|Falcons trying to jump-start offense (09-27-12)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 27 September 2012 09:04|
In an effort to jump-start his offense, Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson is having the No. 1 offense go against the No. 1 defense in practice.
The Falcons are preparing for Saturday's Homecoming game versus Rhode Island. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. in Perry Stadium.
BG, 1-3 overall, is 119th in the FBS in scoring offense, averaging 12.5 points per game, ahead of only Tulane, and is 118th in pass efficiency, ahead of Army (19 passing attempts so far) and New Mexico.
"Right now, our focus is, we have to get better," Clawson said. "We're not playing as well as we need to. We need to get some things fixed and we're working hard at doing that.
"To execute on offense you have got to have 11 people on the same page," he added.
Clawson said with the ones going against the ones it's a way to create a more competitive environment, rather than working against the scout team.
"Our guys on offense just have to get some confidence back and they are going to get that ... by making plays against a good defense and we have a good defense," Clawson said.
Anthon Samuel, BG's top tailback with 250 yards and four touchdowns on 52 carries this fall, said faster-paced practices are a key to the Falcons' improvement.
"We're working on executing at a high level, getting into game speed. The first two weeks, we felt we weren't going fast enough at game tempo. When it translated to the game, we didn't know how the tempo would match out and now we are just trying to get up to game speed," Samuel said. "We see if we practice how we play, because we practice hard, we'll be in good position Saturday and from here on out."
RECEIVERS: BG still has concerns at wide receiver.
The Falcons have been looking to replace receivers who combined for 176 receptions for 2,318 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2011.
The top three receivers so far this season have combined for 54 receptions for 566 yards with no touchdowns. The Falcons have thrown only one TD pass in four games this fall.
"What we have to look very closely at, who are we asking to makes plays for us on offense and make sure we're getting the ball to our playmakers and giving those guys opportunities to make plays," said Clawson.
Clawson has been pleased with the efforts of Shaun Joplin, the most experienced returning receiver. Joplin was hampered by a sprained foot against Virginia Tech last Saturday. For the year he has 17 receptions for 226 yards.
"We have a group of guys who are all capable of playing at a very high level, but haven't played with the consistency needed to win," Clawson said. "There's going to be competition (between) Chris Gallon, Heath Jackson, Ryan Burbrink, Je'Ron Stokes, Herve Coby and Travis Greene. Who plays how many reps is very much up in the air depending on how they practice."
Burbrink, who leads the team with 20 receptions but is averaging only 7.2 yards per catch, is doubtful for the Rhode Island game with a hamstring strain
Jackson missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury, but had a team-high three receptions for 32 yards against Virginia Tech.
Stokes has BG's only touchdown reception this season.
"When you get shut out and you don't score points, you had better look at the gameplan and the personnel," Clawson said in the aftermath of the 37-0 loss to Virginia Tech. "We're looking very closely at what we're doing and who we are doing it with."
INJURIES: Defensive tackle Jarius Campbell is out for the season with a knee injury.
Wide receiver Bart Tanski, who was voted a team captain this season, suffered a broken collarbone during fall camp. He is on schedule to resume light practices next week and could return to action by mid-October.
NEXT: BG plays at Akron on Oct. 6 with kickoff at 2 p.m.
The last BG-Akron game was in 2009.
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