Arkansas State Indians
2007 ASU Offense Preview |
2007 ASU Defense Preview
2007 ASU Depth Chart
2006 CFN ASU
After winning the 2005 Sun Belt title and going to the New Orleans
Bowl, 2006 was a bit of a letdown despite going 6-6. Now the team
should be one of the favorites for the championship with the best
team head coach Steve Roberts has put together.
While the talent is there, the team has to start being more
consistent and has to take advantage of all its opportunities. After
a great 5-2 start, the Indians lost four of their last five in a
maddening stretch that saw them lose three key Sun Belt showdowns
against Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and UL Lafayette by a
combined score of 95 to 23, but beat eventual conference champion
Troy on the road 33-26. Game-in-and-game-out consistency was an
issue in 2005 as well, but if this group is as good as expected,
that won’t be a problem if the inexperience of last year turns into
Head coach: Steve Roberts
6th year: 26-34
14th year: 75-67-1
Returning Lettermen: 53
Lettermen Lost: 18
Best ASU Players
1. SS Tyrell Johnson, Sr.
2. RB Reggie Arnold, Soph.
3. FS Khayyam Burns, Sr.
4. LB Koby McKinnon, Sr.
5. OT Matt Mandich, Jr.
LB Ben Owens, Jr.
7. DT Prince Hickman, Sr.
8. DE Brian Flagg, Jr.
9. WR Levi Dejohnette, Sr.
10. CB Darren Toney, Sr.
at UL Monroe
at Florida Atlantic
Army W 14-6
Oklahoma St L 35-7
at SMU L 55-9
at FIU W 31-6
UL Monroe W 10-6
at Memphis W 26-23
North Texas W 29-10
at Florida Atlantic L 29-0
at Auburn L 27-0
MTSU L 38-10
at Troy W 33-26
at UL Lafayette L 28-13
quarterback situation took the entire season to figure out with Corey
Leonard and Travis Hewitt each taking turns doing next to nothing for
the passing game. Fortunately, both could run and both could hand off to
star back Reggie Arnold, who has Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year
written all over him before his career is up. The line has to replace
three key starters, but ASU is always good at filling in the blanks up
The other side of the ball is where there’s reason to get very, very
excited with many of the top players returning from the league’s second
best total defense. Linebacker Koby McKinnon and the Sun Belt’s best
safety tandem, Tyrell Johnson and Khayyam Burns, lead a strong defensive
back seven that should be excellent against the pass. If replacements
can quickly be found for three lost starters on the line, and the
injured playmakers who missed time throughout last year (primarily DE
Brian Flagg) can shine, ASU will win most league games on defense alone.
Everything is there for one of the Sun Belt’s best programs to be a
champion for the second time in three years. It’ll be New Orleans Bowl
What to watch for on offense: The passing game won’t be as bad,
while the ground game should be a little worse. Reggie Arnold could
become the league’s best back, but there’s just enough of a drop-off on
the line to expect a fall off in overall rushing production. While the
offense will revolve around running the ball, Corey Leonard has to be
more efficient. They won’t bomb away despite having one of the Sun
Belt’s fastest, most experienced and most talented receiving corps, but
he has to move the chains and be far better than 117th in the
nation in passing efficiency.
What to watch for on defense: More sacks and more pressure into
the backfield. Partly by design and partly by poor play from the ends,
ASU registered a pitiful 13 sacks and 55 tackles for loss. While it
might take a while for the line to improve on the numbers, the coaching
staff might take more chances with the linebacking corps to make it more
disruptive. The secondary will be among the Sun Belt’s best.
The team will be far better if … the offense can score. Getting
stopped cold by Auburn and Oklahoma State is one thing, but scoring 13
points or fewer in four Sun Belt games is inexcusable. Getting more from
the passing game will go a long way to generating more points.
It’s not bad. There are the typical forget-about-it road games at
Texas and Tennessee, but the rest of the slate is manageable with
Memphis and SMU coming to Jonesboro and a regular-season ender against a
Southern Miss team that might be resting most of its top players for the
Conference USA championship. In Sun Belt play, it all comes down to a
three game October stretch against UL Lafayette, Middle Tennessee and
Troy. Fortunately, the key battles with the Ragin’ Cajuns and Trojans
are at home.
RB Reggie Arnold. He doesn't have to carry the entire workload with a
good group of backup running backs to help him out, but he has the
talent to do it. He's a near-lock to run for 1,000 yards with decent
size, great speed and a good burst. Now he has to get in the end zone
more after only scoring four times.
Tyrell Johnson. The three-time All-Sun Belt selection can do a little
bit of everything well with the speed to play free safety and the
hitting ability to be a superstar at strong safety. He has 269 career
tackles with seven interceptions and 11 broken up passes.
to a successful season:
Senior C Heath Lockley. The ASU O line loses three starters, but it
should be fine as long as the production is there in the middle. JUCO
transfer Brandon Ciaramitaro could end up winning the job when all is
said and done, but Lockley will likely start the season trying to
replace Tanner Jenkins as the leader in the middle of the line.
will be a success if ... Arkansas State wins the Sun Belt title. With Troy and UL
Lafayette at home, there's no reason to shoot for anything less with the
running game and secondary returning. As long as Leonard is halfway
decent throwing the ball, the offense should explode and roll over most
Sun Belt defenses.
Oct. 20 at Middle Tennessee. The Indians can afford a split with UL
Lafayette and Troy as long as it gets by the Blue Raiders, who won 38-10
last season. A win would set the tome for the second half of the season
and would likely make ASU the lead dog in the pack.
- Sacks: Opponents 37 for 249 yards – Arkansas State 13 for 103 yards
- Time of possession: Arkansas State 33:03 – Opponents 26:43
- Punt returns: Opponents 8 yards per return – Arkansas State 3.8