|BGSU football has high expectations for 2013 (7-23-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:35|
DETROIT — There are high expectations for Bowling Green’s football team this fall.
Dave Clawson, who is in his fifth season as the Falcons’ head coach, said those high expectations are warranted.
‘‘Internally we have very high expectations for our program,’’ Clawson said during the Mid-American Conference media day on Tuesday at Ford Field. ‘‘We have now established our program to the point that we should have those expectations every year.
‘‘On media day I’m now not talking about how young we are or how our APR (Academic Progress Rate) or we’re missing scholarships. We’ve now built a program,’’ he continued. ‘‘We’ve got a lot of returning players. We’re not playing 34 or 35 freshmen or sophomores like two years ago. We have a team back with experience.’’
Clawson added that he wants the Falcons to have high expectations.
‘‘It’s nice to have a veteran group that knows what their expectations are ... It’s a different program than three years ago,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Expectations can do two things — they can lift you up, or they can push you down. I want it to lift us up.
‘‘People expect us to be good, and we expect us to be good ... There’s no underdog card to play.’’
The Falcons were 8-5 overall last season, finishing second in the MAC East at 6-2.
Clawson said he would not put a number on wins and losses for 2013 because ‘‘any statement you make like that, always comes back to haunt you.
‘‘Our goal every year, and this year is no different, is to come back here and play in a game in early December,’’ Clawson added, referring to the MAC championship game at Ford Field. ‘‘As a program if we’re not playing here in early December, I think we would all be disappointed ... That’s easy to say, but it’s harder to do.’’
The Falcons are experienced on both offense and defense this season, with nine starters scheduled to return on each unit.
Offensively, the Falcons are looking to be more productive, especially in the red zone.
In 2012, Bowling Green averaged only 22.9 points per game, and were last in the conference in red zone efficiency at 66 percent. In 47 opportunities, BG scored 31 times on 23 touchdowns and 8-of-14 field goals, with three turnovers.
In contrast 10 of the 13 MAC teams had a red zone efficiency above 75 percent, with six teams over 80 percent.
‘‘Last year we had rough stretches in scoring, especially in the red zone and things like that,’’ said Dominic Flewellyn, a team captain and a three-year starter at left guard for the Falcons. ‘‘We are all working hard to progress. A good percentage of us are back and we know the offense better. We’re just trying to understand things better and we’re just trying to keep up with our defense.
‘‘It’s one of our goals that we have to be a good red zone team, and we’re working towards that this year,’’ he continued. ‘‘You can’t show your frustration, just go out and play and hope that the right play is called, people do the right things; you just have got to execute.’’
Defensively, Bowling Green was one of the top teams in the nation, allowing 16.8 points a game. BG also allowed only 296.6 yards per game, 190.1 through the air and 106.5 on the ground. Bowling Green topped the MAC in all four defensive categories.
‘‘Nothing is going to change. We are going to play with the same intensity, the same detail level and try to execute the same way so hopefully we can end up where we did last year,’’ said Gabe Martin, who led the Falcons with 70 tackles and was a first-team All-MAC pick.
‘‘We all race to the ball. It’s like a big thing with us, running to the ball, being the first person to the ball,’’ he continued. ‘‘It’s kind of like having a party at the ball. I guess you would call it. It’s fun for sure celebrating with everybody.
‘‘Everybody wants to make plays. It’s a competition between each other, and it forces guys to execute their job. You know you can trust the guy next to you because you know he’s going to do his job.’’
The Falcons report to fall camp on Aug. 1 and will be on the field at 9:50 a.m. on Aug. 2 for field goals and PAT blocks.
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