Sunday, Dec 04, 2016
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BGSU

Falcons look to past to help present against Ohio

ATHENS, Ohio - The recovery for the Bowling Green State University football team this week happened several ways.

To revive the winning mentality that seemed to be missing in BGSU's loss to Kent State last Saturday, members of the offensive line requested the team watch video of the 2003 and 2004 teams, both bowl-winning squads.

"We want to try to imitate them as best as we can, the way they play and the way they practice," center Kory Lichtensteiger said. "It seems like at times we lost that a little bit, definitely on Saturday."

Defensive end Devon Parks, a senior captain, worked on regaining focus, trying to set visual examples for the six freshman starters who hadn't been through a crushing defeat.

"More important than being vocal, is just showing them physically what it takes," Parks said. "You have to practice and do things like film study to be good. Guys need to see that rather than hear it."

For coach Gregg Brandon and quarterback Freddie Barnes, the soul-searching began immediately after their blowout loss at home to the Golden Flashes last week.

"Freddie and I were the last two out of the locker room after the game," Brandon said. "He was really down after that game, and so was I. Misery loves company so we just kind of hung out together."

The Falcons (2-2, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) have tried their best to move on from the 38-3 pounding and prepare for their game at Ohio today at Peden Stadium, a 2 p.m. start. Ohio (2-2, 1-0 MAC) got its first conference win on the road at Northern Illinois, the preseason favorite to win the league title.

"They did a great job in the second half against Northern Illinois, moving the football, mixing up the plays, executing and scoring some points," Brandon said.

Ohio coach Frank Solich has moved away from his career-long option offense, with 71 percent of the Bobcats' offense coming from the pass. However, they have racked up 200 or more yards of offense just once this season. That was against the Huskies in Week 2, when the Bobcats exploded for 509 yards, 177 on the ground. That's the only day they have been able to muster a running game this year, getting 99 yards total on the ground in their other three games.

After missing last week with a shoulder injury, sophomore quarterback Anthony Turner could try to return today. Whether he plays will likely determine how successful the Falcons will be on offense, unless Turner's backups, Barnes and Tyler Sheehan, can improve on their combined five-turnover outing against the Flashes.

"Freddie is a competitor and a winner and Freddie will bounce back," Brandon said. "He already has put that one behind him, which is what you have to do."

The Falcons likely need the win to stay in the MAC East race, although three teams tied for the division title last year with three league losses. But even if that wasn't the case, the team wants to erase the ugly taste the Kent State loss left.

"We are better than what happened on Saturday," Parks said. "I think that's the only way to get over this, to just work harder."

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.

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