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RAMS NOTEBOOK: ASU finally back home after three straight road games

ASU head football coach Mike White

ASU head football coach Mike White

ALBANY — Give Mike White a moment before Saturday’s Homecoming game against Clark Atlanta.

He might want to pause and take it all in.

Albany State’s football coach might just take a second and gaze across the freshly painted field, listen to a few extra beats from the Marching Rams Show Band and let the home atmosphere sink in for a little bit.

After all, it’s been awhile.

“It’s almost like this isn’t a home for us,” White said. “We are only (at home) three times. When you are on the field only three times … the grass is new to us, too.”

Only three of ASU’s 10 regular-season games are at home. In the six games prior to Saturday’s game against Clark Atlanta, the Rams were on the road five times and traveled to Wingate, N.C., Elizabeth City, N.C., Chicago, Macon and Atlanta.

“It’s been rough on everybody in the classroom, the lack of sleep, the cramping on the bus on the way there and the way back,” linebacker Marcavius Dudley said. “It’s been rough.”

But now the Rams are home, back to their regular schedule and ready to play in front of their fans for the first time since Sept. 22.

“It feels great to be back home,” Dudley said.

It hurt this season to be away from home so much, but it could be a completely different story next year when the home-and-home scheduling flips in ASU’s favor and annual classics fall as away games on the Rams’ schedule.

“Next year will be different, so I guess that’s the positive spin on it,” White said.

INJURY REPORT: Backup QB Keenan Grissett has been sidelined the last two weeks with a knee injury he suffered Sept. 29 against Kentucky State, but White said Wednesday that the dual-threat QB will be back in the lineup Saturday.

“He’s doing a lot better,” White said about Grissett’s condition. “He should be on the field this week. It’s good to see him back and ready to go. He should be in the mix again for us.”

Grissett has rushed for 32 yards on 28 carries and has completed 9 of 18 passes for 29 yards and two interceptions this season, but White and his coaching staff are hopeful the numbers improve in the final three weeks of the regular season.

“We can probably open up a few more packages that he was running for us,” White said. “It’s good to have him in case something happens to (starting QB David Kooi).”

TUBBS UPDATE: Senior receiver and preseason HBCU All-American Ronnie Tubbs was held out of practice Tuesday through Thursday with a lingering groin injury.

“He has a groin strain, and we are giving him some rest,” White said. “He will be ready Saturday, but we want to rest him and make sure he is full strength.”

Tubbs was ASU’s leading receiver last season but has battled lingering injuries this season and has been held to 189 yards and one touchdown.