It is a good thing the Drake football team has the confidence of a champion because it will be needed for a challenging 2005 season. The Bulldogs won their final nine games of the 2004 season which concluded with a victory in the Pioneer League championship game. They are in the midst of spring drills preparing for an upcoming campaign which opens with games at UNI and Illinois State and features only four home games because of the scheduled renovations to Drake Stadium.Bulldog coach Rob Ash says he’s telling the players that everything worked out last year, but things are more difficult and more challenging this year and they have to prepare even harder. Ash say it has gotten their attention. On offense the skill positions are loaded with experience, the major question marks are up front. He says they lost four three year starters and a top tight end. Ash says they have returners at the skill positions, so they have to find the guys up front to make things happen. Ash says the defense also has a number of starters returning, so hopefully he says the combination of experience on defense and skill on offense will allow them to put together a good team. The season opener is September first at UNI.