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February 1, 2010

Rivals.com Spring Practice Primer: MAC

We're two days from National Signing Day, and that also means the start of spring practice is just around the corner.

The first team to open spring ball? It's Duke, on Feb. 15. (Uhh, that's two weeks from today.)

To get you primed for spring practice, here's a look at the start dates for all 120 FBS teams plus the overriding problem each program must deal with during spring drills.

MAC Spring Practice Primer

AKRON
Practice begins: March 24.
Spring game: April 17.
Biggest task: The Zips must adapt to a new coaching staff led by former Notre Dame assistant Rob Ianello.

BALL STATE
Practice begins: March 24.
Spring game: April 17.
Biggest task: The offense needs to find playmakers, and the defensive line needs two new starters.

BOWLING GREEN
Practice begins: March 19.
Spring game: April 16.
Biggest task: The search is on to find a quarterback. Tyler Sheehan is gone after taking almost every snap since the start of the 2007 season.

BUFFALO
Practice begins: March 20.
Spring game: April 24.
Biggest task: The Bulls will be adjusting to a new coaching staff led by former Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn. The Bulls also will break in a new quarterback after returning starter Zach Maynard unexpectedly left the program.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Practice begins: March 18.
Spring game: April 17.
Biggest task: New coach Dan Enos must replace QB Dan LeFevour and rebuild a receiving corps that lost studs Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown.

EASTERN MICHIGAN
Practice begins: March 16.
Spring game: April 18.
Biggest task: There's a lot of work to do on a defense that ranked last overall in the MAC.

KENT STATE
Practice begins: April 5.
Spring game: April 30.
Biggest task: Building depth along the offensive line and shoring up the secondary is important if the Golden Flashes are to build on a moderately successful 2009 season.

MIAMI
Practice begins: March 20.
Spring game: April 10.
Biggest task: Coming off a 1-11 season, there are many issues to solve. Priority No. 1, though, is improving what was the worst rushing attack in the MAC.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Practice begins: March 23.
Spring game: April 24.
Biggest task: This is a veteran team that will focus on replacing two offensive line starters and a kicker.

OHIO
Practice begins: March 30.
Spring game: April 24.
Biggest task: The Bobcats need to find a quarterback with Theo Scott gone from this past season's bowl team.

TEMPLE
Practice begins: March 16.
Spring game: April 17.
Biggest task: Revving up the passing attack is a must. The Owls also are looking to replace two starting linebackers.

TOLEDO
Practice begins: March 17.
Spring game: April 16 (practice ends April 19).
Biggest task: Most of the focus will be on solving issues at quarterback, receiver, running back and tight end as the school breaks in its new indoor facility.

WESTERN MICHIGAN
Practice begins: March 18.
Spring game: April 17.
Biggest task: The Broncos needs to find a quarterback, adjust to an overhauled defensive coaching staff, solidify the offensive line and develop some young receivers.

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