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The BG News
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November 30, 2023

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BG football resumes after its 16-day break with key conference matchup at Akron Tuesday


Travis Greene rushes down field in BG’s last game played two weeks ago, a 26-14 loss to Western Michigan at the Doyt L. Perry Stadium.

It will be 16 days on Tuesday since the Bowling Green football team took the field for a game.

The Falcons don’t see it as a disadvantage, though; to them it has given them the chance to get healthy and get back to their fundamentals.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a disadvantage; I actually think it’s an advantage for us, because we’ve had the rest we’ve needed,” senior Gabe Martin said.

Despite the long break head coach Dino Babers does not expect a hangover from the Falcons when they play the University of Akron Tuesday night.

“We are never going to know if we have that hangover until we get on the field against our next opponent,” Babers said. “I would like to think that we are focused on doing things we need to do to get ready for that next football game.”

Before the break the Falcons lost a home game to Western Michigan University. Despite that loss the defense had been improving each game out, while the offense had been struggling.

For the offense, instead of dwelling on their struggles they have decided to move on, as they have not watched much film from the past, senior Heath Jackson said.

“We hit it hard in the beginning; we realized that’s not how we play,” he said. “We know what we did wrong and we really don’t want to bash guys with the mistakes that we made …. We aren’t really worried, we know we are a talented group and we are going to play like we are talented.”

It’s been all about competing at a high level in practice in order to simulate the game tempo. The coaching staff has been doing everything they can in practice. They have put the starters against each other in practice, among other things.

“We are really trying to do everything in our power not to start slow,” Babers said. “We are doing every we can do at the speed that we can do it to simulate game speed without risking the opportunity of hurting one of our starters.”

The Falcons have enough on their plate trying to stay game ready; on top of that they have been preparing for two quarterbacks. Akron starting quarterback Kyle Pohl has been inactive for the past two games due to a concussion; in that time the Zips are 0-2.

“It’s a difficult situation for our defense to prepare for, but that’s the hand that has been dealt,” Babers said. “We need to find a way to deal with it.”

The defense has focused on all of the film from Akron’s offense, although Babers has focused on what they like to do with Pohl in the lineup as he is expecting to see him Tuesday.

“He is really good. I’m really impressed with him,” Babers said.

Their offense does not end with Pohl, though, as they average 125 rushing yards per game as well.

“They are explosive,” Martin said. “They have a lot of guys on the field that can make plays. We just have to show up and do what we need to do to be successful.”

Akron is also one of the best defenses in the Mid-American Conference, that is one of the main reasons they are currently second in the MAC East Division. They are first in the MAC total defense [20.2 points], points allowed [162] and touchdowns allowed [19.]

The offense is taking pride in this game as the chance to make a statement.

“We just want to go out there and prove we are the top offense in the MAC,” senior Heath Jackson. “We are hungry for Akron and the guys just want to go out there and play to the best of our ability.”

This game has major MAC East Division implications as the Falcons are currently first in the MAC East and Akron is second. The winner of this game will put themselves in a good place going into the last month of the season.

“We have to treat it as one game, but this is a big football game for both sides. ” Babers said. “It’s a huge advantage for whoever wins the game. It doesn’t mean your season is over … it just means you are on an easier path. It is a huge advantage and they [the players] understand how big this game is.”

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