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Regents start football comeback against Dubuque

Thursday, September 02, 2010  
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By Jay Taft
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Sep 02, 2010 @ 12:44 AM

ROCKFORD
— Rockford College’s season started off with a 60-7 whipping at the hands of Dubuque last year, and the Regents won only one game last season. This year they are taking aim at a strong start against Dubuque tonight, and quite a few more victories throughout the season.

"The guys realize it’s finally here, and now there’s a little sense of urgency. We’ve game-planned for them, and we think we’re ready,” first-year Regents head coach Patrick Babcock said. "We have to play really good football to beat these guys, but we’ve got a few things that we feel will be solid against them, and we’re ready to see what we’ve got.”

With quarterback Tyler Baran back behind center, tailback Cameron Carter and fullback Jason Hosey hope to get the ground game going early. But Babcock has promised to use Baran’s arm more this season, and wide receivers Dana Apel, Koree Blackful, Ralph Johnson and Justin Robertson are expected to help make that happen.

The 4-3 Regent defense is intent on forcing turnovers and stopping the run. They may have to do more than that in their opener.

"These guys are going to be tough, but everybody is really amped up and we’ve been thinking about this game for awhile,” fourth-year starting inside linebacker Brent Alexander said. "We’ll stop the run for sure. We take pride in stuffing that. And I think we’re ready to slow down that passing game they have, too.”

Dubuque returns eight starters on offense, including preseason All-American wide receiver Michael Zweifel, who averaged 11.1 catches and 152.2 yards a game receiving in 2009. Zweifel, head coach Stan Zweifel’s senior son, has 287 receptions for 3,552 yards with 28 touchdowns in his Dubuque career.

However, quarterback Colton Hansen, who was 36th in the nation in total offense (273.8 yards a game), moved on, and the Spartans were just 5-5 last year. Rockford, which finished 1-9 last season, hopes this is when the turnaround will begin.

"This is huge. To get that feeling of ‘We’re making progress,’ we need a good start. That can happen at Dubuque,” Babcock said. "We’re ready to move this program forward, and we can start that right now.”

This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/sports/x524685400/Regents-start-football-comeback-against-Dubuque on September 2, 2010.

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