The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
No. 86: Arkansas State Red Wolves
Spring Game: April 21
Arkansas State Red Wolves Spring Status
The Red Wolves came up with an okay season, but it finished with a disappointing thud, lowing three of the last five games including the key Sun Belt battle with Troy and the Camellia Bowl again Middle Tennessee.
But one of the nation’s most impressive offenses gets back QB Justice Hansen, RB Warren Wand, and four starters on the line to keep everything going.
The defensive front needs some work, and not having the pass rushing stars won’t help, but the basics are in place to come up with another bowl season.
But can the team rebuild enough to challenge for the Sun Belt title in the new world of divisional alignment? Yeah, considering it’s in the West – the far, FAR easier of the two divisions.
It’ll be a big spring for the conference power. It’ll be expected to end up in the new Sun Belt title game, no matter what.
Arkansas State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Defensive End. And go ahead and throw tackle in there, too, after losing Dee Liner from the interior. Good luck playing consistent all-star Ja’Von Rolland Jones from one side, and not having Caleb Caston around on the other doesn’t help. Those two led the team in tackles for loss – combining for 29 – with Rolland-Jones generating 13 sacks, too. Ronheen Bingham and four five sacks last season, your table is ready.
Arkansas State Biggest Issue
Justice Hansen and the offense have to figure out how to stop the turnovers. The Red Wolves gave it up 25 times last season, but were saved time and again from a defense that was terrific at generating big plays. However, when they turned it over two times ore more, they were 2-5 – and 5-0 when giving it up fewer than twice.
Arkansas State Biggest Positive
Hansen and the passing game. Hansen’s 16 interceptions were hardly a positive, but overall, ASU threw for 4,106 yards and 38 scores. With Justin McInnis back, and a whole lot of decent receiver prospects, there’s the loss of four of the top seven targets shouldn’t be a killer. Hansen has to be fantastic again, and he has to make everyone around him better.
Really, Why Are The Arkansas State Red Wolves Ranked Here?
The defense loses too much to be ranked any higher than this, and it might sting a bit to replace so many key parts of the receiving corps. But again, Hansen and the passing game will be great, and the offense should be strong enough to hang with everyone in the Sun Belt. Consider it a massive disappointment if ASU isn’t playing for the conference title.