary the strength of this crew.

The Falcons will stick with the 4-3 defense utilized for the final six games of 2002. In the middle of the linebacking unit will be Junior Jovan Burkes who makes the transition from starting ten games on the outside a year ago. Burkes will provide sideline to sideline speed. Senior Mitch Hewitt is back at WLB where he played opportunistically last season, scoring two defensive touchdowns. The SAM position is up for grabs, with Daniel Sayles likely starting and Jamien Johnson pushing him for playing time. Both players have good speed. The odd man out most likely backs up Hewitt, too.

The weakest link may be their front line. Sophomore DE Mitchell Crossley and fellow classmate, DT Matt Leininger, return after playing extremely well as first-year players. Leininger's quality of play initiated the change from a three to four down-lineman set. Crossley led the team in tackles-for-loss (TFLs) and nabbed seven sacks in his first year with the big boys. The other end, sophomore Monty Cooley, is quick off the corner and has worked on his run-stopping technique so as to make the starting lineup. At nose should be Jamal Bryant, unless Mike Thaler beats him out in fall ball. This will be a key position - Coach Beckman needs someone to force double-teams so his speedy linebacking crew can clean house. If a player doesn't step up in the interior alongside Leininger, don't be surprised if Beckman goes back to a 3-3-5 scheme to assure that his best will be playing together.

Bowling Green led the MAC in TO-margin with a +.75, leading to an average of 14.4 pts/game. Those numbers should only increase. The concern will be an emphasis on run-defense. In their three losses, Bowling Green gave up an average of 211.7 yds rushing.


FS Jason Morton


Returning Starters in bold
DE Monty Cooley-So (6-2, 260) Rick Mauer-Sr (6-3, 250)
NG Jamal Bryant-So (6-1, 270) Mike Thaler-So (6-1, 280)
DT Matt Leininger-So (6-3, 280) Andy Grubb-Jr (6-4, 260)
DE Mitchell Crossley-So (6-3, 245) Will Teague-Sr (6-5, 260)
SLB Daniel Sayles-Jr (5-11, 220) Jamien Johnson-So (6-1, 223)
MLB Jovon Burkes-Jr (6-1, 225) Ted Piepkow-So (6-0, 205)
WLB Mitch Hewitt-Jr (6-1, 215) Jason Hollingsworth-Fr (6-3, 190)
CB Janssen Patton-Sr (6-0, 180) Jelani Jordan-So (5-10, 175)
CB Keon Newson-Jr (6-0, 180) Terrill Mayberry-So (5-11, 170)
SS Mike Malone-Sr (5-10, 190) Tim Arnold-So (5-9, 196)
FS Jason Morton-Sr (6-0, 190) T.J. Carswell-Jr (6-1, 200)
P Nate Fry-So (5-10, 200) Josef Timchenko-Jr (6-4, 212)




Junior kicker Shaun Suisham returns after being nominated for the Lou Groza award. He hammered through a MAC record 57-of-59 PAT's and also made 12-of-14 FGAs. Sophomore Nate Fry wrapped up the punting duties after a nice spring, which should further solidify the Falcons' kicking duties.

Bowling Green finished in the bottom half of the nation in both kick and punt returns. The job(s) will not be set until fall practice. The Falcons should again have the game changing ability they possessed in their 9-3 run. They blocked eight kicks throughout the season, resulting in six scores and a field goal.