Arkansas State Red Wolves
2008 CFN Arkansas
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2006 CFN ASU
There's rebuilding and then there's revamping. Arkansas State, after
a slightly disappointing 5-7 season, has to rebuild some areas,
revamp others, and hope to get a few more breaks.
The biggest change is the nickname as they're now the Red Wolves and
not the Indians. While that might sound more like a plug for an
energy drink than anything that would inspire fear, it's still a new
direction for a program that's already on the right track.
Head coach: Steve Roberts
7th year: 31-41
15th year: 80-74-1
Returning Lettermen: 46
Lettermen Lost: 18
Best ASU Players
1. RB Reggie Arnold, Jr.
2. QB Corey Leonard, Jr.
3. OT Matt Mandich, Sr.
4. WR/KR Brandon Thompkins, Jr.
5. LB Ben Owens, Sr.
6. DE Brian Flagg, Sr.
7. TE David Johnson, Sr.
8. DE Alex Carrington, Jr.
9. QB Travis Hewitt, Sr.
10. CB Corderious Mingo, Sr.
CFN Prediction: 5-7
Aug. 30 at Texas A&M
Sept. 6 Texas Southern
Sept. 13 Southern Miss
Sept. 20 Middle Tennessee
Sept. 27 at Memphis
Oct. 11 UL Monroe
Oct. 18 at UL Lafayette
Nov. 1 at Alabama
Nov. 8 at FIU
Nov. 22 Florida Atlantic
Nov. 29 at North Texas
Dec. 6 at Troy
CFN Prediction: 3-9
Sept. 1 at
Texas L 21-13
Sept. 15 SMU
Sept. 22 at
Tennessee L 48-27
Memphis W 35-31
UL Monroe L 30-13
Middle Tenn. L 24-7
Fla Atlantic L 34-31
So Miss L 16-10
represented itself and the Sun Belt well last season with strong
showings in losses to Texas and Southern Miss while beating Memphis and
SMU. Yeah, it took a little too much of an effort to get by the dregs of
the Sun Belt, beating FIU 27-24 and North Texas 31-27, but the 34-31
loss at eventual conference champion Florida Atlantic was a great
This year's team has some fantastic parts to build around. The
combination of QB Corey Leonard and RB Reggie Arnold makes for one of
the Sun Belt's scariest backfields, while the defensive front seven
returns most of the key parts. The special teams should be the best in
the league, and the receiving corps, especially the tight ends, are
The problem areas, like a secondary that loses the star safety tandem of
Tyrell Johnson and Khyyam Burns, should be helped by an influx of JUCO
talent, while the offensive line, a big concern with only one returning
starter, is at least big.
No one will be predicting a Sun Belt title for the Red Wolves, but with
a little bit of work they'll be right in the hunt until the end.
What to watch for on offense: The line. Left tackle Matt Mandich
is one of the best linemen in the Sun Belt, but he's it for experience
on the offensive front. There's promise among the four new starters, and
some JUCO help, but there's no sure thing to give Mandich any help.
Considering ASU was 110th in the nation in sacks allowed, a little
change might not be a bad thing.
What to watch for on defense: The secondary. All four starters
are gone off of the nation's 19th best pass defense, and while there's
good experience returning with some of last year's backups ready to
shine, it'll be up to JUCO superstar Corderious Mingo, and a few other
new recruits, to pick up the slack.
The team will be far better if … the passing game is more
efficient. QB Corey Leonard became a far better passer and far more
effective, but the ASU air attack wasn't efficient. There were too many
interceptions, and if Leonard can cut his 15 picks down to single
digits, that should be the difference between a good season and a great
Schedule: Considering how well ASU played Texas last year, dealing
with Texas A&M in the season opener isn't all that bad. Forgetting what
ULM did last year, forget about the trip to Alabama, but Texas Southern,
Southern Miss and at Memphis are all winnable. There's a week off before
dealing with Florida Atlantic, and it's at home, and two of the league
road games, at FIU and North Texas, are against two of the worst teams.
The problem will be trips to UL Lafayette and Troy. If the Red Wolves
split those two and beat FAU, it might be on to New Orleans.
Junior RB Reggie Arnold. He
has the size and the speed to do a little of everything well, and now,
after two straight 1,000-yard seasons, he needs to stay healthy with top
backup Preston Brown suspended. Arnold also needs to be used more in the
passing game after being an afterthought as a receiver.
Senior LB Ben Owens. With excellent range and good athleticism, last
year's third leading tackler should be the main man for the front seven.
He could stand to get in the backfield a bit more and he could make more
big plays, but he's a good talent who knows what he's doing in the
to a successful season:
Sophomore SS M.D. Jennings. Gone is Tyrell Johnson, arguably the best
defensive back to ever play in the Sun Belt. Jennings has experience,
making 26 tackles in a relief role, but at only 6-0 and 165 pounds, it's
asking a lot for the Red Wolves to get anywhere near the same production
they got from Johnson over four years.
will be a success if ... Arkansas State wins the Sun Belt title.
There might be way too many question
marks to be the league's best team, but the conference schedule works
out well and if there aren't any home losses, it should all be up to ...
Dec. 6 at Troy. The Trojans blanks the then-Indians 27-0 in an ugly
late-October game. ASU had won three straight over Troy, and if it can
win the regular season finale, it might be the Sun Belt champion.
Opponents 39 for 248 yards – Arkansas State 13 for 124 yards
- Third quarter scoring: Opponents 133 – Arkansas State 64
- Kickoff return average: Arkansas State 21.6 – Opponents 17.9