ASU getting confidence and swagger

This Arkansas State football team is different. They are finding ways to win the close game instead of finding ways to lose them. Go "Inside" to get our thoughts on how important this game was to Hugh Freeze and his pack of Red Wolves.

Good football teams find a way to win.

No matter if the game is on the road or on your home field, believing in yourself and your teammates can be a game changer.

That's exactly what happened here Saturday night when Arkansas State Football played their second conference game in the last two weeks.

The Red Wolves traveled to Louisiana Monroe for a key Sun Belt matchup.

A win on the road would give Hugh Freeze's team an early advantage in the conference race.

Arkansas State trailed the Warhawks 13-10 at the intermission. A blocked punt and a touchdown on the return by safety Don Jones was just what the Red Wolves needed.

The Red Wolves took advantage of that special teams play and defeated the home standing ULM team 24-19.

Many Red Wolf fans and others in the Jonesboro area was a bit concerned after ASU barely beat Western Kentucky in Bowling Green last weekend.

You could hear people last weekend doubt the Red Wolves chances at Monroe commenting that WKU was the worst team in the league and questioned if Arkansas State was a better team than they were last year.

A lot of Sun Belt followers fail to realize that this isn't the same Arkansas State team that rarely faired well on the road. This is a new day in the Sun Belt conference with two new head coaches making the most noise in conference play.

Louisiana Lafayette and Arkansas State have new head coaches in Mark Hudspeth and Freeze for the Red Wolves.

Many felt that Middle Tennessee and Troy were the teams to beat, because of their past successes in the conference. Probably not so much after Middle fell to WKU this past Thursday and Louisiana Lafayette defeating Troy in convincing fashion.

Again remember this is a new day and as Hugh Freeze has learned anything can happen on a given day in this conference.

"It's the norm for Sun Belt games to be decided in the fourth quarter," Freeze said. "This year is no exception."

A lot of fans and followers of the Red Wolves continued to question how good this ASU team is. A big win on the road for two weeks in a row should be a convincing argument that this is a new era for Arkansas State Football.

Freeze has said from day this summer and fall that it was his job to change the mind set and culture surrounding his program.

He concentrated on teaching his player to believe in themselves, for them to believe in him. For them to buy into what he is teaching. It's apparently working.

Now the Red Wolves find themselves with a 4-2 record, 2-0 in conference and coming off winning their last three ballgame.

Freeze and his team couldn't ask for a better set up in conference play.

With a 4-2 record and undefeated mark in conference play, they return home to the friendly confines of ASU where they will play four out of six games, giving the Red Wolves a lot of confidence that they can achieve their goals and pre-season expectations.

From day 1 of fall camp, this team made it known their lone goal was to win a Sun Belt Championship.

Arkansas State will host FIU on October 18 on a Tuesday night nationally televised matchup. Then after having 11 days off, they will host North Texas for homecoming on October 29th. They will have nine days before playing FIU, giving the Red Wolves to get fully healthy.

"The extra days to prepare for FIU and for North Texas will hopefully help us get healthy," Freeze said. "

There is no doubt that this team is better.

The fact that they can go on the road and not perform well and still come away with a win is a big plus for this ball club.

This is the half way mark of the Red Wolves season, two more wins allows the Red Wolves to be bowl eligible, but knowing Coach Freeze that won't be enough.

Could this team win out and be 10-2 on the year?

Saturday night's win over ULM should help ASU fans and people around the program that there is a new attitude in Jonesboro.

Instead of finding a way to lose the close ones, this team is finding a way to win them.

This team is hungry. This fan base is hungry.

Now it's time to take this football team to the next level. This team is playing with confidence, a little swagger.

Freeze is making a statement.

Not only to his team but to the entire Arkansas State University family.

The statement is that this team is going to do things this team hasn't done in a while.

That's to believe in themselves and realize anything is possible when you work hard and give it everything you have in every game that they play.