BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University football team will face a kindred spirit when it travels Saturday to play at Central Michigan.
The Falcons (1-7, 0-4 Mid-American Conference) and the Chippewas (2-6, 1-4) are both on five-game losing streaks.
"I think Bowling Green is a lot like us: two teams desperate for a win to feel better about ourselves," Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said.
Falcons coach Dave Clawson said the team is dealing with the one-two punch of a long losing streak and a thinning roster because of injuries.
"That's football," Clawson said. "You have to get the guys up and ready to play for next week.
"You have to focus on the process. The only guys who can fix this problem are us. I guess it's a hard-headed approach. But you have to stay tough, stay focused. There are no excuses - we have to find a way to win games."
In his second year at BG, Clawson said he and his coaching staff are focused on a long-range vision.
"I've gone through a similar process and two [other] institutions," Clawson said, referencing his time building programs at Fordham and at Richmond. He had a winless 0-11 season when he took over at Fordham in 1999, but by 2002 the Rams won a Patriot League title and advanced to the Division II playoffs.
When he took over at Richmond in 2004 his team went 3-8; the next season the Spiders won the Atlantic 10 title and earned a Division I-AA (now known as FCS) playoff berth.
"We are looking for progress that may not be measurable, either on the scoreboard or the stats sheet," Clawson said. "And there are positive things going on in our program.
"We are still working toward the goal of building a championship program. You have to have a vision of what you want the program to be, and you have to focus on that vision."
RADCLIFF REPORT: Fairview High School graduate Ryan Radcliff starts at quarterback for Central Michigan. Radcliff has completed 181-of-308 passes for 2,210 yards but has 14 interceptions to counterbalance his 11 TD tosses.
Enos said part of the problem may be because Radcliff is the successor to Dan LeFevour, the record-setting QB who twice was named MAC offensive player of the year and threw for 102 TDs while running for 47 more.
"We're excited about him at times, and he takes a step back at times," Enos said of Radcliff. "There is a lot of pressure on him being a guy like Dan, and that's unfair to Ryan.
"There are times when he's trying to make plays instead of just taking what the defense gives him."
INJURY REPORT: The Falcons remain banged up at a number of positions.
Center Ben Bojicic, who injured his shoulder in the Kent State loss, is still listed on the depth chart, as is running back Willie Geter and cornerback Cameron Truss.
Both Geter and Truss were injured the previous week at Temple; Geter tried to play versus Kent State but saw only limited action, while Truss did not dress for last Saturday's game.
Clawson said all three are trying practice this week, and their ability to do so will determine if they can play against the Chippewas.
Wide receiver Eugene Cooper, who was injured versus Temple and did not play against Kent State, is expected to be available this Saturday, as is wide receiver Tyrone Pronty.
CMU PLAYER SUSPENDED: Defensive lineman Joe Kinville was suspended Monday by the MAC for the BG contest for violating league bylaws that address striking or physically abusing an official, opposing coach or player.
Kinville is alleged to have struck a Northern Illinois player during a pile up late in last week's game against the Huskies.
NATIONAL NUMBERS: Junior wide receiver Kamar Jorden continues to rank among the FBS leaders in receiving.
Jorden is fourth nationally in receptions per game (8.38 catches per game) and is 15th in receiving yards per game (91.62 yards per contest).
The only other Falcon to rank in the top 10 is sophomore linebacker Dwayne Woods, who stands eighth with 11.38 tackles per game.
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