BGSU football noter: Clawson sees improvement, still has some concerns (9-25-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 20:58
One-third of its regular-season games have been played by the Bowling Green State University football team.
And there are some things which have pleased head coach Dave Clawson, but there are also areas of concern.
The Falcons host Akron Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Perry Stadium. BG is 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-American Conference while Akron is 1-3 overall and playing its first conference game.
Clawson said there is improvement in the passing game from last season.
Matt Johnson, a redshirt sophomore has completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 1,000 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Johnson has started the last three games. There are eight BG receivers, who have made at least four receptions this season.
‘‘We’ve probably had two games this year that we threw it better than anytime last year,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘There is a lot more continuity, a lot more consistency in our passing game ... I’m very happy with that.’’
The Falcons have also shown overall improvement on special teams, Clawson said.
‘‘Last year was a little bit of a disappointment where we were special teams-wise,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘We are starting to get that edge back.’’
The coverage and return units are both improved, Clawson said.
Defensively, Clawson is concerned with BG’s inability to get a consistent four-man pass rush.
‘‘We had a pretty good player a year ago, that we could get a four-man pass rush; we could get a three-man pass rush; we could have gotten a one-man pass rush,’’ Clawson said about defensive tackle Chris Jones, who completed his eligibility in 2012 and was an NFL draft choice. ‘‘We’re not disrupting a lot of balls on defense. We still don’t have an interception.’’
Offensively, the Falcons haven’t made a lot of explosive plays for touchdowns.
‘‘I broke down all of our touchdowns,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘It’s good we’re having long drives ... Every now and then it would be nice to have a 45-yard touchdown, or a 30-yard touchdown, a drive where you don’t have to make two of three first downs.
‘‘It would be nice to have a touchdown without getting in the red zone.’’
TOP: Helped by touchdown drives of 99- and 97-yards against Murray State, the Falcons are second in the nation in time of possession, averaging 36:31 minutes per game.
With a high time of possession, it means that the defense is doing its job and getting off the field quickly, and the offense is productive, grinding out yardage while converting third downs.
‘‘It’s only important if you’re getting third-down stops, not giving up fast touchdowns,’’ Clawson said.
‘‘To go 99 and 97, that’s the dessert; that’s the cherry on top,’’ he added.
SENN: Linebacker Paul Senn, a junior college transfer, has played well in his first season with the Falcons and has become a big-play threat on defense and special teams.
Senn had a blocked punt return for a touchdown (a play that ranked No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10) and a fumble recovery on special teams against Indiana.
He followed that performance by stripping Murray State’s Maikhail Miller at the 2-yard line Saturday and the Falcons recovered the fumble.
‘‘On special teams, you always count on those second- and third-level defensive players helping you,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘I’m really happy with Paul Senn. We needed somebody to develop and become our third linebacker and help us on special teams. He is really improving ... He’s doing a lot of nice things for us.
‘‘Sometimes your hit ratio on junior college players isn’t high. He’s been an absolute hit. I’m really glad we took him.’’
INJURIES: Rover Gabe Martin, BG’s leading tackler last year, is probable for Saturday’s game after sitting out last week against Murray State with a leg injury.
Safety Josh Pettus (knee), and defensive tackle Ted Ouellet (knee) are both doubtful. Running back Fred Coppet (hip) is questionable.
CURE MD: The BGSU and Akron coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
NEXT: Bowling Green hosts UMass for Homecoming next Saturday with kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 21:02

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