Ball State has made some impressive strides off the field in Pete Lembo's first year at the helm, largely in part to new strength coach and conditioning coach David Feely.
In March of last year, the Cardinals had 31 players benching 300 plus pounds, and four players benching 400 plus pounds.
This season, those numbers have doubled. 60 players are benching 300 plus pounds and 8 guys are putting up 400 plus pounds. Similar gains have taken place in the squat rack and the Cardinals have also added the power clean to the workout regimen for some added versatility..
One player, Keenan Noel, who is making the transition from fullback to nose guard, has been more than impressed with the changes. "Looking at people when they first come in to now, it's ridiculous just the way people's bodies have changed, shoulders have got wider, chests got bigger, legs got bigger, everything toned up. Now you look and you're like, we're big. We're a football team."
Running backs coach / special teams coordinator Bobby Erhardt, the newest addition to the Bronco's staff, was the featured coach in Western Michigan's latest release of their "Inside the Lines" series.
Erhardt says that words cannot describe how happy he is to be back in Michigan and working under Bill Cubit. The phone call to join the staff really "rejuvenated" him, he said.
This is another good addition to the series with some great practice clips mixed in with the interview.
Paul Chryst will start his head coaching career at Pitt with a game against Youngstown State, before kicking off September with a Thursday night game at Cincinnati. Chryst will also make a trip to South Bend in early November to take on Notre Dame.
New Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood will kick of his season against first year head coach Curtis Johnson in New Orleans when they take on Tulane Saturday, September 1st. Flood and the Scarlet Knights will also have to travel to USF, Arkansas, Temple, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
All in all there looks to be some solid Big East action this fall, especially on the weekdays. Full schedules can be seen below.
CINCINNATI Thu., Sept. 6 PITTSBURGH (8 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Sept. 15 Delaware State Sat., Sept. 29 vs. Virginia Tech - 1 Sat., Oct. 6 Miami (Ohio) Sat., Oct. 13 Fordham Sat., Oct. 20 at Toledo Sat., Oct. 27 at LOUISVILLE (8 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Nov. 3 SYRACUSE Sat., Nov. 10 at TEMPLE Sat., Nov. 17 RUTGERS Fri., Nov. 23 USF (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Dec. 1 at CONNECTICUT (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
1 - at FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
CONNECTICUT Thu., Aug. 30 Massachusetts Sat., Sept. 8 North Carolina State Sat., Sept. 15 at Maryland Sat., Sept. 22 at Western Michigan Sat., Sept. 29 Buffalo Sat., Oct. 6 at RUTGERS Sat., Oct. 13 TEMPLE Fri., Oct. 19 at SYRACUSE (8 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Nov. 3 at USF Fri., Nov. 9 PITTSBURGH (8 p.m., ESPN2) Sat., Nov. 24 at LOUISVILLE Sat., Dec. 1 CINCINNATI (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
LOUISVILLE Sat., Sept. 1 Kentucky Sat., Sept. 8 Missouri State Sat., Sept. 15 North Carolina (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Sept. 22 at Florida International Sat., Sept. 29 at Southern Mississippi Sat., Oct. 13 at PITTSBURGH Sat., Oct. 20 USF Fri., Oct. 26 CINCINNATI (8 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Nov. 3 TEMPLE Sat., Nov. 10 at SYRACUSE Sat., Nov. 24 CONNECTICUT Thu., Nov. 29 at RUTGERS (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
PITTSBURGH Sat., Sept. 1 Youngstown State Thu., Sept. 6 at CINCINNATI (8 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Sept. 15 Virginia Tech Sat., Sept. 22 Gardner?Webb Fri., Oct. 5 at SYRACUSE (7 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Oct. 13 LOUISVILLE Sat., Oct. 20 at Buffalo Sat., Oct. 27 TEMPLE Sat., Nov. 3 at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., NBC) Fri., Nov. 9 at CONNECTICUT (8 p.m., ESPN2) Sat., Nov. 24 RUTGERS Sat., Dec. 1 at USF (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
RUTGERS Sat., Sept. 1 at Tulane
Sat., Sept. 8 Howard Sat., Sept. 15 at USF (date subject to change) Sat., Sept. 22 at Arkansas Sat., Oct. 6 CONNECTICUT Sat., Oct. 13 SYRACUSE Sat., Oct. 20 at TEMPLE Sat., Oct. 27 Kent State Sat., Nov. 10 Army Sat., Nov. 17 at CINCINNATI Sat., Nov. 24 at PITTSBURGH Thu., Nov. 29 LOUISVILLE (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
USF Sat., Sept. 1 Chattanooga Sat., Sept. 8 at Nevada Sat., Sept. 15 RUTGERS (date subject to change) Sat., Sept. 22 at Ball State Sat., Sept. 29 Florida State (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Oct. 6 at TEMPLE Sat., Oct. 20 at LOUISVILLE Sat., Oct. 27 SYRACUSE Sat., Nov. 3 CONNECTICUT Sat., Nov. 17 at Miami (Fla.) Fri., Nov. 23 at CINCINNATI (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Dec. 1 PITTSBURGH (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
SYRACUSE Sat., Sept. 1 Northwestern Sat., Sept. 8 Southern California - 1 (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) Sat., Sept. 15 Stony Brook Sat., Sept. 22 at Minnesota Fri., Oct. 5 PITTSBURGH (7 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Oct. 13 at RUTGERS Fri., Oct. 19 CONNECTICUT (8 p.m., ESPN) Sat., Oct. 27 at USF Sat., Nov. 3 at CINCINNATI Sat., Nov. 10 LOUISVILLE Sat., Nov. 17 at Missouri Fri., Nov. 23 at TEMPLE (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
1 - at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TEMPLE Fri., Aug. 31 Villanova Sat., Sept. 8 Maryland Sat., Sept. 22 at Penn State Sat., Oct. 6 USF Sat., Oct. 13 at CONNECTICUT Sat., Oct. 20 RUTGERS Sat., Oct. 27 at PITTSBURGH Sat., Nov. 3 at LOUISVILLE Sat., Nov. 10 CINCINNATI Sat., Nov. 17 at Army (CBS SN) Fri., Nov. 23 SYRACUSE (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
*All times Eastern; all dates and times subject to change *Additional television arrangements will be announced as they become available and are subject to change
Derek Dooley talked a bit about Tennesse's philosophy with installation of the offensive and defensive schemes during spring ball and what is important to keep in mind during spring ball with the media after practice earlier today.
"We put a lot in every day...and it keeps growing and growing. The amount of mental decisions that you have to make and it's hard on the young guys. But it's kind of whole part, whole teaching 'em. You throw a lot at 'em and see what sticks, and then you kind of pick up the pieces and throw some more at 'em" Dooley said.
Dooley explained that the important part of that approach is that is that players recognize the incredible amount of mental energy and mental effort it takes to be a good football player even when your not on the field.
Dooley also took some time to cover with importance of understanding what is said, and not necessarily how it's said with the staff. It's important to understand the message and not be affected by how it is said.
One reporter, excited about the amount of players practicing with the defensive backs asked Dooley how he felt about the luxury of having that many guys in the secondary. "Don't confuse the word depth with being good" Dooley told him.
With many new faces on the staff, Dooley says that one of the biggest transitions for those guys was getting used to the practice schedule and where to be in a whole new environment. Because the players have been through that already, many of the them were coaching the coaches on where to be and the nuances of the practice schedule.
New Mexico released a very well put together video late last night highlighting their spring practices so far under Bob Davie.
"The thing that you can't duplicate is getting a chance to be a part of this process" Davie told the media after practice. He explained that they are lucky, as a staff, to be somewhere where the people and players really care and are excited for the opportunity to establish something special.
Very well put together video below providing a glimpse inside of practice and a few clips from players excited about the fresh start.