The Falcons are preparing for Saturday's Mid-American Conference opener against Kent State at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. Here is a look at a few notes and quotes as we get ready for Saturday's meeting with the Golden Flashes:
- First, here's a look at the depth chart. The Falcons escaped the Tulsa game relatively unscathed, as two injured Falcons remain on the depth chart and several other players should return.
Defensive end Charlie Walker, who left the Tulsa game early after
suffering a knee sprain, remains on the depth chart for the game against the
Golden Flashes. Running back Jordan Hopgood, who also sees extensive
action on special teams, remains available despite a neck strain. No official word on wide receiver Jermal Hosley, who was not in uniform for the game against the Golden Hurricane after suffering a knee injury.
Safety Josh Pettus, who was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules, has returned to the two-deep for Saturday’s game.
- Clawson talked a little bit about watching film of quarterback Matt Johnson in the Tulsa contest. "He played well: He sparked the team, and he moved the team," Clawson said of Johnson. "It wasn't perfect -- he made some Game 1 mistakes that you would expect a player playing in his first meaningful game would make. But he graded out well. We have to be more efficient throwing the ball, but I certainly like how he was able to generate plays with his feet. At times he converted third downs with his feet, and that certainly helped keep drives alive.
"Overall I was happy. We have to get better as an offense, especially throwing the football. Part of that was Matt; part of that was the protection; and part of that was we had some balls dropped."
- Clawson talked about tight end Tyler Beck, who caught two passes for 25 yards and also played a big role in the running game as a "fullback" blocker. "He has not been under the radar for us -- we've always felt we have two solid tight ends in Alex Bayer and Beck, and Chris Pohlman has really come along, and he made some big plays for us as well," Clawson said. "Tyler is a smart, physical, reliable player. He's usually good with his assignments, and over the years has made big plays for us in the pass game. He's not a guy that we go out and feature. But if the ball goes his way, we feel comfortable."
- Clawson also talked about the play of freshman offensive tackles Jacob Bennett and Logan Dietz. "They did well," Clawson said. "They held up, although they got beat a couple of times and made some Game 1 mistakes. But both of those guys have the ability to be very good players for us. It's going to be a fast learning curve for them, especially with the defensive front we will be playing. But I have all the confidence in the world in those guys. And if Clay Rolf or Christian Piazza have to play, those guys are ready, too. For a Game 1, they played well. But now it's Game 2, and you expect them to improve."
- The news from Kent State's camp is that star running back Dri Archer is "day to day" following an ankle injury in the Golden Flashes' season opener against Liberty. Archer isn't the only key player for the Flashes whose status for Saturday's game is uncertain ... Senior left guard Pat McShane did not play in the Liberty contest and his status also is listed as day-to-day, and junior free safety Calvin Tiggle was not in uniform for Thursday's opener, and his status is uncertain.