2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Arkansas State Offense
Score whenever there’s a chance. This offense likely won’t be quite as potent and dangerous as it was when Justice Hansen was under center, but it’ll still be good. However, it can’t be so bad inside the red zone.
The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl loss to Nevada was the most glaring issue, scoring just one time in five trips inside the 20 – and the Red Wolves lost 16-13. On the year, ASU scored just 78% of the time – 39 scores in 50 shots – just 18 teams were worse. It’s not an overstatement to suggest that this could be the difference between playing for the Sun Belt title, and just going bowling again.
Biggest Key To The Arkansas State Defense
Keep he pass rush going. It’s been one of the strongest parts of the Arkansas State run of solid seasons – the pressure in the backfield is always there.
The Red Wolves have generated 30 sacks or more in each of the last five years, bringing the heat on a consistent basis to get to the quarterback, and doing a great job of getting behind the line time and again.
Now the defense loses Ronheem Bingham and Dajon Emory – the two combined for 31 tackles for loss and were the teams two top sackers – but the defensive scheme always produces the pressure. William Bradley-King outside and Kevin Thurmon inside are good players to start with, but the rest of the line has to rock, too.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Logan Bonner, Jr.
Justice Hansen transferred in from Oklahoma and left with over 10,000 passing yards and 83 touchdown passes in a terrific three year run. The 6-1, 215-pound Bonner has been the main backup and has seen a little time, but he only hit 15 of his 32 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown with a pick last year. He’s a baller who can run, and he knows the system, but he has some massive shoes to fill.
Key Game To The Arkansas State Season
Louisiana, Oct. 17
ULM will be dangerous and South Alabama will be far better, but the showdown with the Ragin’ Cajuns should be for the Sun Belt West title. Last year, Louisiana won arguably the best game of the conference season in a 47-43 shootout, and went on to play for the Sun Belt championship. This time around, ASU gets a week off to prepare, while Louisiana has to deal with Appalachian State the week before.
– Arkansas State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Arkansas State Fun Stats
– Arkansas State 3rd Quarter Scoring: 142 – 4th Quarter Scoring: 63
– Fumbles: Opponents 22 (lost 8) – Arkansas State 11 (lost 6)
– Punt Return Average: Arkansas State 7.9 yards – Opponents -1.9 yards