NIU's Jhony Faustin tackles BGSU's Kamar Jorden during game at Doyt L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.
The Blade/Lori King
BOWLING GREEN — When it comes to playing football games in the middle of the week, Bowling Green State University coach Dave Clawson is a big-picture guy.
“I’ve said this before: There’s not a coach in the world who likes playing Tuesday night games,” Clawson admitted before the Falcons hosted Northern Illinois at Doyt Perry Stadium Tuesday night. “It upsets your routine and the players’ routines. I like playing football on Saturdays.
“But there is no denying that the publicity and exposure that we get playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, getting on national television and having the chance to have millions of people watch you, is an opportunity that’s just too good to pass up.”
It’s an opportunity Mid-American Conference schools have embraced during the month of November. Last week there were four mid-week games broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU, including Toledo’s game against Northern Illinois on Nov. 1.
BG’s game against the Huskies was broadcast by ESPN2, while Toledo’s home game against Western Michigan was on ESPNU. Wednesday, Miami plays at Temple on ESPN, and Thursday Ohio will play at Central Michigan on ESPNU.
“In our perfect world, that would happen on Saturdays,” Clawson said. “But that doesn’t happen in the MAC. So if that’s what we need to do, then this is good for the conference.
“It gets our names out there, it gives us more of a national brand than we would have otherwise.”
The MAC’s mid-week schedule includes four games next week, including Bowling Green’s game against Ohio at Doyt Perry Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 16 — which will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2 — and Toledo’s contest at Central Michigan to be shown on ESPNU on Friday, Nov. 18.
“It’s a sacrifice we make for the league, and a sacrifice we make for the benefit of our own programs,” Clawson said. “When you go through it, you don’t necessarily love the change in routine.
“But overall it’s a good thing for our conference and for Bowling Green football.”
The Bowling Green players are excited to play the games in front of a national television audience.
“We’re really hungry to come out and play,” senior rover Keith Morgan said before the game.
“I know everybody is eager to go out there on national TV and show everybody what we’re about.”
ROSTER UPDATE: While freshman Anthon Samuel was able to return to the field, the Falcons were without several injured players.
Sophomore tailback Jordan Hopgood did not dress because of knee problems, while redshirt freshman DeVon McKoy continues to suffer from ankle issues and did not suit up for the contest.
To make matters worse, senior Kevin Moore dressed but was not allowed to play in the first half because of disciplinary issues.
FREE DELIVERY: Clawson, three assistant coaches — John Hunter, Larry McDaniel, and Nick Monroe — and several other members of the coaching staff handed out boxes of pizza to students who arrived early at Doyt Perry Stadium for the contest.
The football program paid for the pizzas as an incentive to attract students to the mid-week contest.