College Football Preview: The 2015 Arkansas State Red Wolves
Arkansas State Red Wolves Preview
2014 Record: 7-6
Blake Anderson begins his second season on the Arkansas State Red Wolves sidelines looking to make a run at the Sun Belt crown.
Overview: The Arkansas State Red Wolves return the majority of an offense that averaged almost 37 points. The key might be getting the defense to develop a little more stopping power as they allowed almost 31 per game and gave up at least 34 points seven times.
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Offense: Quarterback Fredi Knighten threw for almost 3,300 yards and his 969 yards was second on the team. His 24 TD’s versus seven picks was outstanding but he fumbled nine times and was sacked 29 times and both numbers were far too high. Knighten has virtually his entire receiving corps back including 600+ yard receivers Tres Houston, Dijon Paschal and JD McKissic. Michael Gordon and Johnston White bring 1,100 yards and 514 yards to a potent rushing attack with three starters back on the line to run behind with some depth as well.
Defense: The defensive line has experience galore with virtually everyone back with Chris Stone and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones recording 21.5 TFL and 14.5 sacks although stopping the run was hit or miss. The linebacking unit gets back four of the top six with Xavier Woodson leading the group with 82 tackles, nine TFL and four sacks. The secondary is the least experienced group on the team with four of the top five gone although nine with experience do return so the Red Wolves are not without talent here. The big problem for the defense as a whole were too many big plays allowed.
Special Teams: Punter Luke Ferguson averaged just over 41 yards per boot but his kicks were seldom returned. Ferguson’s place kicking wasn’t nearly as effective with an 8-15 performance and six missed PAT’s. Daryl Rollins-Davis and Blaise Taylor were solid kick returners with Taylor doubling as a punt returner.
Outlook: With the offensive firepower Arkansas State possesses they will be a threat to win every time they take the field and with a little help from the defense the Red Wolves have a shot at the Sun Belt title. However saying that and doing it are two different things.