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Spring football practice notes: April 14

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Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:27 pm

• Chandler Harnish and the NIU offense struggled with new installations and, as a result, weren't very productive against a stingy Huskie defense on Thursday morning.

Junior-college transfer running back Jamal Womble was unable to get anything going, getting stuffed on multiple runs.

The offense was stopped on fourth down more than once, and seemed to be out of sync with each other. Sophomore running back Akeem Daniels also mishandled a handoff from Harnish. NIU head coach Dave Doeren believes the poor day on offense may be a result of information overload.

"Offensively, I think they are just building and building and I think they may have needed a day to review," Doeren said. "I think that's what today was."

The offense and defense have alternated days where one unit has gotten the upper hand on the other: A natural occurrence in spring ball, Doeren said.

"That what it is in spring ball, it's a back and forth," Doeren said. "You can't play anybody but your own team, so you are really competing against the other side of the ball, and your own personal display of what you did the day before."

• With defensive cornerstones like lineman Sean Progar out due to injury, Doeren is relishing the opportunity to build depth on his defense for what will be his first year as a head coach.

"You can't worry about who's not in there, because that's going to happen during the season," Doeren said. "So when you are building depth, that's not an excuse for players. I thought the defense did a great job today."

• Taking the year off due to personal reasons, NIU linebacker Tyrone Clark has taken on quite a different role this spring with the Huskies. One of Clark's biggest jobs is to act as the quarterback on the scout team offense when the starting defense is squaring off against backup members of the defense. Clark bears no resemblance to Harnish with his arm, but the junior linebacker does have some swift feet to escape potential danger.

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