Just three days away from the UCA game, coach Hugh Freeze said he was pleased with the way today went, but thought the team was "a little flat."
"I expect a lot, and emotionally it's unreasonable to think that we can come out every day and be emotional. I think we got some good work done. Just wish we were a little bouncier — is that a word?" Freeze said.
Freeze said he would have to go back and look at film to really assess how today's practice went, but that he thought they "got some good stuff done," reiterating that he would have liked to see his players bounce around a little more.
"We've got to invest in the work days to get where we want to get," Freeze said.
As far as injuries go, wide receiver Taylor Stockemer was back in business today, as was running back Sirgregory Thornton. Freeze said other injuries will be a day-to-day thing, and it may come down to making game-time decisions.
"Stock practiced today and it looks like he'll be good to go. Sirgregory had a good day, so I feel good about those," Freeze said.
For UCA, middle linebacker Frank Newsome has been out with injury, but is expected to be back, and to be a difference maker.
"He's a really good defensive player," Freeze said.
As for the Red Wolf quarterbacks, Freeze said Andre Smith had a good day today, and that he thought Smith "had some good throws." As for Stephen Hogan, he said there's been definite improvement in the young quarterback.
"Hogan's doing fine. He's still getting half the reps with the twos, he's definitely better on the protections, and understanding why he's doing what he's doing," Freeze said.
"That's a tough decision, you know, I think he's gonna be a really good player. But you like those mature quarterbacks, and the only way to get them that way is if you can redshirt them, but he's one play away from getting in the game."
The La Tech Comparison
UCA's close overtime loss to Louisiana Tech two weeks ago has been talked about as a close comparison to what the match-up will look like with Arkansas State, since both run a spread offense. Freeze said the comparison may be similar, but isn't all that close.
"Everybody says spread, but there's different types. They're the wide split, and that's not us," Freeze said. "Yet schematically, they run a lot of the same common routes that we run, and different things. So you certainly can see schematics on coverage and how they'll try to play certain sets, but it is a little different also."
Arkansas State will have one more practice tomorrow afternoon to prepare for UCA, in front of what's expected to be a packed house — and possibly the biggest crowd ASU Stadium has ever seen.