Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks understands the frustration of fans after the team's loss this weekend to South Dakota. BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
BOWLING GREEN — Do not worry, Bowling Green State University football fans: Coach Mike Jinks understands.
Jinks addressed Falcons fans who were upset with Saturday’s 35-27 loss to South Dakota at Doyt Perry Stadium during Monday’s weekly press conference.
The setback was Bowling Green’s first loss to a FCS program since a 20-17 defeat at the hands of Youngstown State on Sept. 12, 1987 — almost exactly 30 years ago. The loss catapulted South Dakota into the No. 23 spot in the latest FCS national rankings.
When Jinks was asked if he understood the frustrations of fans after the loss, the Texas native said, "They should be frustrated — that's what a fan is. I'm frustrated when I watch the Cowboys.
"That's what I want. I want these fans blowing up my Twitter. We want them involved and passionate about BG football.
"Do I understand their frustration? [Expletive] right I do. And I don't want it any other way."
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Senior receiver Teo Redding said he and his teammates already have talked about dealing with the setback.
“Nobody saw this loss coming,” he said. “As a whole, we came together and said we have to hold each other accountable.
“We have to look each other in the face. This is not season we wanted to start with, so we have to fight through this adversity to make it better.”
Jinks said the emotions of his team after the loss mirrored the emotions of BG fans.
“The kids were disappointed, to say the least,” he said. “But the sun came up, and they understood that we have a challenge next Saturday night in a good Northwestern team.
“It’s a great opportunity, so there’s no time to sulk.”
Jinks said his message to Falcons fans is to stay the course.
“You want to make sure you stay consistent, because there is a plan in place,” Jinks said. “It’s about improving on a day-to-day basis.
“You worry about the things you can control.”
That plan, according to Jinks, involves, “Winning games. Staying the course. Understanding who and where we are as a program.
“[We need to] continue to build. Continue to recruit our tails off. Continue to bring quality individuals into this program.”
Redding said the he and his teammates can still turn this season around despite the 0-2 start.
“I think we need to fight through the adversity of these first two games,” he said. “We have a long season ahead of us, and we have to keep fighting.
“Keeping our heads up is the focus.”
Jinks also made a point of thanking the crowd of 17,912 that came for Saturday’s home opener.
“When I went home and talked to my wife, one of the things she discussed was how packed the parking lot was and how there was a buzz in the air,” Jinks said. “I wanted to thank the BG community and our student body.
“We appreciate it.”
FLAG DAY: Of all the areas where the Falcons struggled Saturday, the biggest disappointment in Jinks’ eyes was the penalties.
Bowling Green just missed a school record for penalties drawn with 14, and the Falcons were penalized 155 yards, which was a school record.
“That was my biggest disappointment, in that you have to understand what kind of game you are in,” Jinks said. “At Michigan State, there were seven total penalties in the game. The officials were letting them play.
“We had 14 penalties, but South Dakota had 11 [for 90 yards].”
Jinks said he talked to his coaching staff about allowing a game filled with penalties affect how the team plays.
“I think there was too much bickering about who was getting calls and who wasn’t,” he said. “That translates down to the players.
“We have to be a disciplined team. We have to keep our heads. We’ve proven that that if we play outside ourselves, we won’t be successful.”