Falcon defense making progress


The spotlight has been focused on Bowling Green quarterback Tyler Sheehan and wide receiver Freddie
Barnes this season.
And rightly so.
However, Bowling Green’s defense is coming off its most complete game of the season in BG’s 35-14 win
over Miami last Thursday.
The Falcons allowed 295 total yards, 38 on the ground. They forced five total turnovers, including four
by the defense, and hit Miami quarterback Zac Dysert 16 times, while sacking him six times.
"I’m very excited about the progress that our defense is making. The last two games, (the defense)
has really put together some good efforts," BG head coach Dave Clawson said. "We’re getting
better. They continue to work hard, put the time in and they continue to invest. It took a little longer
than we liked, but we’re starting to play better defense right now.
"We’re tackling better. Our assignments are better," Clawson added.
Clawson said the key to BG’s defensive success against Miami was that the RedHawks had to get away from
the running game because BG was putting points in the board in the second half.
The Falcons (5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-American Conference) hope to continue that defensive success
on Friday against Akron (2-8, 1-5). Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. in Perry Stadium.
NOT SO SPECIAL: While BG’s offense has been playing well and the defense is improving, the special teams
have floundered.
"We have some issues on the special teams right now," Clawson said.
The Falcons botched a punt at Miami and missed two field goals.
"We’re just not very consistent right now kicking field goals," Clawson said. "We missed
two kicks that I would expect us to make."
Against Akron the Falcons’ kickoff coverage unit will be tested by Dashan Miller, who is second in the
MAC, averaging 25.9 yards per kickoff return.
The Falcons are allowing 22.5 yards per kickoff return this season.
BARNES: BG’s Barnes is one of the 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the top
receiver in the nation.
The three finalists are to be announced later this week.
"Based on the year that he’s had and the other people up for the award, I would be shocked if he’s
not in the final three. I don’t know how he could not be," Clawson said. "I think it’s going
to happen and it will be nice when it’s official.
"It would be very disappointing with the year he’s had … He’s clearly in the top three of that
group and in my estimation the top one."
MAC WORLD: Clawson said he "lives in the MAC world" when asked if he would be watching the Ohio
State-Michigan game on Saturday.
"What happens in the Big Ten doesn’t affect us at all. So I don’t worry about it," Clawson
said. "When you say the big game, I’m thinking the Toledo game against Eastern (Michigan) or the
Ohio-Northern Illinois game. Those are the only big games I know about after our game."
AKENBERGER: Zach Akenberger, a walk-on from Bowling Green High School, caught the first pass of his
college career against Miami, a 4-yard reception that was thrown by Barnes.
TV: Friday’s game will be televised by ESPNU.
NEXT: The Falcons close out the regular season hosting Toledo on Nov. 27. Kickoff has been changed to 2

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