Football players are creatures of habit.
So are college football coaches.
Arkansas State had great success already once this season after a short five day turnaround on their schedule, coaches and players hope to repeat that performance again this weekend when the Red Wolves host Louisiana Monroe Thursday night on ESPNU in a game that will decide a share of first place in the Sun Belt League standings.
Earlier this fall Arkansas State coming off their first conference loss in two years to Western Kentucky, had to regroup and hit the road for Miami Florida to take on a FIU team that was picked to win the conference championship.
"Actually I liked the short turnaround last time," senior linebacker Nathan Herrold told the media attending a recent practice. "After a tough loss to Western, we didn't have time to think about the game, we had to focus on playing FIU. We played a good game against them, and have kept rolling since then."
Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin agreed with his defensive counterpart.
"The quick turnaround gave us a sense of urgency especially coming off the tough loss to Western Kentucky," Aplin said. "We knew we needed to turn it on and that was definitely a turning point for our season, we needed that."
Veteran defensive coordinator John Thompson had an unique take on the situation.
"It is what it is," Thompson laughed. "You have to get ready to play in a few days, you spend more time getting ready in a short time. You have to microwave somethings instead of crock potting them. These guys know how to win."
ASU Offensive Coordinator Rhett Lashlee realizes that both teams will have to face the same situation.
"The good thing is that both of us has to do it, playing in just five days," Lashlee said. "Sometime as coaches when you give us a couple of extra days last week we have time to think and create new things and draw up some new plays etc. On the short turnaround you have to be more focused."
"Not to say we will make things simple, you just have to go with your gut on your first opinion on things you see and go with things you know your team does well. It worked against FIU, hopefully it will work against a very, very good ULM Football team."
During the Red Wolves last quick turnaround, ASU had to travel to Miami to take on FIU on a very long road trip. Being at home this week against ULM could be an advantage.
"Anytime when you are sleeping in your own beds it makes it better," Gus Malzahn said Monday night. "We are home this week and they have to travel, it will make things a little easier this time around."
Senior wideout Taylor Stockemer agreed with his head football coach.
"With a short week they are on the road this time," Stockemer said. "We hope to make it tough on them, they will have travel to our home field."