For those Arkansas State fans worried about a repeat performance by their Red Wolves in this year’s Go Daddy.com Bowl, you can rest assure it won’t be because of a head coaching change like it was here last year.
ASU has faced back to back Bowl games with its original head coach, but this year appears to be totally different.
Last January at this time, the Red Wolves coaching staff was made up of a few left over coaches and several volunteers, this year ASU new Athletic Director Terry Mohajir made sure that wasn’t the case.
“In very few cases you will see the entire staff intact like this one is,” Mohajir told AStateNation Sports Radio on Wednesday. “Gus Malzahn worked with us a lot to allow us to even keep our support staff in place for this game, it’s the right thing to do, the kids deserve that.”
Interim Head Football Coach John Thompson agrees with Mohajir’s assessment.
“We aren’t missing a beat,” Thompson said. “The only coach that we don’t have out there is Coach Malzahn, we have every assistant coach here, even the graduate assistants. We are preparing for this bowl game just like we did every game this fall.”
Arkansas State went through a lively, but cold practice here in Mobile on Wednesday, getting in a good 1:45 minute workout.
“At first I didn’t think we came out with the energy I would have liked us to,” Thompson said after practice. “It took us a little while to get started and to hit the tempo we like to practice with.”
According to Thompson, he plans putting the team through the same game week type paces as they prepare to take on a very good No. 25 Kent State team in Sunday’s 8 p.m. ESPN nationally televised game at Ladd Peoples Stadium.
“We just need to get a little bit better each day,” Thompson said. “This group is hungry. They want to go out on top. They didn’t enjoy the taste they had after last year’s bowl game here. We have to find away to send this group of seniors out in the right fashion.”
Arkansas State practiced in the afternoon on Wednesday, will return to USM Wright HS for a morning practice Thursday before representatives of the football team makes a team visit to Local Children’s Hospital Thursday afternoon.”
“It’s a great bowl,” senior quarterback Ryan Aplin said. “We have been here before, we are very familiar with everything and we know what to expect this time. We don’t want to settle for anything less than a bowl win.”
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