|Falcons draw on past experiences (10-10-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 10 October 2013 10:26|
Many things can be learned from past experiences.
Dave Clawson, the Bowling Green Falcons' head football coach, hopes that his team can take the positives from a 2012 loss to Florida and the negatives from a loss last month to Indiana, and apply them both to Saturday's contest at Mississippi State. Kickoff is at 7:37 p.m.
The Falcons are 5-1 while the Bulldogs, who have played in three straight bowl goals, are 2-3 with losses to Oklahoma State, Auburn, and LSU.
''From the very first kickoff, you have to be locked in, and play at a really high level,'' Clawson said. ''Last year at Florida we did that ... we gave ourselves a chance to win a game against a very good team in the SEC on the road. To a man, I don't know if our preparation and our approach to Indiana was what it needed to be.
''Our players know what it takes to be competitive in a game like this. It's not just what happens on Saturday, it's what happened on the practice field ... how much film are they watching.''
BG's Alex Bayer, a fifth-year senior tight end, said there may have been some carry over from an emotional win over Kent State for the Falcons in the game at Indiana.
''Especially for the offense; that was the best offensive performance that we've had, maybe since I've been here,'' Bayer said about the Kent State win. ''We had such high confidence, and really the next week of practice we didn't have too good of practice. We just thought we were going to show up and do the same thing we did against Kent State, and that's not going to happen especially when you're playing a BCS team like Indiana.''
COWBELLS: Cowbells will provide part of the atmosphere at Saturday's game.
The ringing of cowbells is a major tradition at Mississippi State.
''I love it; we've played in environments like this before,'' Bayer said. ''I love the noise.
''And honestly once you're out there, you just tune it out, and you play football,'' Bayer continued. ''Maybe the first series, or the first couple of plays it will be loud, and we might be a little shaky on offense. But after that we'll be able to ... play our offense.''
Some practice periods for the Falcons this week have been conducted with cowbells being played over Perry Stadium's audio system.
''They've had the music going really loud, and the cowbells on the speaker. ... It is kind of hard to concentrate, and that's why the coaches have it up on the speaker, and it's done a great job so far,'' Bayer added. ''Bring them to the Doyt, we'd love to have them here.''
WHAT IF: When Clawson was named the head coach at Fordham in December 1988, he was urged to hire a graduate assistant at Syracuse.
Clawson went in a different direction and that grad assistant, Dan Mullen, went to Notre Dame, got his first full-time coaching job at BG, and is now the head coach at Mississippi State.
Kevin Rogers was the offensive coordinator at Syracuse, who was promoting Mullen.
''Kevin called me up and said: 'Dave I have a GA here at Syracuse, that you need to hire. He is one of the hardest working, brightest football coaches that I have ever been around. I'm telling you, if you hire him to coach your quarterbacks, your receivers, you won't regret it. ... He's a football junkie, he works at it,''' Clawson said.
Clawson didn't hire Mullen, because there was someone he knew who was recruiting an area that Clawson wanted recruited for Fordham, and that person got the job.
''If you look now as to what Dan is making salary-wise, I'm sure he's glad I didn't hire him; that turned out to be one of the best moves of his career,'' Clawson said with a laugh.
STADIUM: Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium is the second-oldest Football Bowl Subdivision stadium in the country. The oldest is at Georgia Tech.
TV: Bob Rathbun, a former radio voice of the Detroit Tigers, and Tim Couch, a former Cleveland Browns quarterback, are calling the action for Fox Sports Net. The game is scheduled to be shown on STO.
NEXT: BG has a bye next week.
The Falcons' next game is a home contest against arch-rival Toledo on Oct. 26.
BG will have Monday and Tuesday off next week, and then have fundamental practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is a planned off-day. Preparation for Toledo will start Oct. 19.
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