JONESBORO (11/4/09) - Arkansas State held its weekly football press conference with head coach Steve Roberts Wednesday at the ASU Football Facility. Arkansas State returns to Sun Belt Conference play this week, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at ASU Stadium.
ASU's remaining five regular-season games will all be played against Sun Belt Conference opponents, starting Saturday when the Red Wolves host the Ragin' Cajuns in their fourth home outing of the season. Arkansas State carries a 2-1 home record into the game, while Louisiana-Lafayette holds a 1-3 mark in road contests. The Red Wolves dropped a 21-13 decision at Louisville last Saturday, their fourth setback of the season by a touchdown or less, but defeated Florida International on Oct. 24 in their last Sun Belt Conference game. The Ragin' Cajuns started league play with back-to-back victories over North Texas and Western Kentucky, but have lost their last two against Florida Atlantic and Florida International.
NOVEMBER 4, 2009
ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE
HEAD COACH STEVE ROBERTS
ON THE LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE GAME
We are looking forward to playing at home this week against a very good Louisiana-Lafayette team. They are a team that plays extremely well. They started off the year 2-0 with a big win over Kansas State. The series has gone to the home team, and I hope that we can continue that this year. Our players are excited about the game. We are excited about the possibilities that are in front of this team. We have talked about playing one game at a time and doing everything you can to make that play successful. That is what we are about as a team and the rest of the season.
ON THE LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE DEFENSE
They are playing very well defensively. The injury bug hit them defensively during a stretch. They played without several starters in their line-up and played banged up. Now they're starting to get a lot of those guys back. It's evident in last week's game against FIU. They are back playing very well defensively. They're going to show us a lot of different looks. Last week against Louisville we saw several different looks. They probably blitzed more than they have in previous games. We'll see a lot of things from Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend. It will be a tremendous challenge for us to be successful offensively.
Their defense is as good as we have seen them in the past couple of years. I thought last year they were really good. They are very sound in what they are trying to accomplish. Their downfall has been in not tackling. They've had plays in which they have had players there, but failed to make the tackle. A lot of that is coming from the younger players who are replacing the players who are out due to injury.
ON THE LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE OFFENSE
When you break them down offensively, you look at their offensive line. They have three seniors and two juniors. They have some guys that have played a lot of football together. They have been able to avoid injuries up front. Those guys are playing extremely well. They don't give up many sacks. They protect the quarterback extremely well. They are very physical in their running game. They are going to try and establish the run and do some play action and bootleg plays. They have two really big targets at tight end. Their two leading receivers on the team are tight ends. We have to be very conscious of where they are and get big bodies on those guys.
ON THE LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE SPECIAL TEAMS
Special teams wise they are very solid. They are very good in their coverage game. It's just what you would expect from a Louisiana-Lafayette team. They are very well coached.
ON THE LOUISVILLE GAME
Looking back to last week's ballgame, I'm really proud of the way we played defensively. We held them to 14 points defensively. We gave up a few more rushing yards than we would have liked to. I am very excited about the way we're playing defensively. Offensively, we threw the ball extremely effectively. We didn't run the football very well. We didn't block up front well enough. When we did have holes, we didn't run the football tough enough. It will be a priority for us this week to run the football. We have to find a way to make things happen in our running game to be effective in our offense. We had some good things happen with special teams last week. (Josh) Arauco was 2-for-2 on field goals. Tausean Holmes continues to play outstanding in our coverage game. I'm excited about the way we are playing from a special teams standpoint.
ON LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE QUARTERBACK CHRIS MASSON
Their quarterback is a guy who is very good at running and throwing the football. He is very capable of running the football. He does a great job of throwing completions. He has taken care of the football fairly well. He has operated their offense very well.
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