ASU turns in upbeat Tuesday practice

Arkansas State took the practice field Tuesday with two goals, to improve its game and to prepare to play Big 10 opponent Illinois this coming Saturday. With only two practices left after Tuesday's performance, new head coach Hugh Freeze has a few decisions to make between now and Saturday.

Arkansas State took the practice field Tuesday with two goals, to improve its game and to prepare to play Big 10 opponent Illinois this coming Saturday.

With only two practices left after Tuesday's performance, new head coach Hugh Freeze has a few decisions to make between now and Saturday.

He made one of those decisions known Tuesday after practice.

"Brian Davis will be the starting kicker for field goals and extra points," Freeze told the group of media. "Bobby Zalud will handle kickoffs and long field goals past 45 yards."

Another decision that Freeze hasn't made yet is who will be the starting punter.

"Guys it's really too close to call at this point," Freeze said. "We will decide either Wednesday or Thursday." The race is between senior Neely Sullivent and Ryan Wilbourn.

Freeze was upbeat after Tuesday's practice and seemed pleased with his team's effort on Tuesday.

"I thought we had a good day," Freeze said. "We are anxious to hit someone else in a different color jersey, I'm sure that's the case all over the country."

Freeze has a stable of quality running backs, he stated that you can expect to see four of them play on Saturday.

"Derek Lawson and Jermaine Robertson provides great leadership for the group," Freeze said. "Sirgregory Thornton and Frankie Jackson are definitely the future for our offense."

Freeze admitted that his defense is working extremely hard preparing to stop the run against Illinois.

"They have led the Big 10 in rushing 3 out of the last 5 years, that says a lot about what they do," Freeze said. "That's who they are, they will run it straight at you. I promise you we will be aggressive, we won't sit back and wait for them to come to us, we will go after them."

Freeze is excited to get the season underway.

"We have had a great camp," Freeze said. "It's time to find out what type of team we are going to be. I"m excited about how hard these young men have worked and the effort they have given us."

Arkansas State University will travel to Champaign, Illinois and take on the Illini, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. central.