BG makes strides during spring game

Amid a transition period, Bowling Green State University’s football team began spring practice at the
start of March.
With gym shorts on inside the Perry Field House, the Falcons struggled to survive basic football drills
in the opening practice.
Despite a rain-soaked Doyt L. Perry Stadium forcing Saturday’s spring game back into the Field House, BG
is in a much different place now.
“I remember coming in here for our first conditioning … we do a deal where we work on football position.
The guys, when we walked off the field, could barely get in a proper football position,” first-year BG
head coach Scot Loeffler said. “It’s been really a pleasure to watch these young me go from that, to
where they are right now.We have a long way, we know it.
“On a positive note, when we look where we were at and where we’ve come — it’s night and day. And credit
is to the players. Transition and change is not easy, it’s hard.”
The Falcons used the spring game to run an array of individual drills before running of handful of
full-speed plays in 11-on-11.
As the scrimmage wrapped up, despite being short-handed due to injuries, players didn’t have their hands
on their knees.
“We’ve come a long way, a long way. The first practice we couldn’t even get out there, everybody was on
their hands and knees, couldn’t even breathe,” starting quarterback Jarret Doege said. “And now we’re
out here flying around, and it’s fun.
“We’re no where near where we want to be, we have a ton more to learn, and we’ll get there, but just
conditioning wise and getting lined up, we’re 10 times better.”
Loeffler, a noted offensive mind who has worked with a host of notable quarterbacks, was surprisingly
pleased with the start of the spring game.
A pass was tipped and landed right in the hands of Evan Brown — an Anthony Wayne graduate — who returned
the interception for a touchdown in front of crowd of fans on the Field House turf.
“The ball just kind of landed in my lap, so I kind of lucked on that play. But it was fun, it was my
first pick of the spring, too,” Brown said. “It was nice to score a touchdown on it.”
Loeffler expressed satisfaction with the play, not only because the defensive side of the ball holds the
most question marks entering summer, but because he wants to see his quarterbacks respond to adversity.
He felt they did so.
Leading that pack has been Doege, who has spent the spring learning the entirely new — complex — system
that Loeffler sports.
“It’s been hard. It’s a complex offense, there’s a lot to learn, but I’m getting it down, it’s coming
along and I can’t wait to learn more,” Doege said.
Doege, a self-proclaimed laid-back guy, also mentioned his personality change being an extension of his
new head coach on the field.
“I’m just trying to portray him. He’s a crazy dude, I’m kind of laid back, but being around him more, I’m
starting to turn in to coach Loeffler,” he said. “You just have to push the offense and be loud. He says
they’re like cows; if you yell at them, they won’t move. You slap ‘em on the butt, then they’ll start
moving.
“He’s pretty intense.”
For a team with unfilled and unusable scholarships due to NCAA rules, numbers at practice just aren’t
where they need to be. Loeffler made a point to mention the skill of his running backs, led by starter
Andrew Clair, but added that just one scholarship back was healthy for the spring game.
But for a team with a new head coach, a new system, a new staff and limited players, spring was
ultimately a success.
But a spring success only means more work leading into training camp before the season-opening kickoff
Aug. 29 at The Doyt.
“It’s been a great four months, but we know, all of us know, that we have some uphill battles at the
beginning of this,” Loeffler said. “We’re going to keep pushing that rock, and try to push that thing
over the hill.”