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Babers leads BG with up-tempo spring practices

The coaches have been signed, the recruits have been announced and now spring practice has started for the Bowling Green football team.

The practice on March 4 was the fourth practice for the Falcons this year. The offense was running at a much higher tempo than they were accustomed to with ex-coach Dave Clawson, quarterback Matt Johnson said.

In the team scrimmage, there were no more than five to 10 seconds in between plays as each side of the ball, offense and defense, were subbing people in and out constantly. Every time the offense reached the other end of the field, both teams turned around and immediately began going the other way.

“Coach Clawson ran more of a ball control offense and relied a lot on the defense. We scored points but we did it in a slow [and] methodical way,” Johnson said. “With this offense, we want to score as fast as often. Whether it is in one play or five plays, we want to put points on the board as fast as we can so it’s totally different.”

This was the first practice for the Falcons in which they were able to put on the pads. The worst thing that can happen on the first day of pads is for a player to get hurt off a hard hit. The coaches made sure that would not happen as they repeatedly reminded the players to protect each other.

“The thing I wanted to see is if we could go and change the different tempos in pads,” head coach Babers said. “I also wanted to see if those guys would work together and protect each other. They did, so that was good to see in the first day of pads.”

The Falcons are returning 15 starters from last year’s team that defeated Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Championship. They are returning seven on offense, five on defense and three on special teams.

“I think we are trying and improving a little bit. They are trying to get better that is no doubt,” Babers said. “It will get better, it will get a lot better.”

The speed and tempo of this team will be shown for the first time on April 5, in the Spring Game and again in the season opener on Aug. 28 against Western Kentucky.

“The speed is as advertised but I think it is like coach said from the first meeting and he is going to keep saying that ‘we will never be as slow as we were today’,” Johnson said. “He wants us to keep getting faster and faster until we reach the level he wants us at.”

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