BOWLING GREEN - Some might say the grueling part of Bowling Green State University's season is in its rear-view mirror.
Others may suggest the most significant portion of the schedule is right in front of them with the start of Mid-American Conference play kicking off Saturday against Ohio.
The Falcons (1-3) are looking for a fast start in conference when they host the Bobcats (2-2) for homecoming at Perry Stadium.
"I think we've got enough seniors on our team, enough good leaders and enough guys that have played that understand the nonconference schedule is over," BG coach Dave Clawson said. "Our primary goal and objective is to win the MAC and we're undefeated in the MAC right now. Again, you turn the page and it's kind of a second season for us."
After winning their season opener against Troy, 31-14, the Falcons dropped their final three nonconference games including Saturday's 49-14 loss to No. 5 Boise State.
Yet, the Falcons are approaching the first week of MAC play looking ahead, not back.
"We're very excited because all of our goals are still in front of us to accomplish, like winning the MAC championship and going undefeated in the MAC," said running back Willie Geter, who leads the team with 221 yards rushing (4.8 yards per carry).
BG quarterback Tyler Sheehan, who has completed 66.3 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,065 yards this season, thought Boise was the best team he's played against during his career.
However, that experience alone is not what he believes will define the Falcons' season this year.
"I'm very anxious because it's a MAC game," Sheehan said. "This is what we train for all year around. Not to say we take the non-conference games lightly, but all year long its (the MAC games) just something we look forward to."
The Falcons' four non-conference opponents own a combined 13-3 record. There's no doubt in the Falcons' minds they've been battle-tested for conference play.
"We knew when the season started that September was going to have a lot of tough challenges for us," Clawson said. "Obviously, we didn't want to be 1-3, but we gave ourselves a chance to win three games. One [against Troy], we got it done, and two [against Missouri and Marshall], we didn't make plays in the fourth quarter. One game [Boise], we didn't play well and we played an exceptional football team."
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