ASU offense rebounds in scrimmage
JONESBORO (4/2/11) - Arkansas State ran more than 100 plays during an extended full-contact scrimmage Saturday morning at ASU?Stadium as part of its eighth spring practice.
The Red Wolves used the scrimmage to work on a number of different situations they might see in a game, including red zone and overtime scenarios.
"I was extremely pleased with today's practice and scrimmage," ASU?head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I saw parts that were really good and I loved the Wolf Pack drill. I thought the defense kind of dominated yesterday's practice, but I didn't think they really had the same intensity they had yesterday. It was good to see our offense get off to a good start. I thought the offense was able to move the ball well at times, and then the defense rallied to get some 3-and-outs. The red zone work I really loved and the overtime was very exciting."
The offense started the scrimmage with seven series starting at its own 30-yard line, scoring on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Butterfield to Dwayne Frampton on the first play. However, the defense kept the offense out of the end zone until the next session when the ball was placed on the offense's 40-yard line to start each drive.
The offense then scored again on the first series, capping a seven-play drive with a three-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Aplin to tight end Kedric Murry. The defense responded again by shutting the offense out the next three series.
The offense took charge in the red zone portion of the scrimmage, scoring a touchdown on four of seven series that started at the 10-yard line. Butterfield threw two more touchdowns passes inside the red zone, the first a 10-yard pass to wide receiver Allen Muse and the second a six-yard strike to receiver Carlos McCants. R.J. Fleming and Derek Lawson both recorded a rushing touchdown as well, while Bobby Zalud added a 27-yard field goal.
While the first three portions of the scrimmage allowed the offense to try and sustain drives, the next part spotted the ball inside its own five with the goal just to achieve a first down. The offense was successful twice, while the defense held four times.
The scrimmage ended with an overtime scenario where the coaches divided the players into two teams, allowing them to try and gain a victory as they would in a normal overtime situation. Both squads kicked a field goal during the first overtime and scored a touchdown in the second, but a failed two-point conversion at the end of the second period ended the scrimmage.
Brian Davis kicked a 32-yard field goal for one team, while Bobby Zalud was successful from 31-yards out for the other. Lawson scored on a one-yard run in the second overtime, and Aplin threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Julian Jones as well.
While the defense didn't force a turnover during the scrimmage, it did record several sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Graham Bates, Demario Davis, Kelcie McCray, A.J. Hills, Branton Hall, LaAngelo Albright, Alfonzo Simmons, Ronnell Wright and Sterling Young all recorded at least one tackle for loss. Ryan Carrethers posted a team-high two sacks, while Najel Byrd and Brandon?Joiner added one each.
ASU will hold its next practice at 3:30 p.m. Monday.
Season tickets for the Red Wolves' 2011 campaign, which includes six home games, are on sale and can be ordered by contacting the ASU Box Office at 870-972-ASU1 or 1-888-ASU-FANS or by visiting AStateRedWolves.com. For more information, contact the ASU Marketing Department at 870-972-3880.