Arkansas State has had two straight days of great practices preparing for two straight games at home over the next couple of weeks.
The Red Wolves return home this weekend to host Alcorn State University in a game that Head Coach Gus Malzahn hopes will be a game that he sees improvement in his team.
"We have to worry about us," Malzahn said after practice Wednesday. "We have to concentrate on getting better each week. The first three weeks of this season is behind us, now we have to focus on getting better this week before opening conference at home next week."
After hosting FCS Alcorn State from the SWAC conference, the Red Wolves will open up Sun Belt conference play next week against Western Kentucky.
"We will work on improving every phase of our game this week," Malzahn said. "We can't afford to overlook anyone. We know we will get their A game this week, we need to bring our A game every week. It's my goal to improve our play. It's important for us to gain some momentum going into next week's conference opener."
Western Kentucky is coming off a big win last week against SEC and in state rival Kentucky while other Sun Belt schools have had great showings in the last couple of weeks, including ULM's upset of Arkansas two weeks ago.
Malzahn realizes that the Sun Belt conference is a much improved league.
"We have some very good teams in this conference," Malzahn said. "We will have to play our best every week in this league."
Malzahn made it clear after practice Wednesday that he will go into Saturday's match up with the Braves focused on his team making marked improvements.
"We are going into it knowing that we have to play well," Malzahn said. "We want to get better at every position and at every phase. This is a new season, we need to get it started off in the right way."
GLAD TO BE A TEAM PLAYER
Wide receiver Carlos McCants has had two good games and several great catches during the last couple of weeks.
"I'm just doing what I can for my team," McCants told AStateNation after practice Wednesday. "I'm glad I have been able to make some plays. Doing my best to fill in for some of the guys that are missing in the lineup."
TRUE FRESHMAN NOT OVERWHELMED
Bryce Giddens has started in the last two games at the Center position, something that hasn't phased the newcomer.
"Its a honor to play this early in D1 football," Giddens said. "I'm just glad I'm able to help my team and contribute to the team. It hasn't been too bad learning the offense and making the calls for the offensive line. I have a good group of guys around me that makes it easier."
SENIOR LINEMAN IMPRESSED WITH PLAY OF YOUNGER GUYS
Two linemen have been missing from the lineup, this hasn't stopped the offensive line from having three pretty solid performances so far.
Senior lineman Zack McKnight contributes their success to Coach J.B. Grimes and the play of true freshman Bryce Giddens.
"We are a better offensive line than we were last season," McKnight said. "A big reason for that is Coach Grimes, he has done a tremendous job coaching our group. Giddens has really played well, he definitely doesn't play like a freshman. He has done a good job so far this season."
Arkansas State will host Alcorn State in a 6 p.m. contest, the Red Wolf Walk will begin at Tailgate City this week at 3:45 p.m. All Red Wolf fans are encourage to attend and show their support for the team.