2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Memphis at Arkansas St
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Sept. 10 at Arkansas State 47 … Memphis 3
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) JONESBORO, Ark. -- Ryan Aplin threw three touchdown passes, Frankie Jackson ran for 101 yards and another score, and Arkansas State rolled to victory in its home opener Saturday, beating Memphis 47-3.
Aplin finished 19 of 21 for 274 yards passing. Josh Jarboe had 162 yards receiving and two touchdowns from Aplin, who also found Dwayne Frampton for a score just before halftime.
Andre Smith took over for Aplin in the second half and hit Derek Lawson for the Red Wolves' (1-1) final touchdown. Bobby Zalud capped the scoring with a career-long 56-yard field goal. Arkansas State piled up 611 yards of total offense.
Memphis (0-2) quarterback Taylor Reed, making his first career start, passed for just 87 yards and was sacked five times. Paulo Henriques kicked a 37-yard field goal for the Tigers' only score. Akeem Davis had a career-high 11 tackles for Memphis.
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Memphis (0-1) at Arkansas State (0-1) Sept. 10, 7:00
Here’s The Deal … When rivals Memphis and Arkansas State meet in Jonesboro Saturday evening, the schools will share a similar goal—break through for the first win of the year. Neither school’s opening weekend loss was a surprise. The Red Wolves were dropped by Illinois on the road, 33-15, running out of gas in the third quarter. New Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze is still feeling his way through the roster he inherited, hoping to transform the holdovers into Sun Belt Conference contenders.
Memphis’ 59-14 loss to Mississippi State shed light on just how far the Tigers need to go before attaining a base level of competitiveness. The program is a year older than when Larry Porter took the helm in 2010, but still very young at critical spots on the roster. The coaching staff sees every game as a chance to grow as a program, even if it doesn’t always show up in the standings.
Why Memphis Might Win: You can move the ball on the Arkansas State defense, which Illinois displayed in Week 1. The Red Wolves are soft defensively, especially against the run. Coincidentally, the one thing the Tigers did well versus Mississippi State was grind out yards despite being behind throughout. Memphis got at least 60 yards from two players, converted wide receiver Billy Foster and 220-pound rookie Artaves Gibson. The Tigers’ best defense is going to be a ball-control offense that doesn’t force true freshman QB Taylor Reed produce beyond his pay grade.
Why Arkansas State Might Win: When the Memphis D is on the field, bad things are liable to happen. The Tigers were carved up for at least 300 yards on the ground and through the air by Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl. Now, the Red Wolves aren’t the Bulldogs, but they do boast dangerous weapons, such as QB Ryan Aplin, RB Frankie Jackson and receivers Dwayne Frampton and Allen Muse. Aplin is one of the Sun Belt’s hidden gem, a dual-threat behind center who’ll do whatever is necessary to locate the soft areas of the Memphis defense.
What To Watch Out For: The future is now under center at Memphis, with Porter’s decision to stick with Reed. Original starter Andy Summerlin is healthy enough to go, but the coaching staff was impressed by the rookie’s numbers, 23-of-35 for 149 yards, a touchdown and an interception. If Reed is going to solidify his status atop the depth chart, he’ll need to pay special attention to CB Darron Edwards and SS Kelcie McCray, Arkansas State’ two most experienced defensive backs.
What Will Happen: After getting its nose bloodied in Champaign, Arkansas State is eager to dole out some punishment in Week 2. Freeze took over a program with potential, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Red Wolves will be fueled by that diverse attack, getting a 300-yard day out of Aplin and the balance on the ground to frustrate the Memphis defense. The Red Wolves possess the killer instinct to put this game away by halftime.
CFN Prediction: Arkansas State 41 … Memphis 17
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Arkansas State -16.5 O/U: 54.5
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