Bowling Green hopes to change its fortunes tonight

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

For Bowling Green, a bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Falcons are 3-5. They’ve been beaten up mentally and physically and they’re in desperate need of something good to happen.

They’re hoping that good fortune starts tonight against Buffalo.

“I don’t think you can get your mind right to make a run, I think you’ve got to get your mind right to win the next game to put you in a position to still be bowl eligible,” Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson said. “If you have five losses and you need to get to six or seven [wins] every game becomes that much more critical.”

With the exception of the game against Boise State, Bowling Green has been within striking distance in every game. Against Missouri, the Falcons led going into the fourth quarter. Against Marshall and Ohio, the Falcons cut the lead to a score with about 3 minutes to go in the game.

Against Central Michigan, Bowling Green turned the ball over twice in the red zone.

“The only two games that we were ahead by a lot was Ball [State] and behind Boise, and every other game has come down to the fourth quarter and we found a way to get a couple of them, but not as much as we would like,” Clawson said. “In the process of doing that we’ve played some good football teams. So, we’ve just got to keep getting better and worrying about us. If we do that, the things take care of itself.”

Clawson said he gave his team some time away from football during the bye week. He expects several players who were playing at about 80 percent to come back rejuvenated for this game. He said he also spent time working on fundamentals with his team, something he wouldn’t have been able to do without the extra week.

He said even though the team has fallen on some hard times, they’ve maintained a positive attitude and that will only help them as they work toward bowl eligibility.

“Are we resilient enough? I believe we are because after every win and every loss, there’s been a consistency to our Tuesday, Wednesday practice,” Clawson said. “We have good senior leadership on this team… Those guys have done a good job of turning the page and getting focused for the next week. Obviously, we need that to happen [tonight].”