|Arch-rival Toledo next for BG football (10-22-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 22 October 2013 09:23|
Dave Clawson, the head coach of the Bowling Green State University football team, understands the Interstate 75 rivalry with the University of Toledo.
The Falcons host the Rockets Saturday with kickoff at 2:30 p.m. in Perry Stadium.
''The two schools are so close to each other ... there is such a long tradition and history with this rivalry,'' Clawson said. ''We are very fortunate to have it. It's great to have a game of this magnitude every year, and it's even a better rivalry when both teams are playing well.''
This season the Falcons are 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Mid-American Conference East. Toledo is 4-3 overall, 2-1 in the MAC West.
In his first four years at Bowling Green, Clawson's teams are 1-3 against Toledo, having lost three straight times.
Clawson stressed that the Falcons never want to lose their rivalry game, but that every year is different.
''I don't think there is a lot of carryover from year to year,'' Clawson said. ''It's always an important game for us, and it's certainly one of the goals of the program that we beat our rivals.
''There is nothing that we can do this week about 2012 or 2011,'' Clawson added. ''This is the 2013 team. This is our shot against our rivals this Saturday. All we can do is focus on our football team, and the preparation that we have to do to get ready to go against a very, very good football team.''
UT head coach Matt Campbell has been on both sides of the BG-UT rivalry.
He was a graduate assistant coach at Bowling Green in 2003 and 2004, and a full-time assistant in 2007 and 2008. When Tim Beckman, a former BGSU assistant coach, was named head coach at UT, Campbell went to Toledo. He was an assistant there for three years, and he replaced Beckman when Beckman was named the head coach at Illinois.
Campbell is 14-7 as UT's head coach.
''The most important thing is that there is such a great tradition between both schools ... (and) both schools have such a great football twradition in their own right; football is really important to both communities,'' Campbell said. ''I think that's the thing that makes this game so special, is not only the location, but also the excellence the former players at both universities have really given to their football programs.
''Both programs, and both sets of kids, they understand the rivalry,'' Campbell added. ''I think it increases as the week goes on, just like the general excitement to play in the game. I think that's special, and that's what makes this game so special.''
BYE: The Falcons had a bye week to help get ready for Toledo.
''We certainly had a very productive bye week,'' Clawson said. ''We were able to get our guys some rest. We had a few good fundamental practices, that some of our guys who where banged up didn't participate in, so they could heal up a little bit.
''We were able to get a little bit of a jump-start for our preparation for the Toledo game,'' he continued. ''This is a huge game for us, and our program.''
UT INJURIES: Toledo will be without linebacker Trent Voss, who had surgery Sunday after suffering a fracture in his arm in the Rockets' 54-44 double overtime win over Navy. He had 14 tackles and one sack against Navy.
A linebacker, Voss is second on the team with 60 tackles, including 5 1/2 tackles for loss.
UT's top running back, David Fluellen, left the Navy game with a back injury. He rushed 19 times for 153 yards and a touchdown against the Midshipmen, before the injury.
''With David we were fortunate that there was no structural damage,'' Campbell said.
Campbell added that after Fluellen practices early in the week, he will be evaluated as to whether he can play Saturday.
Through the first seven games of the season, Fluellen has rushed 149 times for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's also caught 25 passes for 205 yards.
HALL OF FAME: The BG-UT game is Hall of Fame and letter winner weekend for the Falcons.
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame are: Shane Kline-Ruminski 2002 (men's basketball), Marny Oestreng 2002 (gymnastics), Scott Paluch 1991 (hockey), and the 1959 football team.
The class will be recognized on the field during the game.
TV: Saturday's game is an ESPN3 exclusive broadcast with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Jerrod Cherry (analyst) calling the action.
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