|Falcons preparing for stretch run (10-30-12)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 30 October 2012 09:17|
After nine straight Saturdays with a game, Bowling Green has some extra time to prepare for its November stretch run.
The Falcons, 6-3 overall, have won five straight games and are in second place in the Mid-American Conference at 4-1 after beating Eastern Michigan last Saturday, 24-3.
Bowling Green is idle until a game on Nov. 7 at Ohio. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Ohio suffered a 23-20 loss to Miami last Saturday knocking the Bobcats (7-1, 3-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten and out of the Top 25 national rankings.
''We've played very well in October and we're on a little bit of a winning streak; sometimes when that's happening you want to keep playing,'' BG head coach Dave Clawson said. "But like everybody else in the conference ... our guys are a little banged up so we're hoping to get them some rest, get them off their feet, and allow them to heal. That will give us a little more energy and juice as we head into November.''
The Falcons watched film and lifted on Sunday, but had Monday and today off from practice. Fundamentals on the base offense and defense will be the focus of Wednesday's practice. Then the work begins on the Ohio gameplan, Clawson said.
"With having the 11 days we will be able to get an extra practice in against Ohio," Clawson said.
After the Ohio game, the Falcons have another long layoff before hosting Kent State on Nov. 17 in a pivotal MAC game.
DEFENSE: BG's defense has been the catalyst for the current five-game winning streak.
In the last five games, BG has allowed some mind-boggling numbers - 33 points, including three touchdowns; 56 first downs; 207.8 yards per game in total offense (140.6 yards rushing and 67.2 yards passing); a 24.3 percent success rate on third-down conversions (18-of-74); while getting 16 quarterback sacks and seven interceptions.
Improved tackling has been one of the keys to the success.
"We are getting much better play up front, so there are fewer plays getting to the third level of our defense. Where we really struggled the past two years was so many missed tackles in the back end at safety and corner. When you miss a tackle back there, it's a big play and a lot of times a touchdown," Clawson said. "Our secondary is doing a much better job tackling.''
Clawson said Jerry 'BooBoo' Gates and Ryland Ward at safety and Darrell Hunter, DeVon McKoy, and Cameron Truss at cornerback have been much better tacklers this season.
"When runs do break out, instead of going for 60 yards, they might be going for 16,'' Clawson said. ''It's something we certainly emphasized in spring and in (fall) camp. But a lot of it is those guys have now played more football, and they have become better players ... They get their bodies in better position when they are tackling now.
"We are certainly going to have some challenges ahead,'' he added. ''Ohio is a team we haven't tackled well the previous two years ... They are going to present a great challenge to us.''
SCHILZ: Despite a 9-of-20 passing effort for 78 yards against Eastern Michigan, quarterback Matt Schilz has moved up to fourth on two different Falcons' career passing lists.
Schilz has 1,076 attempts going past Rich Dackin's total of 1,056 (1986-89) and 6,999 yards passing going ahead of Omar Jacobs' total of 6,938 (2003-05).
SACKS: With his 2 1/2 sacks in the Eastern victory, Chris Jones is now second on the all-time and single-season lists at BG. Kevin O'Brien leads both categories with 31 career sacks and 19 sacks in the 1992 season. Jones has 11 1/2 sacks this season and 27 for his career.
PROBABLE: Anthon Samuel, BG's leading rusher with 725 yards and leading scorer with nine touchdowns, missed the Eastern game with a neck injury.
Clawson said Samuel is currently listed as probable for the Ohio game and hopes he can practice on Wednesday.
SCOUTING: With Thursday's Eastern at Ohio game being televised on ESPNU starting at 6 p.m., Falcon fans have the opportunity to make their own scouting report on the Bobcats.
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