"Champ" Fells (42) defends Saturday against Central michigan. (Photo: Andrew
After grinding it out for eight straight weeks, Bowling Green gets some extra time to rest and prepare
before its next game.
The Falcons (3-5 overall and 2-2 in the MAC) are idle until next Tuesday at Buffalo (3-5, 1-3). Kickoff
at UB Stadium is at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
"It will give us a chance to get healthy. We are going to give our guys an extra day off, get them
in the training room and hopefully have a fresh crew out there. We’ll begin our preparations for Buffalo
on Wednesday," said BG head coach Dave Clawson. "We’ll just do a little more fundamental work
earlier in the week.
"Any time you can get 10 days to prepare you hope to have a healthier football team and take
advantage of the extra days for preparation."
On Monday, the upperclassmen got the day off from practice and the freshmen and redshirts had a scrimmage
to run the Falcons’ offensive and defensive systems instead of the opposition’s schemes when those
players are on the scout team during a normal week.
The BG coaching staff is using the extra time to visit high schools in an evaluation setting Monday and
today. The coaches cannot talk to the athletes, their parents or guardians, but can watch practice and
speak to teachers, coaches and guidance counselors.
BARNES: BG’s Freddie Barnes has been named a semifinalist for Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to
the nation’s outstanding college football receiver by The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation,.
Barnes is one of 10 semifinalists for the award. He is joined by Dezmone Briscoe (Kansas), Vincent Brown
(San Diego State), Eric Decker (Minnesota), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), A.J. Green (Georgia), Jordan
Shipley (Texas), Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech), Golden Tate (Notre Dame) and Mike Williams (Syracuse).
Barnes is the nation’s leading receiver in catches (99), yards (1,054), touchdowns (nine), yards per game
(131.8) and receptions per game (12.4). His reception total is 37 more than his nearest competitor,
while his lead in yards receiving is 173 more than the next closest.
The next vote for the top-three finalists will take place on Nov. 16 and close on Nov. 19.
FELLS: Eugene ‘Champ’ Fells, a redshirt junior linebacker, played his best game as a Falcon against
Central Michigan Saturday. He had 10 total tackles with eight solo tackles, including one tackle for
Fells is behind starter James Schneider at weak-side linebacker. Schneider is bothered by a knee injury.
"Schneider was a little bit banged up and that gave ‘Champ’ a chance to play a little bit more and
he probably played his best game of the year (against Central Michigan)," Clawson said. "Part
of it was just playing more. He got into a little bit more of a rhythm of the game and really did a nice
job for us.
"He’s a guy we need to come on for us and make tackles in space."
The Falcons got 16 tackles out of that linebacker spot against Central Michigan.
For the season, Fells has been in on 27 tackles, including 31/2 tackles for loss.
MAHONE: Clawson said Monday evening that P.J. Mahone, a senior safety, is being prepared to play against
Buffalo. Mahone has been suspended for the last six games because of a violation of team rules.
Mahone could be in the starting lineup with fellow senior Jahmal Brown at safety.
"Jahmal plays better with P.J. in the game," Clawson said.
Keith Morgan played well in Mahone’s absence and leads the team with 57 tackles. Brown has made 50
tackles and Mahone had 21 tackles in two games before the suspension.
Clawson said Morgan, a sophomore, would benefit greatly from his experience this year and into the
INJURIES: Clawson said he expected the offense to be without left tackle Brady Minturn (shoulder) and
center Ben Bojicic (knee) for the Buffalo game. Both missed the Central Michigan game.
Blaec Walker replaced Minturn at left tackle, Scott Lewis played left guard with normal left guard Shane
Steffy taking over at center.
"There was a dropoff. You don’t replace two guys that have played next to each other for 30 games
and put two guys in for their first starts and get the same level," Clawson said. "Blaec made
some mistakes. Scott made some mistakes, but overall they played pretty well.
"Blaec and Scott will both learn from it and I think they will be better next week because of
Clawson said the Minturn and Bojicic could return for the game at Miami on Nov. 12.