Arkansas State Red Wolves (8-4) at Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5)
College Football: Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm (Arizona Stadium)
The Line: Nevada Wolf Pack +1.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
TV: CBS Sports Network Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
The Arkansas State Red Wolves and Nevada Wolf Pack will square off in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl on December 29th at Arizona Stadium.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves won their last four games of the season to finish their regular season with an overall record of 8-4 (5-3 Sun Belt). This will the 8th consecutive Bowl game for the Red Wolves and the 5th straight under head coach Blake Anderson. Arkansas State will look to get back on the winning track when it comes to post season play as although they handed UCF their last loss in the 2016 Citrus Bowl, they were defeated by the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, 35-30, last year in the Camellia Bowl.
On the season, Arkansas State is averaging 31.8 ppg on 463.5 total yards per game (282.0 passing yds/g; 181.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Arkansas State has been led by QB Justice Hansen who had completed 67.0% of his passes for 27 TD & 6 INT while averaging 264.3 passing yds/g. Hansen is also able to do some damage with his legs as he has 6 rushing TD’s on the season. The top receivers for the Red Wolves have been Kirk Merritt (6.3 rec/g; 78.3 yds/g; 7 TD), Justin McInnis (4.7 rec/g; 57.8 yds/g; 5 TD), and Omar Bayless (2.9 rec/g; 39.7 yds/g; 2 TD). Leading the way for the Red Wolves backfield has been the duo of Marcel Murray (11.4 att/g; 66.1 yds/g; 7 TD) and Warren Wand (10.3 att/g; 54.3 yds/g; 4 TD).
Defensively, Arkansas State is allowing their opponents to average 26.4 ppg on 376.6 total yards per game (175.9 passing yds/g; 200.7 rushing yds/g). The Red Wolves forced 18 turnovers on the season and currently have a turnover margin of +5.
The Nevada Wolf Pack ended their season with a disappointing loss at UNLV, however, it was still a successful season for the Wolf Pack as they finished their year with a 7-5 (5-3 MW-West) record. This will be the first Bowl game for Nevada since 2015 when they defeated Colorado State by a 28-23 margin and this will be the first bowl game under current head coach Jay Norvell.
On the season, Nevada is averaging 32.3 ppg on 442.9 total yards per game (285.3 passing yds/g; 157.6 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Nevada has been led by QB Ty Gangi who has completed 61.1% of his passes for 23 TD & 11 INT while averaging 284.6 passing yds/g. The top receiving threats for the Wolf Pack have been McLane Mannix (4.2 rec/g; 72.9 yds/g; 7 TD), Kaleb Fossum (5.8 rec/g; 60.4 yds/g; TD), Romeo Doubs (3.6 rec/g; 46.8 yds/g; 2 TD), and Elijah Cooks (1.8 rec/g; 29.0 yds/g; 6 TD). Leading the way for the Wolf Pack backfield has been Toa Taua (13.0 att/g; 68.0 yds/g; 6 TD), Kelton Moore (6.9 att/g; 34.4 yds/g; 4 TD), and Devonte Lee (4.2 att/g; 17.7 yds/g; 6 TD).
Defensively, Nevada is allowing their opponents to average 28.1 ppg on 378.3 total yards per game (243.1 passing yds/g; 135.2 rushing yds/g). The Wolf Pack forced 19 turnovers on the season and finished their regular season with a turnover margin of -7.
The Red Wolves are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games following an ATS win. The Wolf Pack are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss, however, are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 Bowl games.
Nevada has a decent passing attack however, they do have some issues with turnovers and I’m worried Ty Gangi might have some trouble agianst the Red Wolves passing defense that ranks 12th in College Football. Arkansas State has a solid QB that should find some success against the Wolf Pack defense that struggled more against the pass and I think the Red Wolves do enough in this one to cover this small spread.