BOWLING GREEN — Dave Clawson believes it's too soon for Bowling Green State University to write off competing for a Mid-American Conference championship in his first season as coach.
But four straight losses heading into Saturday's contest at Kent State have him concerned about the direction some of the Falcons are heading.
“We have some guys that are working extremely hard and are giving us everything they have, and I can't say I feel that way about everybody on our team now,” Clawson said. “We've got about 90 percent of the guys rowing the boat in the same direction and playing with great effort and giving us everything they can, and some guys that really need to step their game up, and they haven't done that for the first four or five games.
“If we're going to turn the corner, that needs to happen.”
Clawson remains positive his team has plenty of time to turn its season around.
“We're a work in progress, and we're getting better, and we want that to show up with a win, and that hasn't happened the last four weeks,” Clawson said. “The first year you try to win as many games as you can with the players you have, and that's what we're trying to do. Some of our better players right now aren't playing with us because they made poor off-the-field decisions, and that was their decision to do that.”
BG's defense suffered a major loss when senior defensive back P.J. Mahone was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules roughly a month ago. It remains uncertain when, or if, he'll return. He played in two games and recorded 21 total tackles, which still ranks seventh on the team.
Six players have been sidelined for the season due to injuries. Three wide receivers went down during the first couple weeks, and the Falcons could end up losing sophomore wideout Ray Hutson (knee) for the rest of the season after he suffered an injury against Ohio. He has caught 16 passes for 144 yards, including two touchdowns.
Among the early season roster losses include freshman defensive end Winston Etheridge of Cleveland Glenville. Clawson said Etheridge was lost for the season due to illness.
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