BG’s secondary not forcing turnovers

Bowling Green's Jerry
Bowling Green's Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates (24) slams Akron's L.T. Smith on Saturday. The Falcons are stingy about giving up passing yards but have no interceptions.

BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University football team ranks third in the Mid-American Conference in pass defense, allowing just 213.2 passing yards per game.

But the Falcons trail the entire field in one defensive category: interceptions. In fact, every MAC school has at least three interceptions this season except BG, which has yet to pick off an enemy pass.

BG coach Dave Clawson said after the Indiana game that part of the problem came from not “disrupting” the timing of receivers and making plays on the ball, which falls on the defensive backs. But another problem was not forcing quarterbacks to throw under pressure, and that is the responsibility of the defensive line.

“At times we get [a rush], but it hasn’t been as consistent as we need it to be,” Clawson said. “And that has put a little more stress on our secondary.

“I certainly believe we have capable players [on the defensive line].”

Another reason for the lack of interceptions by the Falcons — despite opponents having thrown 166 passes, the third-highest total in the MAC — is the schemes opposing offenses have used against BG.

“We’re getting a fair amount of three-step [drops by quarterbacks],” Clawson said. “But we’ve also done a lot of dropping eight [in coverage] and only rushing three.

“We got spoiled last year with [Chris Jones]. He was a great, dominant player who allowed us to rush fewer people and still get pressure.

“Collectively we had hoped to close that void, but we haven’t quite done that yet. It’s just something we have to get better at.”

GREENE HONORED: Running back Travis Greene was named Mid-American Conference East Division offensive player of the week.

The sophomore from Carol City, Fla., finished with 213 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in a 31-14 win over Akron.

Greene carried the ball 24 times for a game-high 142 yards and one TD, while catching four passes for 71 yards and another score. The game marked his second consecutive game rushing for at least 100 yards and his third in five contests. His receiving yards also were a career high.

“He runs hard, and he really makes people miss,” Akron coach Terry Bowden said of Greene. “I thought he was the difference in the game.

“[BG] needed a spark, and I thought his running and catching of the ball was the difference in the game. We couldn’t get them off the field, and a lot of that was because of him.”

Greene is ranked second in the MAC in rushing with 110.2 yards per game.

GAME TIME SET: BG’s game Oct. 12 at Misssissippi State has been set for 7:30 p.m. It will be televised on the Fox Sports Net.