Red Wolves thrive during pre-dawn workout; Spring game at 10 a.m. Saturday
JONESBORO (4/12/11) - Arkansas State hit the turf at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for its 12th spring practice. The Red Wolves focused on inside drills before returning to individual work. The final two periods consisted of the Red Wolves' "Red Ball" two-minute offense and first-down situations.
During the "Red Ball" session, junior quarterback Ryan Aplin moved the ASU offense 50 yards in 11 plays, hooking up with junior tight end Andre Smith on fourth down for a 14-yard touchdown on the final play of the period.
ASU QB Ryan Aplin
"We couldn't be more pleased with their attitude," ASU head coach Hugh Freeze said. "When we told them that we were going to go at 5:30, which meant taping would start at 4:30, they all said, ‘Let's do it, let's go.' And when we got out here this morning, the energy was really, really good. I thought the competition level was good."
"If you are going to be a mentally tough football team, you don't know what time you'll be playing, you don't know what kind of grass you're playing on and you don't know what kind of conditions you will be playing under, so you can't blink," Freeze said. "It was a good test for us and I never heard one person say anything negative."
"We went into team passing early and I thought we did much better than we had done Friday," Freeze said. "That gave us a little confidence and I thought our protection was better. On the inside running work, I thought the defense kind of dominated that, but they should. In ‘Red Ball' I thought we were really good. We executed well and stuck it in on fourth down, and it was good to see Andre make a big catch. We need him to make some big plays from the tight end position. And our first-down competition was awesome. It was back-and-forth, and out of 24 plays, the defense won the competition 13-11."
A-State has practices scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, and its annual Spring Game is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.
Season tickets for ASU's 2011 campaign are on sale at the ASU?Ticket Office. The ticket office can be contacted at 870-972-ASU1, or tickets can be purchased online through A-State's official athletic web site AStateRedWolves.com."