Arkansas State football plays at UMass in non-conference finale
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s another Talkin’ Tuesday for Arkansas State football.
The Red Wolves are in first place in the Sun Belt West. They’ll close September with their final non-conference game. 2-2 A-State makes the 1,200 mile trek to Amherst, Massachussetts to face 1-4 UMass.
“I told our team this, you have to go from learning to win to learning how to handle winning,” head coach Butch Jones said. “And there’s a lot that goes into that. From maturity, from a work ethic standpoint, from just your overall mentality. Those are the evolutions of programs. You go on the road, you have to create your own momentum. That’s going to be critical. You know, the three phases working together, the complimentary football. UMass is a football team that should have at least 3 wins. They’ve lost 2 games in the last 2 weeks by a total of 5 points. And they’re a very, very physical, very aggressive football team on defense. Offensively, it’s going to be a great challenge regardless of who the quarterback is.”
Massachusetts will mark the 38th different state Arkansas State has travelled to play a football game in.
“I’ve never been up East but I’ve been to the West. I’ve been to Montana before. But I’ve never been to Massachussetts,” running back Zak Wallace said. “So that’ll be a new journey for me. I feel like we’re getting better every week. Last week was a big showing, and this week we’re going to look to improve on that.”
The pack are in pursuit of their 3rd straight win and to continue playing complimentary football in all 3 phases. “Every week our technique has to get better and better,” said defensive back Samy Johnson. “Specificially this week, facing such a good group of guys, transfers from P5 schools and all that with good speed, good ball skills, good technique and all that. We definitely have to be on our A game this week. All through training camp, we’ve focused on we gotta get turnovers this year. That’ll help the offense out a little bit. Make plays. Doing that in our first conference game especially just opens up the ability to know that we’re going to do that every game now. That’s the standard.”
Arkansas State faces UMass Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
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