Hornets have strong Thursday practice - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Hornets have strong Thursday practice

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The Alabama State football team held its final full practice Thursday at Hornet Stadium in preparation for Saturday's game at Alcorn State. 

The Hornets (2-2 overall, 2-1 SWAC) and Braves (1-3, 1-1) will play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jack Spinks Stadium in Lorman, Miss. The game will be broadcast live on WVAS 90.7 FM.  

Heading into the fifth game of the season, head coach Reggie Barlow had glowing words when asked about Thursday's practice. 

"This was one of the best Thursday practices we've had," Barlow said. "Good energy, good focus, and guys were committed to what we were looking for. It was good." 

The Braves have faced a challenging non-conference schedule, including games against #5-ranked James Madison in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) along with Arkansas State of the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision). Under first-year head coach Jay Hopson, Alcorn State uses as its primary defensive formation a 3-4 alignment, a scheme not primarily used in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. 

"It's a bit different, as no teams in the conference do it as their base scheme," Barlow said of the alignment using three defensive linemen and four linebackers as opposed to the more commonly used four D-linemen and three linebackers. "There have been teams that have sprinkled it into their game plan, so we have seen it on occasion. It can pose problems, so the communication on the offensive line has to be good and guys have to understand what we are trying to do upfront.  We've worked on it all week, and I feel the guys understand it." 

The Hornets' defense has had a good week of practice, looking to improve as the midpoint of the season is near. For the first time in 34 games, the defense failed to generate a turnover last week against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. 

"They've done a good job running to the ball, and continuing to make strides in terms of understanding the scheme," Barlow said. "We've changed some things in practice, really emphasizing everyone running to the ball. We're used to getting turnovers because everyone is around the ball. When that doesn't happen, we're not getting the turnovers."

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama State Athletics Dept.

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