The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
BOWLING GREEN — After playing for each of the past six Saturdays following a Thursday night opener, the Bowling Green State University football team will take this coming Saturday off.
The 5-2 Falcons have a bye week, and coach Dave Clawson said the bye comes at a good time.
“Right now we’re a little banged up,” he said. “We’ve got to get some guys healthy to make a good stretch run down the last five weeks of the season.”
When he said “banged up,” Clawson isn’t talking about injuries that will keep players off the field. His point is that even “healthy” players aren’t 100 percent healthy.
“We’ve had seven straight games here, and a lot of guys are playing, but they’re playing at 70 or 80 percent,” he explained. “It’s been seven tough, physical games.
“It will help our guys to get away for a couple of days, get into the treatment room, and get as close to 100 percent as you can be going into week eight of a Division I football season.”
While the Falcons may be a bit banged up physically, Clawson said he thought the team is in a good spot mentally.
“We had a great week of preparation last week, and our guys were excited to play that game [at Mississippi State],” said Clawson of his team’s 21-20 loss to the Bulldogs. “I thought we had a lot of energy and juice.
“I don’t think our guys are mentally exhausted. I’m sure they enjoy the break. After seven straight weeks it’s nice to have a breather mentally.”
The Falcons took Sunday and Monday off and will do only lifting today. Clawson said the practices Wednesday and Thursday will focus more on fundamentals.
“Sometimes, through the course of a season, as you start game-planning you get more tied into what the opponent does and the adjustments you have to make,” he said. “If you’re not careful, the fundamentals of a position can get away from you. And we don’t want to let that happen.”
Clawson said Bowling Green will not practice Friday before beginning preparations Saturday for its next contest, a home game against Toledo on Oct. 26.
JOHNSON HONORED: Quarterback Matt Johnson was named Mid-American Conference East Division offensive player of the week.
The sophomore from Harrisburg, Pa., completed 20-of-34 passes for 224 yards at Mississippi State. Johnson also ran the ball six times for 29 yards, including a two-yard TD run in the third quarter as BG nearly upset the Southeastern Conference school.
This is the third time Johnson has won this award this season, also earning the honor after the Falcons' victories over Kent State and Murray State.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Falcons’ five wins this season have come against teams that have combined for a 10-23 record. The only one of the five with a winning record is FCS member Murray State, which is 4-3.
BG’s three MAC wins came against Kent State (2-5), Akron (1-6), and UMass (1-5), while the other nonconference victory was over 2-4 Tulsa.
The Falcons’ two losses were against Indiana and Mississippi State, both of whom are 3-3.
THREE-DOT DATA: Bowling Green announced Monday that the game against Toledo will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and will be on ESPN3. … Senior safety BooBoo Gates is eligible to play against the Rockets. Gates was ejected in the first half at Mississippi State after he was called for a “targeting” penalty on a helmet-to-helmet hit.