BOWLING GREEN The Bowling Green State University football team has arrived at the first check point of the season.
Some of the players crawled in, some were carried in, and others are so loopy that they don t remember how they got here.
We ve got a beat-up football team right now, BG coach Gregg Brandon said yesterday at the team s weekly press conference.
Following three games against menacing opponents, the Falcons sit idle this week, and for many of them idle is meant literally. Had the schedule called for a game Saturday, at least three key players would not have suited up. Anthony Turner (separated shoulder), Erique Dozier (sprained ankle) and Jeff Fink (beaten and battered) were injured in Saturday s 20-7 loss at Boise State. Freddie Barnes sprained his shoulder in the game as well, but his injury isn t thought to be severe. Brandon is not ruling out a return for any of wounded when BG visits Wyoming in two weeks.
The bye comes at a huge time for us, Brandon said.
The Falcons (1-2) did not practice Sunday or yesterday and are expected to be given off today and Saturday as well.
It gives us time to refocus and get that hungry mentality back in our eyes, guard Brandon Curtis said. It especially comes at a good time for the guys who are banged up.
Brandon said Turner s dislocated shoulder is the same injury he suffered two years ago that forced him to miss two games.
Maybe we ll get him back for Wyoming, Brandon said. I hope we do, if not we ll get him back against Eastern Michigan [on Oct. 4].
In the event Turner is not healthy in two weeks, Brandon said back-up quarterback Andrew Beam can fulfill Turner s role as a ball carrier.
Dozier, the team s leading tackler, would likely be replaced in the lineup by junior Cody Basler. There are probably several candidates to take over for Fink at right tackle.
In other news along the injury front, linebacker Jason Rice is OK after suffering a concussion Saturday. Linebacker James Schneider (arm) and corner Roger Williams (finger) are available but must wear casts. Williams, whose main duty is to return kicks, will not be able to do so until the cast is removed.
He might have to wear that club for a significant amount of time, Brandon said.
LOSING IT: The Falcons have the second most turnovers in the Mid-American Conference with nine. BG has given away possession of the ball nine times, seven of which came in the second halves against Minnesota and Boise State.
Our kids know they can line up with just about anybody because we have, Brandon said. But if you don t take care of the football you re not going to beat Bowling Green High.
HARDLY KNEW YA: Freshman offensive tackle Blaine Schafer has left the program, Brandon confirmed. Schafer signed with Ball State in February, never showed up on campus, and instead chose to enroll at BG.
Don t even get me started, Brandon said.
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