When asked about the lack of national exposure for the BGSU defense, coach Clawson said,
"I just think this is a league that’s branded itself for offense. We’re almost an outlier. This conference has not been known for defense for a decade. I don’t know the last time the MAC had a defense top 10 in the country. I think people must look at it and think it’s a statistical blemish or something. We played really good defense last year and that allowed us to win eight games. Now the challenge to be a great program is to play better on offense."
While Clawson has a record of just 22-28 at Bowling Green, the program made definitive progress last season by finishing with eight wins and a bowl berth. He has coaching experience in the Atlantic 10, CAA, Patriots League, and SEC.
Another factor that helps is the consistency at defensive coordinator; DC Mike Elko enters his fifth season at BGSU along with Clawson. In the last four seasons, the Falcons defense forced 84 turnovers and held opponents third down conversions to just 36.1 percent.
BGSU is deep with defensive backs with several of them contributing last season. Cameron Truss and Ryland Ward had the most tackles for the returning DBs with 63 and 57 respectively. Defensive back Jerry "BooBoo" Gates appears to be the leader on the field. Gates is a first team CFU All-MAC player and a 2013 team captain. He is also solid in coverage and could be somewhere a mid-round NFL Draft pick in 2014.
The Falcons have a strong linebacker core as well led by D.J.Lynch and Gabe Martin. Lynch is a hard hitter who can drop back in coverage some and Martin has the ability to wreck havoc in the backfield. Martin is also a first team CFU All-MAC player.
Bowling Green varies between three and four down linemen. BGSU defensive linemen range in size from as small as a prototypical linebacker to as big as a large bodied defensive tackle.
Punting contributed to the defense's statistical rankings last season by forcing offenses into bad field position. Brian Schmiedebusch punted 18 times farther than 50 yards and had 24 punts downed inside the 20 yard line.
Clawson on BGSU Defense
Dave Clawson's Achievements
Team Defense Stats
Points Allowed per Game: 16.8 (10th)
Yards Allowed per Game: 296.6 (6th)
Rush Yards Allowed per Game: 106.5 (11th)
Pass Yards Allowed per Game: 190.1 (13th)
Sacks: 38 (11th)
Fumbles Gained: 12
Interceptions Gained: 10
Turn overs Gained: 22
Turnover Margin: +4 (43rd)
2012 season stats listed unless otherwise noted.
Defense Impact Players
DL Bryan Baird
r-So. 6-3 237
12 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, & 1 FR.
DL Ted Ouellet
r-Sr. 6-3 282
35 tackles, 6 TFLs, & 3 sacks.
DL Bryan Thomas
r-Jr. 6-2 260
33 tackles, 8 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, & 2 QBHs.
DL Charlie Walker
r-Jr. 6-2 238
34 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, 3 QBHs, & 2 PBUs.
LB D.J. Lynch
r-Jr. 5-11 242
63 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 sacks, & 1 FR.
LB Gabe Martin
r-Jr. 6-1 224
70 tackles 8.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 2 FFs, & 1 blocked kick.
LB Paul Swan
r-Sr. 6-0 230
65 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 FF, & 2 QBHs.
DB Jude Adjei-Barimah
r-Jr. 5-10 205
30 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 4 ints, 7 PBUs, 1 FF, 1 fumble recovered, & 1 blocked kick.
DB Aaron Foster
Sr. 5-10 202
16 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, 2 FRs, & 6 PBUs.
DB Jerry "BooBoo" Gates
Sr. 5-11 213
47 tackles, 2 ints, 1.5 TFLs, 1 FF, & 1 fumble recovered.
DB Darrell Hunter II
Jr. 5-8 177
24 tackles, 1 PBU, & 1 int.
DB Josh Pettus
Sr. 5-9 203
31 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 2 FFs, 1 FR, & 1 int.
DB Bryan Sutton
Jr. 6-0 190
23 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 sack, & 1 blocked punt.
DB Cameron Truss
r-Sr. 5-10 182
63 tackles, 1 FF, 1 FR, & 4 PBUs.
DB Ryland Ward
r-Jr. 5-9 198
57 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, & 4 PBUs.
P Brian Schmiedebusch
r-Sr. 6-3 223
40.8 avg, 18 punts 50-plus yds, & 24 punts inside 20 yd line.