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Falcons face trap game at UMass (10-16-12) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:54
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BG’s Ryan Burbrink (right) looks for running room against Miami’s D.J. Brown (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The trap has been set by a quirk of scheduling.
The question is: Will Bowling Green fall into it?
The Falcons, 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference, are playing the University of Massachusetts Saturday in Foxboro's Gillette Stadium with kickoff at noon. BG has won three straight games.
UMass is 0-6 overall and 0-3 in its first season as a football affiliate member of the MAC.  The Minutemen are coming off a bye week which gives them extra time to get ready for the Falcons.
"Anytime you have a bye week you are able to get guys healthy; you get them fresh. And you get two weeks to prepare for an opponent and even break them down in greater depth," BG head coach Dave Clawson said. "It's a huge advantage going into a game, having two weeks to prepare.''
Clawson added that having an off week in the middle of the season is ''almost the perfect time to have a bye week ... It gives you a chance to evaluate what you are doing well and maybe expand on those things and then maybe eliminate the things that you aren't doing well.
''It creates a little bit of a guessing game.''
In non-conference games, UMass has played on the road at Connecticut and Michigan and at home with Indiana. In MAC play, the Minutemen gave Ohio, ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll, everything it wanted in a 37-34 home loss on Sept. 29.
"We really went back to fundamentals; we worked on the basics of football. We really took it as an extended summer camp or spring ball," UMass head coach Charley Molnar said about the bye week. ''It was just a great chance for us to go back and repeat some of the things that they (the team) needed to do better.''
Molnar also said the Minutemen lightened up on the hitting and running last week and that the coaching staff hit the recruiting trail.
This season, UMass football is making the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the MAC. The Minutemen will be eligible for the MAC championship and will be bowl-eligible in 2013.
"They have jumped up from FCS to FBS, but they have players who can definitely play at this level,'' Clawson said. "They have a very experienced, very veteran coaching staff - guys who have coached at the highest level of college football.''
PAGEL: Kellen Pagel was at BG in 2009 and 2010, playing in one game at quarterback. He transferred to UMass for the 2011 season.
He played in eight games last season and was 153-of-267 passing for 1,725 yard with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions.
However, Pagel was diagnosed with post-concussion symptoms when preseason camp started this past August, and is not playing this fall.
''I wasn't here last year so I can't tell you how he was. I can only tell you what I saw. I saw 15 spring practices and one summer camp practice. That was it," Molnar said about Pagel. "I know he was the starter coming into summer camp, and he earned that based on spring practice. After that I can't measure the loss to our football program.''
Pagel is the son of Mike Pagel, who was a quarterback for 12 years in the National Football League.
JONES: BG's Chris Jones has been named the MAC East defensive player of the week for the third time this season.
A senior tackle, Jones had five tackles, 31‚Ñ2 tackles for loss and 21‚Ñ2 sacks in the Falcons' 37-12 win over Miami.
He currently leads the country with nine sacks and is second in the nation with 131‚Ñ2 tackles for loss.
TANSKI: Fifth-year senior Bart Tanski, who is one of the Falcons' captains, was the holder for place-kicks after Alex Bayer had to leave the Miami game in the first half.
Tanski had been sidelined for the first half of the season with a broken collarbone.
INJURIES: It was reported Monday by the BG Athletics Communications Department that running back Jamel Martin is out for the UMass game with an unspecified injury.
Linebacker Dwayne Woods and tight end Bayer are both expected to practice this week and are probable for Saturday. Woods missed the Miami game after making 30 straight starts for the Falcons.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 10:41
 

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