Dave Clawson admits that football teams and coaches are creatures of habit, with a daily routine that leads to a game on Saturday.
Today he and his BGSU football squad are moving away from their routine to play a midweek contest against Ohio. Kickoff for the game, which will be televised by ESPN2, is set for 8 p.m. from Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio.
“Our week is very structured in terms of what we do. … And when you play a Wednesday night game at 8 o’clock, it throws your rhythm off,” Clawson said. “But we’re used to it – it happens every year.”
The Falcons hope to create a new habit: Playing November games that matter, starting with this contest against two teams in the thick of the Mid-American Conference East Division title hunt.
“For the last three years, we’ve been working extremely hard to play in a game like this,” Clawson said. “This is a huge game, and our focus is completely on Ohio, which it should be.
“You could argue that Ohio has been the most successful and most consistent program in the MAC over the last four years, especially in the East [Division].”
A few weeks back the Bobcats were undefeated and ranked in the Top 25 nationally before losing at Miami. Still Ohio is tied with BG at 4-1, one-half game behind Kent State in the East Division standings.
The Bobcats are led by quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who has completed 150-of-244 passes for 1,900 yards and 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
“He is a dual-threat quarterback in that he can run and he can throw,” Clawson said. “His ability to make plays sets him apart.
“He is very good within the design of their offense with their zone read game and their power read game and their drop-back passing game. What makes him especially dangerous is that you can have everyone defended and get pressure on him, and he will escape and make big plays.
“Those types of plays almost single-handedly beat us last year.”
In Ohio’s 29-28 victory at Doyt Perry Stadium last year Tettleton threw for 194 yards and a touchdown while running for 128 yards and another score.
“[Quarterback Tyler] Tettleton is a great playmaker, and their offensive line is always one of the most physical I’ve gone against,” senior defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”
Clawson said he admires Ohio’s ability to seemingly reload each season with experienced players.
“It seems as if every year they graduate a bunch of seniors, but they replace them with juniors and seniors,” Clawson said. “You have a head coach [Frank Solich] and a staff that has been there eight years, and they have established what they will do.”
Bowling Green enters the contest on a five-game winning streak that includes four consecutive MAC victories.
“It’s exciting to still be in contention for a MAC title,” sophomore rover Gabe Martin said. “And then having it on a big stage like ESPN2 to give it national recognition makes the game even bigger.”
Click here for a capsule summary of the game.