Red Wolves fired up for second chance

Arkansas State players and coaches met with the local media that covers the team on a daily basis to give their thoughts on the Red Wolves being selected to play in the Bowl for the second straight year. Go "Inside" this Free Read to see what everyone had to say.

Last year's Bowl ended up being a game of missed opportunities, a time for unforgettable memories and something that some Arkansas State players will never forget.

It was announced Sunday evening that Arkansas State will return to the Bowl to take on Top 25 Kent State on the January 6th Bowl game, ASU Coaches and players couldn't be happier.

"I won't never forget the feeling being on the roof top of the team hotel and hearing our fans echo Arkansas State, Red Wolves, it was an amazing feeling," senior quarterback Ryan Aplin said Sunday night. "I still have videos of that, it's something I will never forget."

Aplin was also quick to point out that he and his team had some unfinished business to take care of Mobile.

"The game didn't work out the way we wanted to last year," Aplin said. "This is an opportunity to prove that we are a top 25 program, we couldn't ask for a more perfect ending to my college career."

Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold echoed those comments.

"Getting to play a top 25 school is all we can ask for," Herrold said. "They really took great care of us last year, they rolled out the Red Carpet for us. All the guys that went last year is looking forward to going back."

While Gus Malzahn got the opportunity to watch is future team last year on the sidelines of the but didn't coach the team. The first year head coach is excited about the opportunity that is presented to his team.

"It's our goal to be a Top 25 program," Malzahn said. "This matchup will allow the opportunity to prove to everyone that we are. The matchup couldn't be any better for us."

There is no bigger competitor than Aplin, he has proved that over and over during his career at Arkansas State. Aplin is excited about being able to finish something.

"We had a lot of distractions last year in our bowl game," Aplin said. "We aren't make any excuses, but we want to redeem ourselves, this group of seniors want to walk off that field with a win. There would be no better way to end our season."

Malzahn, Aplin, Herrold and Athletic Director Terry Mohajir had one precise message for Arkansas State fans.

"We have the best fans that I have ever seen," Herrold said. "We really need them to come out and support us like they have all season long."

Aplin agreed.

"We need everyone there," Aplin said. "Our fans are the best in our league and for a school our size."

Mohajir had one message.

"We need to set an all time bowl record there," Mohajir said. "To take this program to the next level, to become a top 25 team, we all have to do the things to get us there. We need to show our league, Mobile and everyone in the country that this is a program on the rise. The best way to do that is by setting an all time attendance record there."

Malzahn agreed.

"We have something to prove," Malzahn said. "We want everyone to see what type of program and what type of fans we have. We recruit the state of Alabama, there couldn't be a better situation for us. A lot of our players are from Alabama, a lot of current recruits are from the Mobile area, this is a great Bowl for us."