Some new turf to defend

A driving rainstorm and mud characterized BG’s last game played at Doyt Perry Stadium. It may still deal with a driving rainstorm this season, but the mud will be no more as the Falcons have installed FieldTurf to replace the natural grass that turned into mud during last season’s game against Miami.

“FieldTurf is a product that our players and coaches have a great deal of confidence in,” BG Athletic Director Greg Christopher said.

“[The new surface] allows us greater flexibility with the stadium, meaning many of our teams can practice on the surface and Perry stadium can host more events, and [it] helps the department generate more revenues,” Christopher said.

The 2007 season will mark the first time in 41 years that the Doyt will have a new playing surface.

BG will become the 29th school nationwide and sixth in the MAC to install FieldTurf as its playing surface in its home stadium.

“It’s looking great – I check it out everyday,” linebacker Loren Hargrove said. “Everyday I go up there it looks better – they got the lines, and now they got the logos in the end zone. It looks great, and it’s almost done.”

Hargrove is happy the mud is no longer a worry for the players and coaches in their preparation for the game.

“You don’t have to worry about the mud anymore,” Hargrove said. “I think it’s going to help our whole environment. The fans are going to love it because it’s a whole new look for us.”

The decision for a change in surfaces came primarily after last season’s game against the Miami RedHawks in which the natural grass turned into mud after enduring a driving rainstorm for the entire day.

The result of that game was a very sloppy contest in which the RedHawks defeated the Falcons 9-7 after the Falcons missed a go-ahead field goal. That field goal was attempted when the entire field had more or less turned to mud.

It was obvious a change needed to be made by the start of this season.

“Our concern was with the condition of the existing drainage system, which also was installed in 1966, we believe this change best serves the interest of our program,” Christopher said.

FieldTurf is synthetic surface that makes it feel like you are playing on real grass, but you don’t have to worry about some of the worries of real grass/mud, cost of maintenance, etc.

The reviews are in from some of the players and coaches and it seems like they appreciate the change that has been made.

“The turf is amazing,” defensive tackle Sean O’Drabinak said. “Yeah, it’s rubber, and it holds a lot of heat, but it’s great having sure footing. It just feels like you’re faster.”

Fellow defensive lineman Diyral Briggs agrees about the feel of the new turf.

“I feel like it gives me an edge,” Briggs said. “Being on cement [which is what the turf is laid out on] I feel a lot lighter and makes me feel a lot faster.”

When BG takes the field Sept. 22 against Temple, you can expect to see a completely different stadium than the one you saw last season.

Not only will the stadium feature a brand new playing surface, it will also feature the finished Sebo Center just beyond the north end zone.

Coach Brandon can’t wait for the refurbished stadium to be unveiled.

“I’ve said all along that big game for us is Temple,” Brandon said.

“That’s our first home game, a noon start. It’s an ESPN game, and a MAC East game. It will be the first game in our virtually new stadium.

“When our fans come to that first game, it’s going to be a completely different venue. I can’t wait; it’s going to be exciting.”