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Published: Wednesday, 11/27/2013

Short week no problem for Falcons

BG well-rested for Bulls after rout on Saturday

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football coach Dave Clawson kept a secret from his team last week.

“I didn’t tell the players this, but after the Ohio game we looked at it as if we had 16 days to prepare for two games,” Clawson admitted. “We wanted to spend eight days on Eastern Michigan and eight days on Buffalo.

“After the Ohio game, as a staff we spent the next two days on Buffalo. That still gave us eight days to prepare for Eastern Michigan. We worked ahead — [when we came back from Eastern Michigan Saturday] we had all the Buffalo film broken down.”

So far, so good as the Falcons claimed an easy 58-7 win over the Eagles last week. Hopefully that decision will help BG as it has a “short” week to prepare for its biggest game of the season.

The Falcons travel to Buffalo to face the Bulls Friday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. On the line in this contest, which kicks off at 1:30 p.m., is the Mid-American Conference’s East Division title and a berth in the MAC Championship game next week.

Even though Bowling Green has just six days to get ready for the contest rather than the normal seven, the rout at EMU allowed the Falcons to get the defense off the field by the third quarter against Eastern Michigan — after only 28 plays.

“I told those guys, they played a little more than one quarter of football,” Clawson said. “And from there, all we did is move things up by a day.”

Senior linebacker Paul Swan said he didn’t feel the short week would affect the Falcons negatively.

“I think it helped last week, and the two weeks before that, that as a defense we haven’t played a full game in maybe a month,” Swan said. “I think our bodies are rested from that.

“We lost our day off, but guys are still watching film like they were, and still practicing well.”

INJURY REPORT: The Falcons practiced Tuesday with two players who missed last Saturday's game at Eastern Michigan. Junior safety Jude Adjei-Barimah suffered a knee injury in the loss to Ohio but was fully involved in Tuesday's drills, as was junior wide receiver Heath Jackson, who did not play against the Eagles because of a hamstring problem.

Junior rover Justin Ford did not practice with the team; he displayed concussive symptoms last week and has not been cleared for practice. The same goes for freshman running back Fred Coppet, who was injured in the game against EMU and has not been cleared for practice.

LONG TIME: The contest at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the Buffalo Bills, will be the first college game played there in more than 30 years.

Syracuse hosted Miami (Fla.) at the stadium, then known as Rich Stadium, on Oct. 27, 1979.

Falcons forward Cooper receives hockey honors

Bowling Green State University forward Mark Cooper was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s offensive player of the week after a big weekend.

Cooper scored four goals in the Falcons' two games against Minnesota State last weekend. The sophomore from Toronto notched his first career hat trick with three goals, including the game-winner, in BG's 4-3 overtime win over the Mavericks Friday.

On Saturday he scored a goal in a game the Falcons eventually lost 3-2 in overtime.

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



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