BG football noter: BG prepares for high-scoring Northern Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 22:22
BG coach Dave Clawson (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
Halloween has officially passed, but the horror shows are still being shown on television.
For the Bowling Green Falcon football team, the Tuesday night broadcast on ESPN was probably enough to send chills up and down their spines.
That telecast featured the Northern Illinois-Toledo game in which NIU posted a 63-60 victory. The Falcons host Northern Illinois at home next Tuesday with kickoff at 8 p.m.
“Northern is going to be a tough offense to defend, but I think we’re up to the challenge,” said BG linebacker Paul Swan, who is tied for second on the team with 52 tackles.
Swan said he was flipping back and forth between the game and his favorite show: “Sons of Anarchy” Tuesday night.
“I was surprised (by so) many points. I thought there would be a few more defensive stops,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “Sometimes you get in a game like that and the game is going fast; the offenses get in a rhythm and the defenses never really get to settle their cleats in the ground.”
Northern Illinois, led by quarterback Chandler Harnish, tops the MAC in total offense.
“They have a very veteran offense. I think they start eight seniors on offense,” Clawson said. “The thing is, you could even defend it right and they make you miss.
“Our guys watched the game (Tuesday) night) ... They saw the caliber of team we have to play next week,” Clawson added.
Bowling Green is 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the MAC East, having lost four of its last five games. NIU is 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the MAC West, having won four straight.
TURNOVERS: Bowling Green has turned the ball over 22 times this season with 15 of those coming in three of the Falcons’ five losses (Wyoming, West Virginia and Toledo).
“That’s been a real consistent theme for us — that when we turn the football over, we lose,” Clawson said.
“In games that we don’t turn the football over, like Temple, we give ourselves a chance to beat a very good football team,” Clawson added.
The Falcons are last in the MAC in turnover-margin at minus-10.
KICKING: Bowling Green currently has five place-kickers on its roster — Jerry Phillips, Matt Oczypok and Tyler Tate, who were recruited and received scholarships; and walk-ons Stephen Stein and Kyle Burkhardt.
Clawson said Wednesday that both Phillips and Tate are injured, leaving Burkhardt to continue handling kickoffs and Stein kicking field goals and PATs. He added that neither Phillips or Tate have been practicing.
“We can’t make changes ... The bullpen is empty,” Clawson said. “We wanted Jerry Phillips to be our kickoff guy and he’s been hurt. We recruited Tyler Tate to handle those jobs and compete for those jobs and he’s been hurt. Kyle Burkhardt is very capable. He’s not performed well in the last three weeks.
“When you’re not doing well that’s where you need to have competition,” Clawson added.
A redshirt sophomore, Oczypok has never played in a game for the Falcons.
INJURIES: Redshirt sophomore Jordan Hopgood is probably done for the season. He’s been bothered by a knee injury, basically all year, Clawson said.
Hopgood’s injury had hampered BG’s short-yardage offense.
“He’s been our Wildcat and he runs that pretty well and he understands the cuts,” Clawson said. “When he’s healthy, he’s very good at it.
“When he can’t do it, we’re not as effective with it.”
Clawson said Hopgood had been playing at about three-quarter speed this season.
Freshman running back Anthon Samuel should be ready for the Northern Illinois game.
Samuel missed the Kent State game with post-concussive symptoms. Samuel has rushed for 704 yards and four scores in seven games.
“As long as there’s not a setback, we fully expect him to go,” Clawson said.
TV: The BG-NIU game is scheduled for ESPN2 with Mark Neely and Ray Bentley calling the action.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 11:29

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