ASU sharpens skills for MVS game

Game week has arrived for the Alabama State football team, who formally began preparations for this Saturday's season opener at Mississippi Valley State.

"It gives all of us butterflies," head coach Reggie Barlow said of his teams' first game of the season just five days away. "We were able to reintroduce the Mississippi Valley schemes to them and work on our technique and fundamentals. There were some good things accomplished today."

There was definitely a different tone and feel to Monday's practice, which Barlow says still has room for improvement.

"The guys who have been around for a few years know what time it is," Barlow said. "We have some young guys that will have to play this week who may not know quite yet. However, their confidence is such that they haven't really thought about it. Today, the business approach was completely what I wanted, but there was a sense from a lot of the guys that this is game week. "

ASU defeated the Delta Devils 34-7 last season at Cramton Bowl in the season opener for both teams. Mississippi Valley State went 0-10 last year under first-year head coach Karl Morgan. MVSU also went through the challenge of playing all their games away from campus due to renovations at Rice-Totten Stadium, which are now complete.

"Coach Morgan is a real solid guy who has a lot of experience," Barlow said. "He has some key players in the secondary and wide receiver positions that are very good players. We're going to have to make sure we're focused on the task at hand. Coming off the season they had last year, I'm sure there's going to be excitement going into a new stadium and a new season there."

The Hornets return to practice at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday evening and 11 a.m. Thursday.