Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mahone expects big things this year at Bowling Green

For Elyria's P.J. Mahone, bad pre-season rankings and a new coach with a new system don't faze him.

Despite his Bowling Green football team being picked to finish fifth in the Mid-American Conference East Division — and having a new coach in Dave Clawson — Mahone is expecting big things for the Falcons when they start their season against the Troy University Trojans tonight at Doyt Perry Stadium.

"I wanna go out my senior year with a MAC Championship," said Mahone, Lorain County's 2005 Golden Helmet Award winner. "That's our ultimate goal is to make it to the MAC Championship. I'm expecting big things from this team."

The Falcons return 11 starters from last year's 6-6 team that tied for second in the MAC East Division. Buffalo is favored to repeat in the East with Temple (2nd), Akron (3rd), Ohio University (4th) picked to finish ahead. Only Kent State (6th) and Miami of Ohio (7th) were picked to finish worse.

The last time BG was picked to finish fifth was two years ago when the surprising Falcons went on to capture a share of the MAC East and advance to their third bowl game in five years. Can they repeat?

"I'm driving to do the best I can do to help my team win," said Mahone, a defensive back/safety. "We've had a lot of catching up to do with putting in a new system on defense. I think I fit in good. I've worked on my technique and my open field tackling in the off-season. I worked hard in my summer conditioning program and I watched extra film during the summer with my position group."

He also said there is closeness on this team that he's never seen.

"We have really come together as a team," Mahone said. "There aren't any cliques or small groups that hang out. It's all of us. We all collectively hang out and we get along with each other."

Mahone is not only expecting big things for the team, but he wants to have a big year and possibly move on to a bigger stage.

"I definitely have a dream to play in the NFL," Mahone said. "That's a dream of every college player to get to the NFL. If I have the opportunity, I'm going to take the most of that opportunity. I would have to have a better year than last year. More like I did my sophomore year when I had seven interceptions, I only had three last year."

Last year, Mahone started all 12 games and led the team with 95 tackles. He recorded at least 10 or more tackles in four games and nabbed three interceptions.

As a sophomore he was named second team All-MAC after recording 90 tackles and had a conference-leading seven interceptions, which tied for third in school history for interceptions in a season. He returned those interceptions for 220 yards, which is a BG school record. He was also named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week twice after a 10 tackles, two interception performance against Akron and Toledo.

In 2005, the year he won Lorain County's Golden Helmet award, he was also a first team All-Ohio selection, along with All-District Offensive Player of the Year and the MVP of the Pioneer Conference. He scored 30 touchdowns and recorded 2,600 yards of total offense, leading the Pioneers to their first-ever playoff appearance, a 21-9 win over Toledo St. John.They advanced to the regional semifinal, before losing to Canton McKinley, 35-9.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home