Falcons use bye week to get healthy again


BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University football team had last week off. Its opponent this week, archrival Toledo, struggled against Navy.

Advantage Falcons, right?

“I love the fact that we’ve had extra time, but I don’t love the fact that we haven’t played a football game in two weeks,” Falcons coach Dave Clawson said. “That’s the good news-bad news [of a bye]. I love when it’s a nine-day break or a 10-day break.

“But we made good use of it. We gave our kids some rest, and we were able to get some recruiting in. And it gave us extra prep time for a huge rivalry game.”

The rest was a critical element for the Falcons, who will enter Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. contest at Doyt Perry Stadium in relatively good health.

Sophomore wide receiver Chris Gallon will miss the rest of the season following a knee injury suffered in the loss at Mississippi State. But other players who have missed games recently — including safety Josh Pettus and defensive tackle Ted Ouellet — are expected to be ready.

“From a health standpoint guys are clearly better than they were two weeks ago,” Clawson said. “But to say guys are ‘in the flow’ when you haven’t played a game? We’ll find out on Saturday.”

While Toledo enters the contest with some uncertainty after injuries to standouts such as tailback David Fluellen, Clawson said that uncertainty doesn’t change the Falcons’ preparation for the contest.

“It wasn’t as if, when he went out, they stopped running the football,” he said of the Rockets. “Their offense is exceptional, and it starts with their offensive line.

“It is a talented and well-coached offensive line. They are physical, and they are very smart: They pick up movement and blitzes very well. And they get push off the ball.”

NO SURPRISE: Former BG football standout Chris Jones made headlines for all the wrong reasons last Sunday.

Jones, a defensive lineman playing for New England, was called for a penalty in overtime that negated a missed field goal by the New York Jets. Given a second chance — and given 15 yards closer to the goal line — the Jets kicked the winning field goal.

After the game, Jones took responsibility for the penalty that cost New England the game, telling reporters, “The mistake was mine. I take it. I put in on my shoulders. It was all my fault. It was no one else.”

While it may be unusual for an NFL rookie to accept responsibility for a play that cost his team a game, Clawson said he wasn’t surprised.

“Any time there’s a player you know so well — and care so much about — you never want to see them involved in a situation like that,” Clawson said. “But the way he handled it doesn’t surprise anybody that knew Chris for four years.

“He’s a stand-up guy. He didn’t point one finger. … He’s a guy that always was accountable for his actions.”

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