Bowling Green’s Shaun Joplin catches a pass during the first quarter of the Falcons’ 55-10 loss at West Virginia on Saturday.
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BOWLING GREEN — It was bad enough that the Bowling Green State University football team suffered a humiliating 55-10 loss at West Virginia on Saturday.
Now the Falcons have been accused of faking injuries to slow down the fast-tempo WVU offense.
During the game, BG had several defenders who suffered injuries but later were able to return to the game, including Kevin Moore, Dwayne Woods, BooBoo Gates, Darrell Hunter, and Ryland Ward.
Television broadcasters Rob King and John Thornton said BG defenders weren’t actually injured. After the contest, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “They were faking injuries which is, you know, a bunch of baloney. It’s something that comes with the territory. The refs can’t do anything about it.”
When asked about the charge Monday, Falcons coach Dave Clawson said, “That would not be accurate at all. That wasn’t something we coached, and our players didn’t do it.”
Clawson noted that the injured players were the wrong players to try such a tactic.
“If you’re going to do that, you certainly don’t do that with your best players,” he said. “But those are all guys who suffered legitimate injuries.
“It’s certainly not true [that we faked injuries]. If we did it, it certainly didn’t work very well.”
The Falcons did have one injured player, Ted Ouellet, who did not return. Clawson said Ouellet suffered a shoulder “stinger” for the second consecutive week.
COOPER AND LEACOCK BACK: The NCAA has cleared Eugene Cooper and Jovan Leacock to play this Saturday in the Falcons’ game at Western Michigan.
Neither traveled to West Virginia after the school found out Thursday they had not completed the NCAA certification process.
No other penalties to the players or the school are expected.
INJURY REPORT: Clawson said he expects to have injured running backs Jordan Hopgood and Anthon Samuel available Saturday.
Samuel was injured late in the Miami victory on Sept. 24 and did not play against West Virginia, while Hopgood was hurt early in the contest against the Mountaineers.
“Anthon could have played, but once that game got out of hand, it made no sense to use him,” Clawson said. “We anticipate having Samuel back, and we anticipate having Hopgood ready.”
DEPTH CHART: There were no changes made to the Falcons depth chart.
Bowling Green hopes to get injured offensive lineman Chip Robinson and cornerback Cameron Truss for Saturday’s contest.
While both practiced last week, the pair have not played in the Falcons’ last two games.
GATES HONORED: Sophomore BooBoo Gates was named the MAC East Division special teams player of the week after returning seven kickoffs for 233 yards at West Virginia.
Gates, a native of Middletown, Ohio, had a career-best 77 yard return in the first quarter to help set up the Falcons lone TD in the loss.
Gates’ seven kickoff returns is the second-highest total in school history, while the yards are a record. The previous-high was 181 yards by Joe Alls in 2001 versus Toledo.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.
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