Preview 2017: Arkansas State Reloaded For Another Title?

Preview 2017: Arkansas State Reloaded For Another Title?

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Preview 2017: Arkansas State Reloaded For Another Title?

Preview 2017: Arkansas State Reloaded For Another Title?


Arkansas State loses a ton of talent, but can it reload quickly to take another Sun Belt title?


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2017 Arkansas State Preview: What You Need To Know
2017 Arkansas State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– Arkansas State Previews: 2016 | 2015

It’s one thing for Alabama or Ohio State to reload and keep on winning, but Arkansas State?

The model of consistency, even after a slew of stepping-stone coaching changes – with Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin each moving on after one year – Arkansas State has managed to go to six straight bowl games with Blake Anderson leading the way to the last three. It hasn’t always been easy under Anderson, but he’s pulled off at least a share of the last two Sun Belt titles.

And now the real work begins.

Can the program be so good that it can simply develop talent to step in for the departed stars and keep it all rolling? Did Anderson come up with the right recruiting classes and transfers to prepare for what was coming this year?

Anderson and ASU overcame a disastrous 0-4 start, which wasn’t the biggest of deals after losing the first three games to Toledo, Auburn and Utah State, but after a clunker to Central Arkansas, it was hot seat, program-might-need-a-new-direction time.

Fortunately for Anderson and the Red Wolves, the light turned on in Sun Belt play, winning eight of the last nine games and dominating UCF in the Cure Bowl – effectively, a home game for the Knights.

If ASU was good enough to get through last season and all the issues to finish up as a champion, then how what is it to replace a slew of really, really good players?

The Red Wolves have enough pieces in place to get a third straight Sun Belt Champion t-shirt, and they catch the massive break of missing the league’s most-likely top team, Appalachian State.

Justice Hansen is a good-looking quarterback who seemed to find his place in the world over the second half of last season, and he’ll be helped by a strong group of running backs and most of the top receivers.

But all five offensive line starters are gone.

The defense that dialed up the pass rush to another level gets back all-star Ja’Von Rolland-Jones at one end, but the rest of the line is done, along with leading-tackling linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster and three key defensive backs.

In all, nine All-Sun Belt performers and 14 starters in all have to be replaced.

But it’s Arkansas State. It’ll find a way to be in the Sun Belt title hunt again, because that’s what Arkansas State does, no matter what.

2017 Arkansas State Preview: What You Need To Know
2017 Arkansas State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
– Arkansas State Previews: 2016 | 2015

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