The Alabama State University football team returned to the practice field late Tuesday morning to begin initial preparations for the Magic City Classic against Alabama A&M.
For the first time since the season opener, the Hornets will not play this week and currently have 14 days between game days. While schemes of its next opponent were presented to Alabama State for the first time Tuesday, the open date did allow for a bit of position-switching.
"We were able to get an hour or so of work in and took the pads off the players," head coach Reggie Barlow said. "It was more mental stimulation than anything else. The energy level was good. We allowed some O-linemen to play receiver and moved guys around a bit try to create an atmosphere that was fun for them. The goal this week is to introduce Alabama A&M to them and get started on preparation. We want to build on that until next week."
It has been a long season for the Hornets, with games each week during the first seven weeks of the season. Barlow believes the break in the schedule comes at an appropriate time.
"This is the best week we've had in terms of timing," Barlow said of the bye week. "We really needed it. We've been going at it since August 3rd. We've had a lot of guys that got banged up but fought through it. This is perfect timing for it. We'll be able to get some guys rested and healed."
The Hornets will practice Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m.