JONESBORO (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State football team held a full-contact scrimmage Saturday evening at ASU Stadium as part of its annual Fan Appreciation Day, giving those in attendance their first extended look at the 2012 Red Wolves since the team reported for fall camp Aug. 1.
Fans began to filter into the stadium at 5 p.m. with "Red Wolves Revival" videos playing on the jumbotron in the south end zone. Fans not only had an opportunity to win prizes throughout the night, but also gather information on the team while enjoying festivities and concessions on the stadium concourse.
The Red Wolves took the field at 6 p.m. and began the scrimmage at approximately 6:30 p.m., running over 80 plays that were highlighted by a pair of touchdowns and several big plays on the defensive side of the ball. The scrimmage was A-State's second this year and counted as its 11th practice this fall.
"It was good to get out there in front of a crowd," said ASU head coach Gus Malzahn. "That was the first time we really had our coaches in the press box, and we tried to treat it as close to a game as we could. I really appreciate the crowd. Our players were talking about it and it was exciting for them. It was good to see our guys in front of a crowd too here in the fall."
With 23 players recording at least one rushing attempt or one reception, five quarterbacks recording multiple pass attempts and 30 defensive players picking up at least one tackle, Malzahn and his staff were able to get a lot of players some repetitions in a scrimmage setting.
Sophomore running back Rod Smith led the rushing attack, recording 50 yards on eight attempts. Junior quarterback Ryan Aplin completed 14 passes for a team-best 102 yards and junior receiver Julian Jones collected a team-high 76 receiving yards. Defensively, senior Don Jones posted a scrimmage-high seven tackles, while senior safety Sterling Young intercepted two passes.