|Carle's Corner: Falcon football has chance to control its destiny (11-06-12)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 06 November 2012 09:10|
It's Election Day, there's a nip in the air, and of course the wind is blowing in Bowling Green.
However, the big news is that BG's football team definitely has one meaningful Mid-American Conference game to play this month and there could be as many as three meaningful games.
It starts on Wednesday at Ohio University. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
"It's cool for us as players to be to able play on national television,'' said BG senior defensive tackle Chris Jones, a top candidate for the MAC defensive player of the year award. ''It's another big game we have to play in order to complete our goal of winning a MAC championship.''
Both BG and Ohio are 4-1 in the MAC East, trailing Kent State (5-0). The three teams play each other this month, but as every coach always says it's one game at a time.
Wednesday's winner remains in control of its own destiny to win the MAC East and secure a berth in the MAC championship game. The season isn't over for the loser, as a bowl game is still a major possibility. But that team will need help to win the MAC East.
So it's safe to say Wednesday's contest carries the 'Big Game' label.
''In the last three years, we've been working extremely hard to be able to play in a game like this,'' BG head coach Dave Clawson said. ''(A game) that has meaning and that has significance in the MAC East.''
Ohio started out as the Beast of the MAC East, winning its first seven games, and being ranked in the Top 25. There was even some talk that the Bobcats could be a BCS-buster.
All that ended on Oct. 27 when Miami knocked off Ohio, 23-20.
The Bobcats have since beaten Eastern Michigan to remain right in the thick of the MAC East race.
Meanwhile, it was a rough start for the Falcons with non-league games on the road against Florida and Virginia Tech and the conference opener at Toledo thrown right in the middle of the September.
After going 1-3, including a 27-15 loss to Toledo, Bowling Green rebounded and has won five straight games.
The keys for BG during the winning streak have been a stout defense and a strong running game. And those two areas of strength are going to be major factors against Ohio.
So that leads us to the three keys for BG to have success on Wednesday.
• Another big-time defensive performance will be needed.
During the current winning steak, BG has given up only 33 points while allowing 243.4 yards per game in total offense, including 67.2 yards per game on the ground.
The Falcons must contain Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton, especially limiting his yardage off broken plays. Tettleton hurt the Falcons last season more with his running than the passing, and that can't happen this year for BG to be successful.
Also, the Falcons must limit Beau Blankenship, who already has over 1,000 yards rushing.
At 5-foot-9, 202 pounds, he can take the ball up the middle and also be explosive when he gets into the open field.
• As well as BG has run the ball in the last five games, averaging 213.6 rushing yards per game, the Falcons will need success through the air against Ohio.
Clawson said three things need to happen to have a successful passing attack - protection; routes have to be run at the right depth; and the ball has to be delivered where and when it should be on the play.
There have been very few times in recent games that the Falcons have been able to put all three of those things together on a passing play.
In three of BG's last four games, the Falcons have had 180 yards or less in passing offense.
''We are going to have to make some plays in the passing game. They can't be all trick plays or double passes.'' Clawson said.
• And there's one intangible - the Falcons must believe they can win.
The Falcons have lost three straight games to Ohio and there have been losing seasons in 2010 and 2011.
Things have changed this season and after a tough schedule to start, BG has won the games it should have won to put itself into contention for the MAC East title.
With three games left this month, it's time to start to close the deal and that requires the right mental attitude.
We'll see how things play out Wednesday.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 13:14|
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