I have starting working on my usual bill of fare from the Falcons win at Akron Saturday, which includes a BiG look at the contest followed by Sunday Morning Quarterback analysis. While I'm working on that, here are a few quotes from Saturday that I didn't use in the game story or notebook. Here we go ...
- Coach Dave Clawson had a clever comeback when asked to speak about his team’s play in the first half.
“Do I have to?” he said.
- The Falcons were hampered by tremendously poor field position in the first half. BG's six first-half drives started at its 25 or worse, including three that started inside the BG 6 (one at the BG 6, one at the BG 3 and one at the BG 2). That obviously affects play-calling choices and forces an offense to string together long drives for points.
“The percentage of scoring when you start [a drive] inside the 10 is low, especially when you’re not making big plays in the passing game,” Clawson said.
The good news was that Bowling Green had only one turnover in the first half ... the interception that led to the field goal at halftime.
- One of the funniest lines of the post-game press conference came from safety Ryland Ward. He was asked about carrying Kendall Montgomery off the field after the tight-end-turned-defensive-lineman collected a sack against the Zips. “First of all, Kendall’s a big boy, all 6-6, 270 of him,” Ward said.
Ward said he and his defensive teammates were excited to see Montgomery have some success. “He’s got the size, and he’s strong, so it was good to see him get it,” Ward said.
- The Bowling Green defense was shut out in the first half and had just 150 yards of total offense on 38 plays, an average of 3.9 yards per play. But tight end Alex Bayer said the offense wasn't worried at halftime.
“It was frustrating [at halftime], but we kept in mind that it was a 10-point lead,” he said. “The defense played their butts off and put us in position to still be in the game. We knew we had to come out and pound it down there and get a score. We had some big running plays in the first half, so we knew we could run on them.”
Clawson agreed, adding, “In the first half I thought we ran the ball well, but they would load the box and we would check to a pass. I thought we had to stay with the run game, and that’s what we did in the second half. Our backs made some people miss, and that set up some great opportunities in the throw game and the screen game.”
- The Falcons had good balance in the run game. Anthon Samuel finished with a game-high 117 yards and one TD on 15 carries (an average of 7.8 yards per carry), while John Pettigrew had 81 yards on 13 carries (6.2 ypc) and Jamel Martin had 79 yards on 11 carries (7.2 ypc). Bowling Green finished with 292 yards rushing on 44 attempts, an average of 6.6 yards per rush.
“Anthon was going, Pettigrew ran well and Jamel had some nice runs,” Clawson said. “We have good depth at tailback, and we were thinking about getting Andre Givens in there when Anthon went down with a foot sprain.”
Samuel walked without a crutch or protective boot after the game. It's early, but based on my observation I would think he will be available for the Miami game.
- Something I missed in pre-game, and I don't think I tweeted this during the game when I noticed: The Falcons' other running back, Jordan Hopgood, was not in uniform for the game. He walked out with Samuel and did not seem injured, but I'll have to find out this week why he didn't dress for Saturday's game.
- Bayer had a big day, finishing with five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also took a lot of grief from his teammates following the 60-yard touchdown run.
“That’s the farthest I’ve ever gone for a touchdown,” Bayer said of that run. “There were a couple of high school plays where I got caught from behind. It was nice to finish the touchdown.”
Offensive lineman Jordon Roussos landed a zinger when asked about Bayer's long TD run.
“He’s probably going to have to go in for a treatment [Sunday], and take off the lift,” Roussos said of Bayer. “I was happy to see him get a couple of touchdowns because the past couple of games he’s hasn’t gotten the love he deserves because he’s a great tight end.”
- Roussos also had an interesting answer when asked about the play of the Falcons in the two halves. “The first half wasn’t great, but we won and that’s the goal," he said. "If we play two halves like the first, we probably don’t win the game.”
But if the Falcons play two halves like they did the second?
“Then I think we’ll have a great season,” Roussos said.