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September 21, 2023

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Falcons run 138 plays in 78 minutes, Babers not satisfied

April showers may bring May flowers, but in this case they brought Falcon fans the chance to see the football team in its last spring scrimmage.

“I wanted this to be a hard fought contest with no injuries. We have one man who was headed to the hospital … hopefully [the test] will come out negative,” head coach Dino Babers said. “I’m proud of the conditioning of this football team and where we are headed.”

Those same fans have heard about “Falcon Fast” for the last month as the Falcons have been taught a whole new system under Babers. On Saturday afternoon that new system produced 138 plays in 78 minutes with 69 of those plays happening in the first 15 minutes.

However, that pace was still not fast enough for Babers.

“We were not fast out there today. We will never be this slow in a spring game again,” Babers said. “We could have finished this thing in 45 minutes if we we’re moving at the right tempo. You don’t believe it now but you will.”

The offense put up 544 yards in 78 minutes, 370 yards passing and 174 rushing. While most of 138 plays came in a full field scrimmage, after their halftime break they ran some red zone specialized offense. A touchdown from punter and receiver Joe Davidson ended the game as the first-team offense came on top 34-13.

For Falcons fans their first thought about “Falcon Fast” usually is about the offense but Babers made sure to let people know that the defense is talented too.

“We have a good defense. You try to sugar coat a lot of things but we just have a good defense,” Babers said. “I think Falcon Fast speaks to our defense, not only are we going to have the fastest offense but we will have the fastest defense too.”

The same defense that did not force a turnover in the last scrimmage forced four, three fumbles and one interception on Saturday and tallied nine sacks on the quarterbacks. Although, they were not able to actually sack the quarterback, anytime a defender got into the backfield and slowed down around the quarterback they were awarded a sack. Quarterback turned linebacker Austin Valdez had two sacks while lineman Kendall Montgomery led the Falcons with three sacks. Jude Adejei-Barimah got the only interception of the day in the end zone and it looked as if he would have taken it 100 yards if play was not stopped.

“You guys worry about the offense, we feel like we got left in the past,” defensive back Will Watson said. “We need to let you know 2014 BG defense isn’t going anywhere. Turnovers was a point of emphasis for us today.”

It is hard to learn a whole new offense but learning three in three years is what Southern Methodist University transfer Gehrig Dieter is dealing with. It did not look hard for Dieter though as he had seven receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns of 39 and 21 from Johnson.

“If you think about it would be kind of tough, but I’m a pretty smart guy,” Dieter said. “I’m just lucky I have coaches that teach me everything … and teammates who help me too.”

Dieter was forced to sit out all of last year due to redshirting so this will be his first eligible year in a Falcon year. He will join a very experienced receiving core with Chris Gallon, Ryan Burbrink, Ronnie Moore and Heath Jackson. Dieter showed how that he is capable of fitting in with that amount of talent as in one drive he caught four passes and ended the drive with a touchdown.

“Getting back on the field this year is a great feeling,” Dieter said. “Knowing that I’m eligible, there is no better feeling than knowing you can play. Every practice means something now.”

The Falcons will begin their season on Aug. 29 as they travel to Bowling Green, Ky., for a matchup with Western Kentucky.

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