Freeze talks about conference and injuries

For Arkansas State University the pre-season is over. Hugh Freeze approached this Sunday afternoon a little differently than the ones the past three weeks. Go "Inside" to what he has changed and the latest on who was injured Saturday.

For Arkansas State University the pre-season is over.

Hugh Freeze approached this Sunday afternoon a little differently than the ones the past three weeks.

Freeze split the offense and the defense up, allowing each unit to have their own practice time.

No he isn't mad at the defense as some might think, he is just working on keeping things from being routine and keeping his player's focused on the task it hand.

"The pre-season is over," Freeze told AStateNation.com Sunday evening. "Now it's time to focus on winning one game at a time."

That first game comes this upcoming Saturday as Freeze's Red Wolves open Sun Belt Conference play on the road at Western Kentucky.

"We are only focusing on Western Kentucky," Freeze said. "We are already put the UCA game behind us and already preparing for the Hilltoppers."

Freeze admits that his team is a little banged up right now but realizes that most every team in the country is dealing with the same thing.

"We are bruised up and beat up a little," Freeze said. "We are working on getting everyone possible ready to play this weekend."

That includes a few new injuries that the Red Wolves endured against UCA.

"A.J. had surgery this morning on a broken hand," Freeze said. "He didn't break his wrist, just a bone in his hand, he will be able to play with a cast on Saturday."

Another defensive lineman was injured Saturday.

"Jeremy Gibson has a dislocated finger," Freeze said. "He will play."

The one injury from the Central Arkansas game that has Freeze concern is the condition of red shirt freshman running back Frankie Jackson.

"The X-Rays were good," Freeze said. "Nothing is broken, but it's a pretty good sprain ankle. He will be questionable for the game."

One area of improvement that Freeze is concentrating a lot on his finding a way to win road games in the conference. Freeze realizes how competitive this conference is going to be.

"Everyone was surprised about Lafayette beating FIU," Freeze said. "I wasn't in this conference anything can happen every week. Just being in this conference one year I realize that. You need to be able to win on the road, it's important but it's tough. All of the conference games will come down to the fourth quarter."

Now it's time to do something that this Arkansas State team hasn't done on a consistent basis.

"We are doing everything we can do to be ready for this game," Freeze said. "That's all we are thinking about right now. It's game time, it's about winning conference games one game at a time." Sunday's practice began a very important week of work. "We had great effort today," Freeze said. "Everyone is getting focused. We know what is ahead, how important it is. Spirits are high, the real season has arrived."