Every time I visit InfoCision Stadium, more and more has progressed.
Among the additions in the past week: The main scoreboard and two ribbon scoreboards are operating. The sound system is set up. Plants are growing in the northeast and northwest corners of the stadium. The wrought iron gates with brick pillars are up, surrounding the stadium.
Mike Cawood took me on a mini-tour of the facility on the north end of the stadium. The men's soccer and baseball teams each have locker rooms and gathering rooms, and the team share a restroom/shower in the middle. The women's softball and women's soccer teams have the same arrangement. The football team's gameday lockerroom is also impressive.
In the past, the coaches posted signs on the Schrank Field fence to let people know that spectating was off-limits. That is not so important when you have a fortress like InfoCision Stadium blocking most vantage points. There are two videographers capturing practice for the coaches. One sits inside the camera bay on the press level. The other is actually sitting inside the scoreboard. I'm not sure how that person got up there or how they aren't suffering from heat exhaustion.
The sound system is very powerful. It is the same one used by several NFL teams, according to
Frank Horn, the director of architectural design and construction. There are five speakers, all housed behind the "InfoCision Stadium" sign on the main scoreboard. They tested the system recently with only two of the five speakers, and people could hear it from Rhodes Arena. They will test the lights on Saturday.
Some plays of note:
Matt Rodgers stared down his receiver, and
Marvase Byrd picked him off. ...
Aaron Williams and
Mike Thomas blitzed and reached
Chris Jacquemain at about the same moment. Would have been a sack if Jacquemain wasn't wearing the green jersey. ... Freshman running back
Broderick Alexander caught a swing pass from Jacquemain. On the next play, he burst through the middle for a 10-yard run. ...
DeVoe Torrence also had nice back-to-back plays. He ran to the sideline for 10 yards. Then he caught a screen pass for big yardage. ...
Norman Shuford is another player who has impressed the coaches the past week. He caught a five-yard pass from Rodgers and accelerated like few Akron players can.
When I talked to
J.D. Brookhart after practice, the coach mentioned there have been some injuries to the defensive line. He declined to mention names on video, but I know one of them is
Phil Tonga, who was limping around with a hurt right leg/knee/ankle. On the other hand,
Ryan Bain looked like he was participating fully today. He is an agile and powerful player.
Shane Montgomery's comments about Rodgers. Brookhart said, "Rodgers will play. They will both play." You'll see more of that interview on tomorrow's video. You will also see interviews with
Mike Ward and