Offense, defense both struggled for Falcons in road loss to Indiana


BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football coach Dave Clawson said watching the replay of his team’s 42-10 loss to Indiana was not any more pleasant than witnessing the contest in person Saturday.

“We just flat-out didn’t execute well enough to beat a Big Ten opponent on the road,” he said.

The Hoosiers torched BG’s defense for 601 yards of total offense, split between 266 yards rushing and 335 yards passing. Indiana threw for 175 yards in the first quarter alone, and after the Falcons made a defensive adjustment, IU ran for 241 yards in the final three periods.

“Defensively, the tempo of what they did — and how well they did it — had us on our heels all day,” Clawson said. “Their quarterback played excellently. He is an outstanding player with great arm-strength and good accuracy. And their wide receivers are very good.

“We struggled to cover them, and we had to do some different things coverage-wise that allowed them to run the football. We were at times not ‘gap-sound’ and they made a lot of big plays against us.”

In the first three quarters Indiana ran 60 plays, and 19 of those plays (31.7 percent) gained at least 10 yards while 10 of the plays (16.7 percent) went for at least 20 yards.

Things didn’t go much better on offense for the Falcons, although BG did gain 409 yards.

“If you would have told me before the game that we would have the ball for 35 minutes and make 24 first downs … I would have felt very good about our chances of winning the game,” Clawson said. “We didn’t get the ball into the end zone once on offense.”

The Falcons were 0-for-3 in the red zone, and kicker Tyler Tate connected on just one of his three field-goal attempts after making all four of his tries in the first two games.

Clawson said the most disappointing thing was the offense’s inability to take advantage of opportunities.

“It was one of those games where a lot of guys graded out well, but we didn’t always have 11 guys on the same page,” he said. “It wasn’t a breakdown in assignments. We had six or seven opportunities with guys wide open deep down the field, and in all of those cases we lost a match-up.”

The result was BG’s most-lopsided loss since Virginia Tech shut out the Falcons 37-0 last season.

Linebacker Paul Senn was named Mid-American Conference East Division special teams player of the week.SENN HONORED:

Senn blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the Falcons' loss at Indiana. The play was No. 1 Saturday night on ESPN's SportsCenter Top Ten plays of the week.

Senn also recovered a fumbled kickoff against the Hoosiers. On defense he was credited with three tackles, and all three were for losses totaling seven yards.

TIME SET: The Sept. 28 home game gainst Akron will start at 2:30 p.m.

INJURY REPORT: Junior rover Gabe Martin, who suffered a leg injured early in the Indiana loss and did not return, remains on BG’s depth chart for Satruday’s game against Murray State.

Also injured against the Hoosiers was freshman running back Fred Coppet, who injured his hip late in that game. BG officials said doctors are still trying to pinpoint the severity of Coppet’s injury.

Junior defensive end Charlie Walker was in uniform for warm ups against the Hoosiers but was not in uniform for the game.

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.