BOWLING GREEN - No rest for the idle.
Bowling Green State University doesn't have a game scheduled for Saturday, but that doesn't mean the Falcons have the weekend off.
BGSU coach Dave Clawson made it clear yesterday that the Falcons have plans for Saturday and Sunday, a few days before they travel to Buffalo for a televised game Tuesday night.
Clawson adjusted BG's normal weekly practice schedule for the trip to UB Stadium.
"Our Saturday is Wednesday," Clawson said. "Our Monday is our travel day, which we normally do on a Friday. We'll have a typical Thursday practice on Sunday.
"The way we're structuring the week we'll have a little bit of a scaled-down Tuesday today, a full Tuesday tomorrow, and we'll get an extra Wednesday practice in [on Friday].
"So, we'll have two Tuesdays, two Wednesdays, a Thursday, and Friday [which will be Monday] is a travel day and game day is Tuesday."
And so is the life of the Falcons (3-5, 2-2 MAC) over the final month of the regular season.
With no weekend games on tap in November, the Falcons are heading into arguably the most chaotic four-game stretch in the program.
After playing at Buffalo (3-5, 1-3 MAC), they play on Nov. 12 - a Thursday - at Miami before closing out the year with back-to-back Friday night home games against Akron on Nov. 20 and the Toledo Rockets on Nov. 27.
Such a schedule requires being flexible when it comes to adjusting BG's practice routine.
Of course, the chance to play before a national television audience provides the kind of motivation to schedule such games on week nights.
"You can't pass up an opportunity to get on national TV and we're excited to do that," Clawson said.
"But football coaches thrive on routine. When you have a team of 103, 104, 105 guys, if you break structure with them a lot of times it goes haywire, so we try to keep it as routine as we can.
"Hopefully that will work."
MAHONE TO PLAY: Senior defensive back P.J. Mahone, who missed BG's last six games because of an indefinite suspension for breaking team rules, is expected to be in uniform against Buffalo.
"He's going to play," Clawson said. "He's served his six-game suspension. He's done everything that we've asked him to do...."
Mahone played in the Falcons' first two games and led BG with 21 tackles. He still ranks ninth on the team in tackles despite the time off.
"P.J. is a good player and I expect he'll play well," Clawson said. "He's been practicing the last two weeks, so hopefully a lot of the rust will be off. Even after not playing for three weeks he goes out in the field and he moves well and he understands the game and we're glad to get him back."
KICKING COMPETITION: Apparently, the kicking duel continues between senior Matt Norsic and freshman Jerry Phillips.
Norsic kicked the field goals and extra points against Central Michigan while Phillips handled the kickoffs.
Clawson said weekly competition during practice determines who handles the kicking chores during games.
"There's a fine line between the two of them but Matt kicked it well last week," Clawson said. "That 40-yarder [he made] before the half was a big kick and even the one he missed I really liked how the ball got off his foot and got elevated right away.
"Jerry is a very talented kicker. Here he is, his first year playing and he's handling all our placekicking and he's handling all our kickoffs. I have no doubt in my mind that at some point Jerry is going to be just an outstanding kicker.
"Sometimes the first year you play you get into a little slump and we, fortunately, have another option."
For the season, Phillips, who has been named MAC East Division special teams player of the week twice this season, has made 8 of 13 field goals and 17 of 17 extra points. Norsic is 2-for-3 on field goal tries and 4-for-4 on extra points.
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