SAU football

The SAU football team wore full pads for the first time in practice on Friday.

Practice No. 5 for Southern Arkansas on Friday morning was different than the team's previous four as the Muleriders put on full pads.

SAU is preparing for its 2019 season opener in Bethany, OK, against Great American Conference foe Southern Nazarene on September 5.

"I thought we handled the heat well and it was a productive day on the field," said head football coach Bill Keopple following a hot Friday morning practice session. Despite having the hottest practice of the week, the Muleriders participated in several lively team sessions as both sides flew around and took advantage of the added gear.

With a full work week of practices done, Keopple was asked about the team's initial depth chart and how much it has potentially changed since entering the first day of camp.

"The depth chart is always a work in progress. You have to come to work every day and perform,” he said.

Hayden Mallory, a junior from Gonzalez, LA, and a product of St. Amant High School, entered camp as QB1. His first two seasons were spent backing up All-American and four-time All-GAC performer Barrett Renner. He tossed for 139 yards on 11-of-27 passing with a touchdown in limited action, but early signs in fall camp show that Mallory is ready for the spotlight.

"Offensively we have a lot of moving parts to make it work. It's more than just the QB making it work. We have new young receivers that have a lot to learn. Lot of individuals are doing good things,” Keopple said.

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