Jason Pugh, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – After close to three weeks of physical preparation, the Northwestern State football team will face more of a mental challenge Wednesday night.
The Demons will go through four quarters of work at Turpin Stadium in their annual mock game, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Demon Sports Network will air a season preview show at that time on 94.9 FM The River, the new flagship of the network.
The mock game marks the second day of practice after a pair of days off for the Demons, who open the 2019 season Aug. 29 at UT Martin in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
“We’ll be in soft shells, but it will be a game-type situation,” second-year head coach Brad Laird said. “It’s more of a mental day where we’ll go through situations, like a 2-minute situation, red-zone situation, stuff like that. We’ll go into other situations like 10 men on the field for an extra point and how we want to handle that – kickoffs after safeties, victory formation, things like that.”
The main difference between Wednesday’s mock game and the two scrimmages the Demons have taken part in the past two Saturdays is the physical aspect.
“We’ll treat it like a regular game as much as we can, except there won’t be anything physical about it,” Laird said. “It will start with our true pre-game routine like we will a week from Thursday against UT Martin.”
Wednesday will mark the third time the Demons will practice under the Turpin Stadium lights, having done so each of the past two Thursdays.
Laird said the mock game setup allows the NSU coaching staff to implement and prepare numerous scenarios for the Demons while maintaining the feel of a game situation.
“The opportunity for a punt-return team to run on the field and the defense to run off, figure out who stays on and who comes off; the punt return being ready but staying punt safe are examples that, at some point in the year, or throughout the year are a couple of examples of what you run into,” Laird said. “We have the opportunity with this mock game to work that from a mental standpoint.”
· The Demons were scheduled to return from their two-day break for a 4 p.m. practice that was scheduled to last approximately an hour and 45 minutes. It is the Demons’ first practice since Saturday’s 75-play scrimmage.
· Reservations for Thursday’s annual Independence Bowl Foundation/Northwestern State Kickoff Luncheon are still being accepted. The cost is $20 per person at Superior’s Steakhouse at the corner of Line and Pierremont in Shreveport. Reservations can be made by calling 318-221-0712 or toll free 888-414-BOWL (2695).