Football ends three-game homestand with UMass

The BG football team will host their second straight Mid-American Conference team The University of Massachusetts at home Saturday afternoon for homecoming.

The Falcons are 4-1 coming off a 32-14 win against MAC East foe Akron this past Saturday.

“We got off to a slow start,” Head Coach Dave Clawson said. “They came out and executed well and we didn’t execute well. I was really proud with how we responded we didn’t panic and I saw some real leadership.”

Despite the loss to Indiana this is the best start for a Falcon football team since the 2003 team started 4-1 as well. The 2003 team rode that streak a little longer as they started 7-3 and finished the season 11-3 with a 28-24 win over Northwestern in the Motor City Bowl. They have also won their first two MAC games for the first time since 2005.

With the success that the team has had lately there are still things to be worked on Clawson said.

“I would like to see us start faster,” Clawson said. “In three of our wins this year Tulsa, Kent and Akron we showed the same strip we don’t start out fast and then play well in the second half.”

Massachusetts is coming off a 24-7 loss home loss to Vanderbilt. They are currently 0-4, three of those losses have come from BCS conference teams in Wisconsin, Kansas State and Vanderbilt along with a loss to Maine.

“Massachusetts is an improved team, but I think people are going to look at their record,” Clawson said. “They have had a brutal schedule.”

In their previous match up in Massachusetts this past year, the Falcons came away with the 24-0 win. A slow start in that made it a lot closer than it was as the Falcons scored 17 points in the second half to pull away.

“Last year we really struggled to move the ball against them,” Clawson said. “We completely relied on our defense to win the game,”

Massachusetts is bringing back a lot of starters from the defense that frustrated the Falcons offense a year ago. With a new quarterback and running back, however, BG’s offense is very different from a year ago.

“We did not throw against them very well last year and they have just about everyone back in the secondary,” Clawson said.

Offensively Massachusetts’ stats do not jump out as impressive, but that can also be associated to the schedule they played. Their tight end is as good as any other tight end in the conference Clawson said.

The Falcons will be looking to start the season 5-1 with the homecoming win over Massachusetts Saturday afternoon. They are currently at the top of the MAC East standings a win here will stretch their lead over Kent State.

“I think this is an improving team and it’s a MAC East game which we always consider a championship game,” Clawson said. “We are home again, it’s homecoming we have a lot on the line and we are looking forward to it.”