One of the biggest crowds to see a fall camp scrimmage emerged in Jonesboro Saturday night for Arkansas State University Fan Appreciation Day.
Tonight's scrimmage will be the only time Red Wolves get the opportunity to see their team in action until three weeks from tonight when ASU opens up on the road on national television against the Top Five ranked Oregon Ducks.
Gus Malzahn promised the media earlier this week that his team would play a lot more aggressive than they did in their first run based scrimmage.
While the first year head coach wasn't completely pleased with the offensive performance tonight, there were several positive things to take from tonight's action.
BATTLE FOR SECOND TEAM QUARTERBACK
It appears that true freshman Fredi Knighten may be the leading candidate for the No. 2 spot over veteran Phillip Butterfield. While Malzahn wouldn't say that, the number of snaps that the new signal got tonight is probably a big indicator he is in the lead. Dezmond Stegall, the other true freshman at the signal caller position showed a lot of athletic ability and could become a viable dual threat to run the Wild Wolf package that Malzahn's offense is known for. Stegall has a big arm, but lacks accuracy compared to Knighten and Aplin.
STABLE OF RUNNING BACKS
Frankie Jackson has endured a lot over the last eight months, having one SEC running back come and go and another one to come in and compete with him this fall. Jackson ran hard and took most of the No. 1 snaps, sharing some of the first team reps with a healthy Sirgregory Thornton. Thornton show flashes of being his old self. According to Malzahn, Oku is still learning the offense and may be one of the reasons he ran with the twos a lot. Rod Smith had an outstanding scrimmage and showed that he can be a great change of pace back for the Red Wolves. Several of the younger guys also showed signs of energy and excitement. Oku did fumble, which surely won't be something he will forget anytime soon.
It's going to be great to have a healthy Josh Jarboe and Allen Muse. Add a very talented senior and reliable Taylor Stockemer and some younger talented playmakers like Julian Jones and Tres Houston, this offense is going to be just fine.
SPEAKING OF PLAYMAKERS
There were several on the defensive side of the ball, but none no more obvious than safety Sterling Young. Young who, stepped up his game last fall after A.J. Hills was suspended the day of the FIU game, continued to impressed with his athletic abilities picking off two passes in tonight's action. True freshmen Chris Humes and Rocky Hayes showed off their athletic prowess and will be two athletes that will contribute to this defense this fall.
No one has put more pressure on himself to have a standout season his senior season that defensive end Tim Starson. Starson realizes that he must have a breakout year this fall and has put in the work to achieve his goals.
"Tim has had a great fall camp," Malzahn said. "He has really elevated his game from this spring. He has worked hard and it shows."
No. 91 was seen several times in the offensive backfield applying pressure to No. 16, you can tell he is running extremely better this fall.
"I'm running better than I have ever ran," Starson told AStateNation. "My hard working is paying off, it's very important to me to have a breakout season this fall."
ANOTHER ATHLETIC LINEBACKER
Senior Nathan Herrold showed that he has gotten faster this fall and showed that speed on several plays from sideline to sideline. Former ASU linebacker and current New York Jet got to the next level by his ability to run and hit at the end of the run. Herrold showed that he plans on stepping up his game this fall and also has some running ability.