Q& A with Ball State Head Football Coach Brady Hoke prior to the Spring Game:
What are you looking for in Saturday's Spring Game?
"We have had 13 days of practiced and we have stayed relatively healthy. In those 13 practices, we have only had about four 5-minute periods where we lost a little focus and intensity. This spring has been a great opportunity for some of our younger players to get much needed reps. We need to have a good competition in Saturday's Spring Game. The players are drafting the teams and we will play a modified format. Our kicking game will be limited, and we will play a reduced number of minutes."
How has the spring helped get ready for the fall?
"We have gotten a lot of things accomplished, but we have a long way to go. We are not even close to being ready to play Miami University Aug. 30. Our players will come back to campus ready to run the marathon. A 12-game season is a long season. Spring ball gets your ready for the marathon. We have to be ready not to come out flat and not mentally prepared.
Nate Davis has earned the No. 1 spot at QB, how is the No. 2 position?
"Nate Davis is lighter. He has done a good job in the weight room and with his conditioning. He is understanding more and more of the offense with every practice. He is learning how to take total control of the offense in the huddle, which is a different aura then what he was doing last fall. Emmanuel Lews is demonstrating he can do a lot of good things. He has been here since January and that has really helped his progress. He is playing catch up, but doing a good job in a lot of situations."
How is the offense progressing this spring?
"We need to find that fifth lineman. The good news is we have some really good ones coming back who have done a good job this spring. We need to identify another receiver. Dante Love has had an outstanding spring, but his strengths are the underneath routes. We need to find someone who can help us stretch the zone. Louis Johnson has missed most of the spring with a knee injury, but we hope he is back for the fall. MiQuale Lewis had a great winter and an outstanding spring. Corey McGee has run well, but we need to find that third back. We have a lot of work to do."
Is the defense improved from last year?
"Our mentality is now more physical and more aggressive. A lot of that falls back on us as coaches. We have talked a lot about defensive concepts and how we need to approach things. Bryant Haines has played as well as anybody defenisvely this spring. He needs to stay healthy, he makes us a better defense because of how he plays. Bryant is a quiet individual who leads by example. He shows up everyday and has the abilities to make plays and makes them Our defensive front has had a good spring. The front seven have made a lot of strides. Moving B.J. Hill to defense has been a good thing. He loves the game and knows the game. He is very aggressive."
There have been rule changes, and there are more this year. How will this affect the game?
"I was not real excited about some of the changes, and I think it was probably necessary to look at them again. I think the concept was good, but for practical purposes, they did not work out. The new changes will affect the game. Kickoffs from the 30-yard line will change the way you do a lot of things. Not allowing pushers on field goals and extra points will change some things. I think as coaches, you always want to make the game better. For those making the rules, it is good to review things and do what is best for the game."
The 2007 Spring Prospectus is attached. If you have any questions regarding Ball State football, please contact associate athletics director Joe Hernandez in the Ball State athletics communications and marketing office at 765.285.8242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.