Kennesaw State running back Shaquil Terry (9) runs the ball during the first half of an FCS quarterfinal college football game between Kennesaw State and South Dakota State at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Casey Sykes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Photo: Casey Sykes/Casey Sykes
Photo: Casey Sykes/Casey Sykes

Owls slowly improving with spring game around the corner

“Incremental improvements” has been the key phrase all spring for Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon.

With an offense that needs to fill 10 starting spots and a defense led by four new coaches, one can understand the need to focus on slow, steady improvement when there are so many question marks.

“What we’ve had is: Friday to Friday, can you get better?” Bohannon said. “We had our first scrimmage, and we made some improvements, but then there were some things we didn’t do as well. Now, we’ve got a chance to go into our stadium in front of a crowd and play and see if we can make a big jump on getting better in the last practice of spring ball.”

The Owls will conduct their spring game Friday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium to end spring practice (7 p.m., live-streamed on ESPN-Plus).

Bohannon said that while he won’t have all the answers at the end of spring, his team has made enough improvements to feel comfortable heading into the summer.

“There’s been a lot of movement, but it’s stabilized lately,” the coach said. “When we come out of Friday night and we pull the tape up, along with the body of work from the spring, we’ll have a point that we can leave on until fall camp.”

One of the few positions with real stability is quarterback. Bohannon has said that he expects Daniel David to be the starter on Day 1. David accounted for seven total touchdowns (five rushing, two passing) as a backup last season.

“He’s coming into the building with a great demeanor every day,” Bohannon said of his senior quarterback. “It’s never too high, never too low, and that’s what you want a quarterback to be. I’m proud of how he’s performed so far.”

Bohannon said that the combination of David and junior quarterback Tommy Bryant has made for a strong core of leadership for the otherwise inexperienced offense. 

Meanwhile, the four new coaches on defense, led by defensive coordinator Blake Harrell, are learning just as much as the players.

“They’re trying to get on the same page with each other as well,” Bohannon said of the defensive staff. “That’s the great thing about spring for a new staff is terminology, communication, being on the same page. It gives everybody time to get synced up before the fall.”

Now, the only thing left before school lets out and preseason camp starts in August is the spring game. Bohannon looks forward to the chance to put his team on a real field in front of fans and see who revels in the opportunity.

“The best thing is for a young football team, we’ve got a chance to go into our football stadium in a game environment with people there. You can’t replicate that out here,” Bohannon said, standing at the Owls’ practice field.

“How do they respond in that environment? Some guys, you turn the lights on and they’re different players. We’ve got a chance to turn the lights on.”

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