JONESBORO (AStateRedWolves.com) – One day after conducting its first extended scrimmage this fall, the Arkansas State football team held its ninth practice Friday night at Liberty Bank Stadium during the Red Wolves' "Youth Football Night."
"Both sides did well last night, and we talked about that with the players today," head coach Bryan Harsin said during a recap with the media about Thursday's scrimmage. "For a first scrimmage, we did some good things. The offense scored a few touchdowns, and the defense locked down at times in the red zone and got some turnovers. So both sides went out, gave a great effort and executed. Now we just have to continue to get better involved with our schemes."
The A-State coaching staff extended a special invitation to various youth football organizations to watch the Red Wolves in action tonight, and a large number of kids participating in various league's around the region filled the stands to enjoy the "Friday Night Lights."
"We were excited to welcome the kids, parents and coaches associated with these programs, and this was a great chance for us to show our support for youth football," said Harsin. "We recognize what a great value these organizations provide to the community and how important they are in the lives of young people. Our coaches and players were certainly happy to have the interaction with them, and we hope they became a little more familiar with the Red Wolves too."
The Red Wolves came out in shorts and shoulder pads, although the coaching staff surprised the players after the opening periods by letting them take off the pads for the remainder of practice. The team went through numerous drills and team periods, focused on making adjustments in areas exposed by the scrimmage.
"Tonight was about coming out and correcting the mistakes from the scrimmage," said Harsin. "The follow-up practice to a scrimmage is always about cleaning up the mistakes. We also wanted to see the energy tonight after a tough scrimmage yesterday and a lift and run earlier today. It's tought to be able to do that and have that same type of enthusiasm they did last night, but I thought they responded well. I think that shows that you're evolving, getting better through camp and the mentality is where you want it to be."
The Red Wolves will hold three more practices this weekend, including two Saturday, as they continue their fall camp.
"Obviously, like everyone else in the country, we need to keep getting better," Harsin said about the A-State's upcoming practices. "We're getting to the final details of what we want to do with installation. We'll be going back and cleaning everything up, so we will be really focused on the details and schemes we want to run. Also, for the coaches, the upcoming practices will also be about adjusting personnel to make sure we have everyone in the right spots to give us the best opportunities on game days."