Coach Zook was asked if the energy level of his players is the same from the first day of spring practice to Tuesday's twelfth practice. "Absolutely! Why would it not be? It doesn't matter if it's twelve or 112. That's part of it. You've got to keep going."
Of course, you always want to end the ‘spring fling' with a bang. "On the defensive side of the ball, it kind of got a little rough for us last Saturday," said Senior CB Corey Bailey. "But, it's always like that. The defense comes out fast early, and, the offense usually catches up later. That's kind of what happened. Hopefully, everyone will play well this Saturday."
Even though some players are a bit banged-up on the O-Line and on the D-Line, Coach Zook said that, "I don't think there's any question that we'll be much improved on both sides of the offensive and defensive lines. You're going to be improved, just because some of them have been doing it for a long time. I think the more times you do it, the longer you do it…the better you're going to be."
Coach Zook said he's also pleased with the depth of both lines. He said Joe Wickline, Charlie Strong, and Red Anderson have had to move people around. "And, what happens is…when you have guys playing more than one position, it gives you the depth that you need to have on your lines."
Without taking any chances, the players who are hurt, especially on the D-Line, will probably sit out for the upcoming Orange & Blue Game.
"We're doing some different things on defense to help us since we've got some linemen in. Really, you hate to have your linemen out," Coach Zook said, but he added that, "it gives us a chance to do some things…to see what other guys do in some different spots within the base of our defense."
Whether stopping, or, scoring on, the opposition, Coach Zook knows how important his coaching staff is in creating an atmosphere that can be fun…and, at the same time, be very serious.
"Zook's players believe in him. He has proven coordinators with marvelous systems. He has time to go to each key player, to have him understand how much fun this kind of game can be," said ESPN College Football Analyst, Bill Curry, who was also a former head coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide.