BOWLING GREEN — When the Bowling Green State University football team returned to the practice field this week, its goals went beyond trying to fix mistakes from the previous game.
The Falcons also are working on patching up egos bruised by a 42-10 loss at Indiana.
“It was hard — it was a long ride home,” senior safety BooBoo Gates said of the loss. “I think we came into the game a little overconfident. We thought we were playing an average offense, and it wasn’t average. We got humbled really fast.”
Senior tight end Alex Bayer said he and the other team captains met after the frustrating loss to Indiana. Their goal was to make sure the team had the right attitude as it prepared for its contest against Murray State, which kicks off 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Doyt Perry Stadium.
“We thought we had a bad week of practice [before the Indiana game],” Bayer said. “So we made it a goal this week to make sure we worked a fast tempo, kept the guys up and locked in on the field.
“We made it our job to get the guys ready, move past last week, and focus on the rest of the season.”
Having a good focus will be a must to beat Murray State, an FCS squad that has a number of transfers from FBS schools. For example, quarterback Maikhail Miller transferred from Mississippi, while Ohio State transfer Jaamal Berry sees action at running back.
The Racers’ leading tacklers on defense include transfers from Arkansas (Darrell Smith), UNLV (Perry Cooper and John Therrell), and South Carolina (Cadarious Sanders).
“They have a bunch of players who were originally recruited to play at this level of football,” Clawson said. “They have done a good job of taking these players and a bunch of JUCO players and turning them into a cohesive team.”
Clawson said playing Indiana does help in preparing for Murray State because the two teams offenses do have some similarities.
“It helped from the standpoint of their tempos [being similar],” he said. “I think it helped with the matchups at receiver, since Murray State has some guys who can make plays and we faced that last week.
“I’m sure after watching the Indiana film, Murray State is licking its chops. But I have confidence in our guys. Cam Truss is a good player who will bounce back. Aaron Foster is a good player who will bounce back.”
Gates said getting the team’s swagger is important if the Falcons want to get back on the winning track.
“You have to go into the game confident,” he said. “You can’t go into a game back on your heels, worried if someone’s going to be in the right place.
“You have to make sure everyone is doing their job, and you have to make sure everyone is confident they can do their job.”
INJURY REPORT: The Falcons received some bad news in practice this week when senior safety Josh Pettus suffered a knee injury in a noncontact drill. His status for Saturday’s game is questionable.
Junior rover Gabe Martin, who was injured in the loss at Indiana, is doubtful, while cornerbacks Darrell Hunter and Diontre Delk are both out. Freshman running back Fred Coppet also is out after suffering a hip injury late in the Indiana game.
The good news is that junior defensive end Charlie Walker, who was injured early in the opener against Tulsa, took practiced this week and has been upgraded to probable.