A lot of coaches don’t like spring football practice but don’t tell that to Upper Iowa coach Mike Knoll. After taking the job a month ago Knoll and his staff has spent the past month trying to evaluate talent and needs. He says they’re using their 15 practices the most they can to familiarize themselves with the players and the program. He says he wishes he had 115 practices.Knoll says one area of focus has been on how to practice. The workouts have been shorter but fast-paced in intensity and he says they’re trying to get as many reps as they can in groups and as a team. During a 2-8 season in 2004 the Peacocks averaged 107-yards of rushing per game and yielded 204. Knoll says both areas must improve. He says they’ve worked hard to improve the running game and he says it has gotten better. He says they also need to develop a tougher defense to stop the run. He says running the ball is a mental attitude that requires toughness.Another area of focus has been turnovers. Upper Iowa was a minus-16 in turnover margin last season. Knoll says that’s unacceptable. Spring drills will conclude on Saturday with an intrasquad game.
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