|Business as usual for BG football (11-27-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 27 November 2013 09:23|
No one is going to talk about winning one for The Gipper, nor is Vince Lombardi going to suddenly appear to give an inspirational speech.
Instead, it will be business as usual in the Bowling Green State University football locker room Friday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Falcons play Buffalo for the Mid-American Conference East title, a spot in the MAC championship game against Northern Illinois, and a guaranteed berth in a bowl game. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m..
''I'll say the things I say before most games,'' BG head coach Dave Clawson said about his pregame talk. ''We're playing for a championship, a MAC East championship, and our players know that; our players understand the magnitude of the game.
''This isn't to downplay it, but at the end of the day we have to be focused, and execute the offense, the defense and the special teams,'' he continued. ''In a lot of ways, it's no different than any other game.''
Clawson added that if he has to get the team excited in the locker room, then ''we're in trouble ... I have no doubts our guys will be excited to play this game, and we're trying to earn the right to have a chance to win, by how we prepare and how we practice this week.''
Paul Swan, a fifth-year senior linebacker and team captain, said before the game the defense has a short meeting with the defensive coaches.
For the bigger picture, it's up to Clawson.
''As a team, we pretty much put it on coach Clawson. He always has the right thing to say. He hits it on the head every time,'' Swan said. "As far as all the juice we have, it just comes from all the guys being around, and being together.
MATURE: Clawson likes the way his team handles things.
''We have a mature football team, an older football team, a football team that is pretty locked in,'' Clawson said. ''More importantly we have a football team that we try to fix our problems. If we win a game, we're not perfect. If we lose a game, the end of the Earth didn't come.
''Even when we win there are things that we didn't do well, and we've had to try to fix them,'' Clawson continued. ''The players, more so than in most years, are receptive to fixing problems even when we win.
''The greatest strength of this team is the resiliency of bouncing back from some tough losses.''
INJURIES: Wide receiver Heath Jackson and defensive back Jude Adjei-Barimah have both practiced this week and are expected to play against Buffalo. Neither played in last Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan.
Running back Fred Coppet and rover Justin Ford, both are sidelined with concussive symptoms.
MOORE: BG's Ronnie Moore is the MAC East offensive player of the week.
A freshman wide receiver, Moore set career-highs with seven receptions for 161 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons' 58-7 win at Eastern Michigan.
MACK: Buffalo's Khalil Mack is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the top college linebacker.
Mack is a two-time first-team All-MAC selection and leads the Bulls with 82 tackles,16.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and three interceptions on the year.
MEMORIES: Clawson grew up in the Buffalo area and has played in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Thirty years ago when it was known as Rich Stadium, Clawson was the quarterback for Lewiston-Porter (Lew-Port) Lancers who were facing Williamsville South in a high school playoff game.
''I threw three bingos (interceptions), that day,'' Clawson said.
Daryl 'Moose' Johnston was Clawson's running back that day. Johnston went on to star at Syracuse and with the Dallas Cowboys.
''He did everything. He returned kicks, he returned punts, he kicked, he punted,'' Clawson said. ''We even lined up in the single wing, so as the quarterback sometimes, I was the lead blocker.''
Williamsville South won the game.
''I'm pretty confident that Matt Johnson (BG's quarterback) will be a lot more accurate in the stadium, than I was that day, 30 years ago,'' Clawson said.
TV: The BG-UB game is being televised on ESPNU.
Eamon McAnaney (play by play), Anthony Becht (color), and Brooke Weisbrod (sideline) will call the game.
NEXT: Friday's winner plays Northern Illinois on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. at Detroit's Ford Field.
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