It will be a down week for the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
After winning their sixth straight game and with no one to play on Saturday, Coach Blake Anderson said the Red Wolves would not hit this week and concentrate on “conditioning and body restoration.”
Anderson said he was glad to have the open date at this point even though the Red Wolves “are relatively healthy.”
“I think we need a little bit of rest,’’ he said. “It has been a physical year. Now we are not going to stop completely but we are not going to hit this week with the veterans.
“If the open week had come earlier this year we probably would have approached it differently but with it being this late in the season and only a couple of games left we are really going to concentrate on trying to be as fresh as possible when we go to Las Cruses next week.
“I think it is big to be able to decompress for a week and not have to think about the details of an opponent is good. I think our guys, and ever our staff, to not have a game bearing down on us the next couple of days is good. Everyone needs to take a deep breath.
True freshman Justin Clifton from Tupelo, Miss., will have surgery today to repair a torn pec suffered in the ULM game and according to his hometown newspaper he is out for the season.
He made his first career start vs. ULM and finished with 5 tackles, 1 solo, 1 TFL and a pass breakup.
The Nickel spot is already lean because senior Charleston Girley is limited, if he can play at all, because of ligament damage in his knees
New Mexico State
The Red Wolves’ next opponent will play at UL-Lafayette on Saturday afternoon.
The Aggies are 2-7 on the season and 2-3 in the Sun Belt. They were off last week.
“I think they are a team that is playing their best football right now,’’ said Anderson.
The Aggies-Red Wolves game has been set for 3 p.m. on ESPN3 and the Altitude Network.
Polls and midweek TV
The Red Wolves got a little poll attention this week, their first since 2013 when they finished 10-3 and defeated No. 25 Kent State in the GoDaddy Bowl.
“It is exciting,’’ said Anderson. “ It is great for the kids. I’d love to think we could climb up and finish in the top 25 if we can keep taking care of business. Those are things that take care of themselves if you are doing things right, winning games.
“And I think it says something about the league and the Tuesday and Thursday night games. If I am not mistaken our only vote in the AP came from New Jersey, obviously not in our back yard. I’d like think that the midweek games, the Tuesdaynight crowd and the Thursday night crowd is doing what we wanted it to do. It is getting exposure for our teams and for the league across the country and to places that normally would not know a lot about us.”
The Red Wolves picked up two votes in the USA Today coaches poll. Anderson friend and former boss Larry Fedora, the coach at North Carolina, votes in the poll.
“He better be voting for us,’’ kidded Anderson. “ … if not I am going to disown him.”