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Familiar faces doesn’t limit questions before week one opener

Alyssa Benes Assistant Photo Edi

Andre Givens carries the ball through the line during a team scrimmage over the summer.

The Bowling Green Falcons have been taught a new system, but will go into their game Friday against Western Kentucky University with an open mind gameplan-wise.

With this being week one of the season, there is mystery surrounding both teams. The relationship between WKU’s defensive coordinator Nick Holt and Falcons head coach Dino Babers adds another level to it.

Their relationship goes back to their time at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 1988-89. Holt was also the defensive coordinator at Washington in 2011 when they played Babers and the Baylor Bears in the Alamo Bowl. Baylor won a close game but put up 67 points on Holt’s defense.

“He probably has more experience than any other DC [defensive coordinator] that we will play this year,” Babers said. “I’m sure in that game there are mistakes that he made and wishes he had another shot at this type of offense. We don’t have RG3 back there but we like MJ. I know that Nick Holt is a heck of a defensive coach and he is going to have a scheme and a plan for

our offense.”

The Hilltoppers head coach Jeff Brohm is in his first year on the job. Although this is his first year, he is not exactly new as he was the offensive coordinator and the assistant head coach this past year. He returns eight starters on offense including starting quarterback Brandon Doughty. Doughty threw for 2,857 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

The opposite is happening on the defensive side of the ball where they return only four starters. That gives the advantage to the Hilltoppers as the Falcons really do not know what type of defense they will see.

“We’ve been playing a chess match with ourselves almost, because they had so many players who were seniors last year,” said quarterback Matt Johnson. “They could bring in guys that could be even more athletic or they could bring in a different scheme from last year. We are just keeping an open mind as far as game planning.”

Babers has kept the team on their toes throughout camp by changing practices suddenly, Johnson said.

“The coaches have done a good job of mixing it up in practice,” he said. “He [Babers] throws sudden changes at us and we’ve responded well offensively and defensively.”

Despite the advantages WKU has Johnson feels like their offense is

game ready.

“The beauty of this offense is that we can run the same plays against any defense,” Johnson said. “Last year we were heavily predicated on ‘what does the defense do?’”

As ready as the offense is, the defense is ready to go against a team other than their own. Their focus is on forcing their opposition into mistakes.

“I expect us to wreak havoc,” said linebacker DJ Lynch. “We want to force turnovers and we want to force sacks.”

No matter what happens, Babers has complete confidence in the defense he has frequently called the best defense he has

ever had.

“If the defense is the best part of your team then put it on the field.” he said. “The more they are out there the better they are going to play, if they really are your strength.”

The Falcons will take the field Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will get the chance to put all of the preseason accolades behind them and just play football.

“All the hype is just potential for us, it’s things that we could be,” Johnson said. “We won’t know how good we can be until we actually go out there and do it.”

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