Red Wolves return to work Sunday

After taking three days off to recuperate from their first seven games of the season, Arkansas State returned to the practice field here Sunday afternoon for a spirited workout. Go "Inside" this exclusive practice report, to find out what Coach Hugh Freeze thinks about this upcoming matchup with North Texas.

It's not very often that a team moves up in the conference rankings during a weekend that they don't even play.

That's exactly what happened to Hugh Freeze's Arkansas State's Red Wolves. After playing a Tuesday night game where ASU soundly defeated FIU, the Red Wolves went into the weekend as one of two teams with an undefeated conference mark.

After the weekend and Western Kentucky's big win over Louisiana Lafayette, Arkansas State finds themselves the only undefeated team in the Sun Belt Conference.

After giving his team three days off to help recuperate little nagging injuries, Freeze and his team returned to the practice field here Sunday evening.

It obvious that they had a little extra pep in their steps and that they were probably aware of what had took place just the day before in the conference race.

"I hope they had a little extra pep," Freeze told after Sunday's Practice. "We were very clear with them that if we gave them time off that we couldn't afford to come back and slop around working our way back to where we were before we left. They gave good effort and good work today."

Arkansas State 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the Sun Belt conference definitely is the one team in the league that controls their own destiny, what does Freeze think about that.

"It's great," Freeze said. "I would rather have it that way than needing to pull for someone to help us out. There is still a long way to go in this deal. Everyone in the conference still has a chance, as I have said before teams in this conference are too even talent wise for any one team to be favored. I do like the fact that if we take care of our business everything else will take care of itself. We only have to rely on ourselves."

After a spirited practice Sunday, Freeze addressed his team about the situation.

"I told them not to get caught up with what everyone is saying," Freeze said. "Everyone in town is very excited, we can't start thinking that we are better than anyone. We are only as good as our last game. This game this Saturday will be just as important as the last one, or maybe just a little more."

Freeze has kept his eye on his next opponent and has watched all of their games.

"North Texas has gotten better every week," Freeze said. "It open your eyes when you watch what they did to Monroe."

One Missing Sunday

Fifth year senior offensive lineman Tom Castilaw got an extra day off Sunday.

"Family comes first on this football team," Freeze said. "He got married Saturday and I told him and Erica that they could consider this my gift to both of them. They deserve it and a lot of happiness for years to come."