BOWLING GREEN - Cody Basler is well on his way to producing the best season of his collegiate career at Bowling Green State University.
The Falcons' senior linebacker, who stands 6-foot-3 and is a sturdy 231 pounds, has already registered 17 tackles in only two games. He totaled 42 tackles while seeing limited action in all 12 games during the 2008 campaign.
In Basler's first year as a full-time starter he's on pace to record triple-digit tackles to lead the Falcons defense.
"In past seasons I was trying to win out the starting spot and this year it kind of just fell into my lap," he said. "When that happened I guess I grew a little more mentally. I've taken time to study the film and just do the little things maybe I didn't do in the past."
Basler, an Auburn, Mich. native, plays in the middle of the Falcons defense, which has displayed a stingy demeanor at times during the first two weeks of the season.
BG held Troy scoreless in the second half of a 31-14 triumph. The Falcons held Missouri to only six points in the first half of last week's contest before the Tigers rallied to score 21 unanswered points en route to a 27-20 win over BG.
Basler has been as consistent as anyone on defense for the Falcons. He recorded eight and nine tackles, respectively, against Troy and Missouri.
"What Cody does probably as much as anybody on our defense, he really studies film and breaks teams down," BG coach Dave Clawson said. "He really is a heady player. He's a smart player and he gets himself in the right position at the right time because of how hard he works at it."
His prep work leading into games this season involves more than the required daily practice time on the field with his teammates. He also puts in plenty of individual film study of his own effort in games and practice, as well as film of upcoming opponents.
It's all part of a routine he's found beneficial to him on game days.
"It's paid off the last two games and you can always improve," Basler said. "I saw from watching Missouri's tape I made a lot of mistakes and I can't let that happen."
The Falcons (1-1) hit the road this week and will play at Marshall University (1-1) tomorrow night.
After opening the season by playing two teams that heavily employ spread attack offenses, Basler welcomes playing against a Marshall squad that employs a more traditional-style offense. His study of Marshall has him thinking this matchup will require the Falcons defense to focus on Marshall's ground game.
Marshall's junior running back Darius Marshall, who rushed for 1,095 yards last season, is coming off a 109-yard rushing effort on 17 carries against Virginia Tech.
"Watching [videotape of] Marshall, they will put the ball down and just try to run at us. I think guys have been waiting for that," Basler said. "Personally, on defense, I hope we'll see more smash as opposed to spreading out and running 10 yards to tackle a guy.
"I'd rather play the run game all day as opposed to the spread offense and seeing just passes."
BG Plans Orange Out: Boise State, known for its blue football field, is expected to face an Orange Out when it takes on the Falcons Sept. 26 at Doyt Perry Stadium.
BG fans attending the game against the Broncos, who are ranked 10th in the nation, are expected to wear orange-colored Falcons gear.
In anticipation of a large crowd turnout for the game set to start at 7 p.m., fans are being asked to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bgsufalcons.com or at the BGSU athletic ticket office (M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) during the week of the game.
Tickets also will be available at the south ticket booth on the east side of the stadium starting at 4 p.m. on game day. All other ticket booths around the stadium will open at 5 p.m.
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