The Arkansas State football team reported back to campus Friday to resume its practice schedule for the GoDaddy.com Bowl following a week-long Christmas break, holding a 5:30 p.m. workout at Liberty Bank Stadium under cold and damp weather conditions.
The Sun Belt Conference-champion Red Wolves held their ninth practice since ending their regular season with a 45-0 win over Middle Tennessee, but their first since Dec. 20. A-State held its first postseason practice Dec. 12 and will conduct three more before departing for Mobile on Jan. 1. ASU will also practice in Jonesboro tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., Sunday at 5:45 p.m. and again Monday at at 10:30 a.m. “Everybody was back and everybody was on time, but I would have been surprised if they weren’t because this team takes care of their business,” said John Thompson, A-State’s interim head coach for the GoDaddy.com Bowl. “We were able to get out here and to have the kind of practice we did really helped us -- big advantage.” The field was cleared of all the snow and ice prior to practice, allowing the team to go through numerous drills and passing skeletons before closing out the day with a competition segment with the offense facing the defense. Thompson said the practice was productive and the competition periods help make the team aware of how important every down will be against a 25th-ranked Kent State team. “They way our guys hit tonight and flew around was really pleasing because after being off seven days and coming back from Christmas in these cold weather conditions, they could have had a lot of excuses,” said Thompson. “It was a physical practice and our guys were focused, and that is obviously a good thing.” A-State will continue to use its upcoming practices to implement its game plan for the GoDaddy.com Bowl, set for Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. against Kent State at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Thompson said the team will spread the game plan out and work some more personnel groupings in the next few days, but anticipates having everything in place by Sunday. Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase GoDaddy.com Bowl tickets only through the ASU Ticket Office to directly support the Red Wolves and to ensure they receive priority seating within the designated A-State area. Bowl tickets are only $45 per ticket when purchased through the ASU Ticket Office. Fans can go to AStateRedWolves.com to order tickets, and the ASU Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center's lower red entrance, is taking walk-up and telephone (870-972-ASU1 or 888-278-3267) orders.