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Defense, recovery keys for Arkansas State during bye week

The Red Wolves fell, 52-20 to the 15th-ranked Chanticleers.
The Red Wolves fell, 52-20 to the 15th-ranked Chanticleers.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 7:22 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State football is approaching their bye week., but head coach Butch Jones likes to call it a work week.

Regardless of what you want to call it, the break for the Red Wolves comes at the perfect time after dropping their fifth straight game, falling to #15 Coastal Carolina 52-20 Thursday.

Two big storylines in Butch Jones’ press conference: injuries and defense. Quarterback James Blackman, Defensive Lineman Terry Hampton and defensive back Samy Johnson all left the game with injuries.

Johnson was carted off with a back injury. Jones said all tests came back normal and he is day-to-day.

Hampton left with a knee injury and is out for the season, and Blackman had his arm in a sling. Jones said Blackman had a ‘possible’ AC joint sprain and is out indefinitely.

Layne Hatcher stepped in for Blackman in the second half and threw for 185 yards and 2 scores.

“The great thing is you have an individual like Layne Hatcher who is extremely competitive, he’s seen it all, and that’s exactly what we were talking about walking off the football field,” Jones said. “I’m going to rely on him, I’m going to rely a lot of our older players... I’ve challenged Kivon Bennett, he should understand, he’s performed at a high level, I need more from him and he understands that and we need to bring others around. You can’t be a coach-led team, you need to be a player-led team.”

Jones also addressed recruiting and building a great program at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday.

“Right now, we’re going through the infant stages,” Jones said. “I sit here and I see all the Arkansas faithful and the remarkable job that Sam Pittman has done there but people forget the first two years of what went through to build that foundation and I know first hand because last year we played them when I was at Alabama the last game of the year... Everyone wants things now, and there isn’t anybody who wants things more than Butch Jones, I’m very impatient, I’m very driven, but I also know we’re building a culture that’s going to be sustainable.”

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