Offense improving, but still a work in progress

Tuesday's practice was all about the defense, which is coming together nicely.

The RedHawks' front line is sure to be one of the best in the MAC and the secondary along with the linebackers return a host of veterans.

But while the defense is solid on all fronts, the offense is still a work in progress.

The offensive line has experience, but struggled last season, giving up a league high 35 sacks in 14 games and contributed to the second worst rushing attack with 1,376 yards on 438 carries.

"Up front, we are getting better everyday," senior quarterback Zac Dysert said after Tuesday's practice. "We are making strides. We have even improved since Friday's practice."

That's good news for Dysert, who could use a solid run game to help slow down the opponents' pass rushers. Even with a shaky line last season, the veteran threw for 3,513 yards with 23 touchdowns. Dysert also said that coming into the season already knowing head coach Don Treadwell's system has helped the players' confidence level.

The running back situation is yet to be sorted out. Junior walk-on Robert Williams showed promise in the team's final scrimmage Saturday, running for 98 yards on 14 carries, but Justin Semmes and Eric Finklea are still listed as No. 1 and 2 on the depth chart.

"We have a couple good guys at running back," Dysert said. "We brought in some freshmen and they are giving us some good looks and they are competing everyday. They are pushing the older guys and the older guys are helping the younger guys get better, so that's a great thing to see that comradery on the team."