"You know I am going to go as hard as I can through Sunday night," said Thompson. "Then after Sunday night will be the nxdt step. It is just one step at a time."
So the focus has been on the Red Wolves, who face 10-2 Ball State in the game Sunday night at 8. It will be televised by ESPN.
"It comes down to calls, situations and game management," said Thompson. "All of those things is to give out players the greatest opportunity to win. All of this is fun. I enjoy this but I enjoy the quiet time too. When the kickoff goes that is what it is all about. If we spend too much time down here having fun it won't be too much fun on Sunday night. So we have to get it right."
"I think we have total comprehension of our game plan, and I think we're in good shape right now," said interim head coach John Thompson. "We've got mature guys who understand what's going on, and I thought we had a good day today. We're looking forward to the game Sunday night."
Thompson said being in Mobile for the third straight year does not offer a big advantage.
"Preparing for the game is not any different," he said. "Coming back and knowing the same people and where everything is that makes a difference. You don't have to wonder if you are going the right way. I try to help my other coaches. That is the only thing I see as different."
The Red Wolves were scheduled to practice Friday afternoon and have a closed practice on Saturday.
"I'm thrilled right now," he said. We will judge that Monday morning when the results be there. But I could not be any more proud of players or happier with way things have gone. We have had it planned out for the long stretch from A to Z. It was all put together. This team was a little different that last year. We spent a little more time on the field; a little more but not a lot."
Ball State coach Pete Lembo said he planned on working the Cardinals out under the lights on Friday.
"We want to get out there and get used to the lights and everything," he said.
FOOTNOTES: Sun Belt Conference commission Karl Benson showed up with the league championship trophy and presented it to the team during a meeting Friday morning. The trophy is on display in the ASU fun zone area on the second floor of the team hotel.
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