Andrew Ferguson - AState Athletics

Arkansas State Football Notebook

Football Notebook

Offensive improvement

In the 51-10 over ULM Saturday night coach Blake Anderson cited major improvement in some troubled areas for the Red Wolves’ offense.

“We played better in some areas that we had been struggling in,’’ he said. “Hopefully, that is a trend moving forward, particularly third down offense with the ones and red zone offense, getting 7 for 7 there. With the one offense we were a lot more productive on third down that we have been in previous games.”

A-State was 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down. A-State was 4 of 5 at halftime.

 

Thursday night on the road and the Georgia Dome

The Red Wolves have a quick turnaround with the trip to Georgia State on Thursday night. Kickoff is 6:30 and it is on ESPNU.

“The defense continued to play well which is important going on the road on a Thursday night,’’ said Anderson. “All the statistics favor the home team,however, we have been able to overcome that in the past. … Thursday nights are tough, especially on team travel. On a short week.

“We try to talk to them all the time that is doesn't not matter where or when we play. It is the same 60 minutes. We are going to play with 11 so dont let it be a big issue.”

The Red Wolves adjusted their schedule plans and did not return to the field until Monday. Anderson said he took care of the corrections from the ULM game while his assistants worked on game plans on Sunday.

The Red Wolves travel to Atlanta on Wednesday morning.

“There won't be many people that and even if they have their best game of the year it is going to seem empty. That is something you have to get used to. We are used to playing in front of a crowd.”

 

Red Wolves led 42-0 at halftime, a Division I best..

“Our most complete half of football by far,’’ said Anderson. “We protected really well; virtually no pressure on the quarterback with the exception of the sack in the 4th quarter on a blitz and that is one we could have thrown away.

“Special teams, the return game picked up some slack where we had struggled. We continued to cover well in the other two phases and defensively, again, made them one dimensional and the pass rush took over. Again we did not turn the ball over and we found ways to get touchdowns in the red zone. Those are things we have struggled with offensively. It's a sign of improvement and hopefully we can carry that over into another week.”

 

Hansen is POW

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Justice Hansen had his best game in red and black and earned the conference player of the week honor. He finished 21 of 36 passing for 303 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for a 6-yard touchdown and ran for 20 yards on 4 carries.

“(He did) show some improvement,’’ said Anderson. “Missed some opportunities, some reads but those are down each week,. The most critical thing for him is not putting the ball in harm's way. He did not put it on the ground and they didn't get a hand on the ball that he threw. He threw it away when needed and he ran the ball when he needed to. To me those are signs he is more comfortable, understanding where the ball is supposed to go.”

Anderson added it looks like Hansen is delivering the ball with authority.

“Throwing harder, that comes from confidence of know where the ball goes and having no doubts about the read. We saw him work through some things he hasn't in the past. He is more comfortable with it. When he is comfortable he can be dynamic. He can spread the ball to every area of the field. He looked very comfortable with the game plan

The challenge is to get that every week. His game could have been better; had a couple of drops.

 

The winning streak in conference is now at 12

We don’t talk about,’’ Anderson said. “I've heard it obviously mentioned. I think us and App State are both working around the same kind of streak. We really try to focus on the one that is ahead of us and if that continues or not depends on if we do that. We just try to focus on the next one and playing the best we can.”

 

Injury update

--Colton Jackson should be back. He could have played Friday but true freshman Troy Elliott got a second start because Jackson had missed so much practice time.

--Devin Mondie. The senior center went down in the second have vs. ULM and did not return. Anderson said it was a knee issue but nothing major. If he can't go Thursday, senior Brandon Berg will start, like he did last year vs. Georgia State.

--Q Heath. Not likely to play. Still part of the concussion protocol and has not been symptom free yet.