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BG football shifts focus to Chippewas

Ask John Wagner your Bowling Green State University football questions every Monday at 12 p.m. on ToledoBlade.com in the BGSU/OSU football Web chat.

BOWLING GREEN - While the Bowling Green State University football team will take a 1-7 record into Saturday's game at Central Michigan, coach Dave Clawson said there's still plenty for the Falcons to play for.

"Whether you're a team that's struggling or an undefeated team, it's always a one-week season," Clawson said. "All you can do from week to week is win the game that week.

"The feeling in the locker room after you win is a great feeling no matter what you're record is."

Senior defensive lineman Darius Smith, who has played on a pair of bowl teams at BGSU, said the losing has been tough on him and the team's 15 seniors.

"The past few years we've had successful teams, and we didn't have to go through the stuff we're going through now," Smith said. "It's not easy to go through losing."

Clawson said he and the coaches won't make any decisions that slight the seniors in favor of underclassmen.

"We have a number of seniors who only have four games left in their career, and certainly we want to send them out the right way," he said. "So we have the short-term goal of making sure that happens, and we have the long-term goal of creating some positive momentum as we head into the future.

"We're not going to make any personnel decisions to build for the future; we want to win the next four games. We're not taking seniors out to play freshmen and sophomores for 2011; 2011 will be here when it's here."

Smith said the message he gives his younger teammates is simple.

"I tell the underclassmen, 'Don't quit. Don't give up,' " he said. "When you get to a season when you're winning and happy, that's when all of this will be worth it.

"They listen, and I see them act on what I tell them."

Clawson said the team doesn't worry about what might have happened this year if injuries and inexperience had not taken hold.

"There's not a person in the Sebo Center who is happy with where we're at," Clawson said. "If you find a way to win some of those three games where we lost on the last play - and if we could have stayed healthy on the offensive line and in the secondary - this season could have had a different feel to it.

"If we can keep bringing the younger guys along, seasons can flip pretty quickly."

INJURY UPDATE: There wasn't much good news on the injury front for the Falcons, who probably won't have several players who were injured last week.

Clawson said center Ben Bojicic and safety Roger Morgan both probably will miss Saturday's game; Bojicic did not practice Wednesday or Tuesday, while Morgan is trying to come back from a concussion.

The loss of Bojicic is a blow to an offensive line that has struggled all season.

"Offensive line is a position where I think continuity and consistency - guys playing next to each other - is extremely important," Clawson said. "And we haven't had that all year.

"And Ben is the glue. He's the center. He's most experienced. He makes all the line calls. He's a tough guy to replace."

Morgan joins cornerback Cameron Truss as defensive backs who probably won't play Saturday.

Running back Willie Geter took part in some drills Tuesday, and Clawson said he is "hopeful and optimistic" Geter will play at CMU. Freshman fullback Tyler Beck, who replaced injured starter Zach Akenberger, is dealing with a hamstring problem and also may not play.

The news is good at wide receiver as junior Eugene Cooper is expected to return while senior Tyrone Pronty, while not 100 percent, also should be available.

SHORT YARDAGE: Freshman Kyle Burkhardt, a Central Catholic product, will continue to kick field goals and extra points Saturday, while senior Bryan Wright will continue to punt and handle kickoffs. … The game time for the Falcons' game against Western Michigan at Perry Stadium on Friday, Nov. 26 has been set for 2 p.m.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.

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