JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) – The Arkansas State football team completed back-to-back practice days at Liberty Bank Stadium on Wednesday, working out in shorts and shoulder pads for what first-year head football coach Bryan Harsin praised as the Red Wolves best workout so far this spring.
A-State held its first practice since returning from spring break yesterday and will hold another pair of back-to-back workouts Friday and Saturday, giving the Red Wolves four days of actual on-field preparation this week.
"We've talked about bringing a lot of energy in these back-to-back practices with our players and having an understanding that this is similar to a week of game practice," said Harsin. "The energy level was the highest its been this spring with our focus from drill-to-drill and what we're trying to accomplish on special teams, offense and defense. We showed a great competitive spirit, so this was the best practice we've had up to this point."
The Red Wolves took the field this afternoon for their fifth spring camp practice. The workout was highlighted by a simulated scrimmage that wasn't full contact, but yielded positive results on both sides of the ball.
"We held what we call a 'play period' that allowed our guys to get out there and play through various situations to kind of get themselves into game mode, and that was really good," Harsin said. "I thought the offense hit some big plays, connecting on the deep ball, and that was nice to see at this point. The defense did a good job just flying around. We changed up some of the tempos to help with tackling and techniques, so it we got a solid performance from that side as well."
The coaching staff continued to present the players with different game-type scenarios during other team periods, such as red zone run and third-down situations.
"We've stressed the importance of running the ball well and also stopping the run in the red zone, and we emphasized that today along with third downs in a couple of our team periods," said Harsin. "Putting our players in these different scenarios lets those guys know 'this is real football right here.' We want to place them in the right mindset for situations where they'll have an opportunity to continue a drive or to stop a conversion."